As the Jewish Lobby (AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and other Jewish groups) faces its first colossal defeat, Jewish media outlets and Zionists commentators are desperate to find a respectful way for AIPAC to ‘get off the tree’.
Yesterday, The Jerusalem Post editorial went out of its way to save American Jewry out of the Lobby’s blunder. “Just as Israelis are split on support for US military intervention against Assad, so undoubtedly is the American Jewish community.” This may be true, American Jews are probably divided on the topic, yet, we didn’t hear about a lobby of hundreds of ‘progressive’ Jews awaiting to raid the Capitol Hill and advocate the push against the war. If anything, we came across the usual sporadic so-called ‘progressive Jewish voices’ who shamelessly attempted to divert the attention from the tribal nature of AIPAC/ADL‘s pro war operation.
The Jerusalem post also contends that Israeli leaders are actually against the war. “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stressed that we are not involved and not interfering in what is happening in Syria. We repeat and emphasize that.” But if this is indeed the case, then AIPAC and other Jewish Lobby groups shouldn’t be conceived anymore as ‘The Israeli Lobby’. Supposedly the Lobby doesn’t follow Israeli policy. It is actually an autonomous collective that promotes what it believes to be ‘good for the Jews’.
In order to save American Jewry from the stupidity of their lobbies, The Jerusalem Post has produced the most ludicrous argument ever:
”AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and other Jewish groups have the same right as other American organizations to come out publicly in support of military intervention in Syria.” I guess that this is a true statement as far as it goes; however, as long as they do it under a Jewish banner, as they clearly did, their activity will continue to reflect on Jews as a collective. This is indeed a disaster and Jews had better address this issue once and for all, and hopefully from a universal perspective.
Veteran IDF Concentration camp guard Jeffery Goldberg, is obviously embarrassed by AIPAC failure. He looks for someone to blame but he wouldn’t dare criticising his fellow Zionists.
“If I believed in conspiracies,” says Goldberg, “I’d be tempted to think that President Barack Obama… dragged the group (AIPAC) into what at the moment looks like a losing battle to get Congress to approve an intervention in Syria just to tarnish AIPAC’s reputation as all-knowing and all-powerful.”
Actually, I believe that Goldberg’s ‘conspiratorial’ narrative is far from being farfetched. By now our Western political universe is hijacked by some sinister Lobbies (Jewish and others). The Jewish Lobby was pushing for a war the American people didn’t agree with. Obama and his administration were hanging in the middle. The president was left with one simple option. He told his paymasters, If you really want a war, make sure you fight for it; if the congress says No, you have yourself to blame. If the congress says Yes, and we once again end up with a military blunder, the Lobby would have to take the heat.
Goldberg is far from being stupid. He grasps that AIPAC’s defeat this week is just a beginning of a far greater and more important battle. “If American support for Israel wanes, then AIPAC is in trouble. If Americans shift their opinions on Iran or become comprehensively isolationist, then AIPAC will have difficulty with that portfolio, too.”
For Goldberg, Dershowitz and other unsavoury Zionist characters, Syria wasn’t really the issue. They are obviously after Iran. They see the big picture. And for them Israel is the centre of the universe. They are willing to get off the Syrian tree only because they have a much bigger tree in mind.
Some Israeli diplomats and foreign affairs experts have been horrified all along by the Lobby’s public push for a war. Ben Caspit, a leading Israeli analyst quoted yesterday a long-standing Israeli diplomatic source who attacked the attempts to activate AIPAC. “It is not wise, it is not correct, it is excessive,” said the diplomat. “Israel is too often viewed as a country that drags the United States into conflicts and wars.”
Seemingly, Israeli analysts and foreign affair experts do know very well that Mearsheimer, Walt, Petras, Blankfort and yours truly are hitting the nail on the head pointing at the Jewish Lobby as a grave danger to world peace.
And yet, a few crucial questions remain open. How did AIPAC, ADL and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization fall into this trap? How did they manage to walk into this ambush openly and loudly advocating a war against America’s will? Couldn’t they foresee to possible outcome? Couldn’t they predict Jews being once again blamed for global scale conflict? Are they really that stupid?
My answer is simple. They are far from being stupid but they are clearly blind, because blindness is, unfortunately, intrinsic to chosenness, which implies dismissal of the other as well as otherness. Chosenness is a narcissistic modus operandi. It doesn’t leave much room for self-reflection, let alone regret or compassion.
Chosenness is the birth of the Jewish tragedy, a theme I explored in my latest book The Wandering Who. I guess that ‘The Jewish question’ must be addressed again and sooner the better, but this time we must verify first what the meaning of Choseness is and how it fits with Jewish culture, ideology and politics.
The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics, AIPAC & The Jewish Lobby, available on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk
Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer.
Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called “surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz.” His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a “devoted political artist.” He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as “one of London’s finest saxophonists” stated: “It is Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read.”