‘NYT’ readers bridle at Netanyahu’s congressional conquest, saying it goes against the American interest


A large majority of Americans are opposed to Israel’s policies.  It makes you wonder why this opposition does not seem to have an impact on Congressional elections.

By Philip Weiss / Mondoweiss


A friend writes: When you look at the lopsided recommendations on the readers’ comments about this New York Times article– in which the Republicans’ invitation to Netanyahu to speak to Congress has put Obama in a difficult position– you get the idea that a large majority of Americans are opposed to Israel’s policies.  It makes you wonder why this opposition does not seem to have an impact on Congressional elections. Some of the comments:
North Carolina
April 21st, 2011
8:08 am
I would like someone to tell me how Israel strategically enhances the US position in the Mideast.

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St. Louis
April 21st, 2011
8:13 am
The republican party is obviously pandering to the Jewish vote in 2012. It would not surprise me if they increased the aid to Israel as well while the cut funding to our own needed programs. I have no use for this arrogant nationalist, Netanyahu, and it it were up to me I would not even let him into the country. He is no ally or friend to the USA.
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Moorestown, NJ
April 21st, 2011
8:10 am
It would be interesting to watch Rep Cantor and Boehner putting a foreign country’s interest in front of US interest. It appears that the foreign policy of US needs a seal of approval from Tel Aviv.
Where is Congresswoman Michelle Bachman with her LOYALTY TEST? Playing politics with this sensitive issue is not in our interest.
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binghamton, ny
April 21st, 2011
8:31 am
Another war criminal the Republicans admire. Netanyahu disgraces his country. The invitation disgraces ours.
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April 21st, 2011
8:12 am
it is clear that our congress cares about and represent the interest of Israel rather than the interest of the American people. It is about time to speak up and tell Israel that we need to think and act for the best interest of America, enough is enough, congress must represent the all Americans and not the Israelis

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

casaananda April 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

One of these days the tide will go out in the US for Israel. Marginally, people are waking up to the distortions induced by the Lobby, founded on the naivete and ignorance of many in Congress who know little of history or truth in the Middle East. And behind is all is a threat: fall in to line or you will not be reelected. And who is the USA serving: not Israel as a whole, but primarily the fanatics there, the settlers and their reps in the Knesset, Netanyahu and Leiberman, etc. It is MOST shameful.

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patm April 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

It is indeed MOST shameful, casaananda. In my view it is also treason.

“A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within.” Wiki.

The Israel Lobby is a fifth column in the US and in Canada. Its nefarious activities must be exposed.

Thank you for MW, Phil, Adam

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pabelmont April 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

Naivete and ignorance in Congress? Sure, but far from limited to Israel. Look at the great bank bailout. Look at the 1945 federal statute that forbids the federal government to regulate, investigate, be concerned with, the business of insurance as practiced in the USA (often enough in constraint of trade that the states happen not to restrict) (see: “Griftopia”, Taibbi, p. 185 etc.) . How did federal legislators get so stupid, so corrupt, so naive and ignorant as to pass such a law? Look at Obamacare, and consider the exquisite care it promises to the insurance companies and drug manufacturers and the lack of care to the public.

Naivete and ignorance? Maybe. But the legislative attention is elsewhere, They might be as smart and as well-informed as a college professor, but as politicians in the USA’s system, they’d act the same.

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annie April 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

The republican party is obviously pandering to the Jewish vote in 2012.

somebody needs to tell jerry the jewish vote is not the prize, it’s the campaign funds required to win in districts all across this country that gets them panderin’.

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annie April 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

i recommend people checking out the comment section, there’s lots more where those came from. further down the list:

Ray Gordon
Bel Air,Md.
April 21st, 2011
9:01 am
The U.S. Congress continues to live up to its name ” Israel’s amen corner ” by inviting Netanyahu to speak. Netanyahu doesn’t want peace with the Palestinians, today or ever. All he wants is to continue stealing more Palestinian land and water, while maintaining a strangulation blockade on the civilian population of Gaza. The U.S. is unable to stand up to Israel’s wealthy and vicious lobby and should, therefore, allow the international community to impose a two state peace solution on Israel, based on pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
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New York
April 21st, 2011
8:43 am
Hopefully the Netanyahu trip to the Hill will backfire on him and the Republicans. Sooner or later US interests are going to trump the AIPAC dollars. It seems to me that the legitimate rights of Israel and Palestine will not get resolved equitably until there has been campaign finance reform and the politicians have been dragged, even if kicking and screaming, away from their lives of prostitution.
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Bowling Green, KY
April 21st, 2011
8:32 am
As usually Boehner and his gang are trying to connect with the Jewish dollars in Washington,DC. They have no interest in pursuing peace in the Middle East. May be John Boehner will distribute the checks on the floor again like he did for the tobacco companies. What
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Don Jolly
April 21st, 2011
8:12 am
If Mr Netanyahu feels relations with Mr Obama are not that cordial, he at least ought to thank his over-generous lucky stars that I’m not the President.
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April 21st, 2011
9:33 am
Who is Boehner to invite Netanyahu to address Congress?

If it happens, I will ask my representatives to walk out.

40 years of illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, stealing it piece by piece under the revolting euphemism of “settling” it, all the while arming the “settlers” with machine guns and assault rifles, outraged when the oppressed people of the occupied lands fight back against the army of occupation.

An Israeli told me long ago, “The only difference between a Freedom Fighter” and a “terrorist” is that the Freedom Fighter is on our side.”

It is way past time to put an end to US enabling of this murderous, thieving, hypocrisy.

Anti-Israel is not anti-Semitic.
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it just goes on and on like that. this list is prioritized by #’s of recs. i keep reading and thus far have not encountered one pro israel comment.

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Potsherd2 April 23, 2011 at 11:22 am

This, annie, is the effect of “Jewish dollars.”

You say you don’t like the term, but the fact is that Congressional corruption is so deep that the only thing that matters to them is dollars, not the will of their constituents. The lobbies have Congress bought and paid for, and the voice of the people is not heard over the sound of the cash machines.

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annie April 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

potsherd, i perfectly understand what this means. it’s jewish funding all the way. i mean that dollars are our currency, they don’t have an ethnicity per se. whether they (lobbiests) control what is in their individual bank accounts or the bank accounts of congress is not my point. my point is that it is american dollars being funneled to israel, not jewish dollars. it’s our f***ing money. i understand your point entirely and it’s a point i’ve made myself over and over. it just irks me having our currency referenced as ‘jewish’.

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MRW April 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Here’s another great one from that comment section:

washingtonville, new york
April 21st, 2011
9:30 am

“Priceless military ally”, #17. Al Smith, “Let’s go to the record.” When I was standing on the wall during Vietnam I looked to the right, to the left, and never saw an Israeli. When my son was hit by shrapnel in Afghanistan, he looked to the right and to the left and never saw an Israeli. Which flank were the Israelis on during the 1990 Iraq invasion? On that’s right, there were none, but US missile batteries had to be sent to Israel to “protect the Israelis from Saddam”, presumably from his fictitious weapons of mass destruction. And Iraq is not that far from Israel, how many Israelis were members of the Coalition of the Willing? Oh, that’s right, 0. But the CIA discovered Israeli agents were encouraging Kurd separatism in opposition to American (and Turkish) policy. Many of my family are Canadians. And when I think of the Canadians who died at Dieppe, in Hong Kong, who when all hope appeared lost under fire evacuated Brest to fight on from Britain, and who until America came into the war singlehandedly kept the lifeline open in the North Atlantic to Great Britain against the Nazi onslaught, to disgrace this county by claiming a country who has never given one life to support America (but who of course murdered American sailors on the USS Liberty) is a “priceless American ally” portrays exactly why America needs to if necessary provide military aid to the Palestinians to drive settler stormtroopers out of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

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He’s right about Canada in WWII. Canada lost over 10% of its population. It carried the North American continent for the first two years of WWII.

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RoHa April 24, 2011 at 4:34 am

When the shattered British army was lifted from the beaches at Dunkirk, and taken back to Britain to be reconstructed, who was guarding the beaches of Britain?

(Hint: the answer begins with “C”.)

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RoHa April 24, 2011 at 4:35 am

And I have yet to see a single case of Israel acting as an ally of the US.

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Ellen April 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

Noted, but how significant is this?

I remember during the Obama campaign and on his own campaign site the overwhelming discussion on policy issues by registered users of the site was the disastrous US policies concerning Israel. Then suddenly it was bumped by the “legalize marijuana” question.

As long as there are no consequences for our elected scoundrels and thieves, it really does not matter what the American people think, feel or suffer.

We live under a Plutocracy.

Until it becomes unprofitable for the few to keep the conflict going, it will not stop.

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Les April 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

To be at all credible in this digital age the Times is required to make available heretofore invisible comments from its readers. Were the editors to include such letters in the print edition, we might imagine those opinions to be taken seriously. Until then, the Times continues to function as a principal of the Israel Lobby.

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Jim Haygood April 23, 2011 at 11:55 am

Addressing the U.S. Congress is a fairly rare honor, usually extended only to distinguished foreign leaders who have rendered major service to the United States in crises.

Netanyahu, the leader of a small client state which has caused immense trouble and embarrassment for the U.S. by actively undermining its long-standing policy against settlement expansion, does not remotely qualify for such an honor.

Much as Bill Clinton was criticized for letting a parade of donors sleep in the Lincoln bedroom of the White House, House Republican leaders such as Boehner and Cantor are now prostituting the white-marble U.S. Capitol for a pocketful of Jewish campaign cash.

No wonder P.J. O’Rourke called it a Parliament of Whores. The only shocker is that you can buy them so cheap … and they’ll strap on their knee pads to do absolutely anything you ask, no matter how degrading.

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Potsherd2 April 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Don’t think for a moment that the Republican have a monopoly on whoring for Israel. Both parties are trying to out-suck each other.

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radii April 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

as you have pointed out many times yourself, Phil, money money money

I believe you’ve stated that you think 70% of money (before Citizens United ruling) to the Democratic Party came from Jews – mostly zionists and is 40% to Republicans? This from a population that is 1.8% of America’s 320 million

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American April 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I remember reading in the WP several years ago that dems got 60% of their contributions from Jewish organizations and Jewish donors.
Of course some Jews are liberal anyway but it’s the big Jewish donors who attach the Israel and zionist strings to their donations and get results.

I got a call from the DNC for a donation last week….I told the caller to call AIPAC…LOL…really that’s what I told her. She seemed confused…was probably was just a employee of a hired fund raising company so I had to explain to her I don’t give money to the dems or repubs any longer because of their higher devotion to the foreign country of Israel than to the US. Now I just make donations direct to certain politicians.

But beside the money you have Jewish (and Cuban) enclaves like Flordia that can swing electoral votes…that’s why I am also for the popular vote and doing away with the electoral college. And also for public financing of campaigns. Until then the ” Vote” isn’t really representive of masses desires…for better or worse.

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MRW April 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm


You wrote: It makes you wonder why this opposition does not seem to have an impact on Congressional elections.

Correct, but.

This opposition is having an effect in the hearts and minds of people across the country in ways that the NYT and major Jewish lobbies are utterly blind to. It’s ground-up. It’s silent. It’s festering.

You know how I do my unscientific casual reading of the street in bars when I travel around the country. There’s a small cadre of what I call reactionaries that last read news in the 80s sometime who hold to the Israel Right or Wrong glyph because Limbaugh/Hannity/Savage do.

But there’s a larger, and more quiet, group who have had it up to here with the attention Israel demands from our Congress, especially in these times.

I heard it during a local public radio (NPR) discussion the other day about how the state is proposing to slash education drastically and let 40% of the teachers go, close a bunch of schools. A caller was arguing the short-sightedness of it, and how uneducated citizens cripple the economy for a generation, not just two or three years.

At the end, this caller, with a voice roiling in sarcasm, said “Yeah, well, tomorrow you’re probably going to have some guy on from a lobby in DC telling us we have to send another $3 billion to poor little old Israel. [I grabbed a pen.] We could pay teacher salaries in seven states with what we waste giving it to that sorry-ass excuse for a country.” Then he hung up.

I downloaded the podcast of this show later that day.

They edited this guy’s remarks about Israel out. That was an incredibly dumb move. When you silence people, their POV hardens.

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American April 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm

You know I have been saying for a long time (every time the zionist say that ‘Americans” support Israel) that all you have to do is follow the comments in any major newpaper in the US to see that that isn’t true.
And it is easy to see that these comments aren’t the product of some Arab hasbara like propaganda organ as most of the standard pro Israel comments are in that venue.
The fact is most people, even dumb ones, do eventually believe their own lying eyes and when they do finally catch on they are all the more outraged for having been lied to or mislead or being kept ignorant of the facts.
The last time I commented in the NYT on some article referencing Israel I got 274 reader recommends and my comment was only four paragraphs of quotes by various presidents from Presidential libaries papers on the fact that support of Israel has always been based on “domestic politics” (Jewish donations) and not on Israel as any kind of asset or ally to the US.

The zionist are always quoting “polls” as if no one knew how “polls” are commissioned most often by interest groups to get their desired results.
But the general publics non restricted comments on Israel are a better indicator than structured poll questions.

Congress hasn’t absorbed the general publics opinion on Israel for the same reason they don’t absorb any of our other opinions…they literally don’t care. Only two things effect politicans behavior…money and fear of losing their power positions.

As I keep saying, all this ..the Israeli corruption in our government, as well as all the other centers of corruption, are going to cause a bad ending for the US. It’s systemic through out our political system on every issue. Israel and it’s US supporters are just the most glaring and premier example of the extent and depth of it.

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yourstruly April 24, 2011 at 1:36 am

Whoever’s responsible for inviting the Israeli PM to address Congress should be charged with treason, the reason being that the settler entity’s occupation of Palestine is what stokes the fear that underlies the violent messianic movements in the ME. It’s why they hate us, why there was a 9/11, endangers our troops in Afghanistan as well as national security, according to General David Petreaus and Vice President Joe Biden, among others, which tranlates into how many body bags are Israel’s actions against its neighbors responsible for? Didn’t have to be, never should have been, doesn’t have to be, wouldn’t be, were Palestine free

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