Anti-Israel lobby in the United States: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The anti-Israel lobby is a term used by some who criticize those groups and individuals that oppose Israeli policies or United States foreign policy which they consider to be too favorable towards Israel. Those opposed to such policies state that they seek a more "even handed" U.S. approach to the conflict in the Middle East.[1] Caroline Glick, managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, writes in an opinion column that recent years have seen "the emergence of a very committed and powerful anti-Israel lobby in Washington."[2] However, critics of Israel's policies often object to the phrase “anti-Israel” being used in regards to such lobbying.[3][4][5][6]

Contents

Organizations labeled members of the "anti-Israel lobby"

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Amideast

Historian Paul Charles Merkley, who believes that "Christian familiarity with and interpretation of the Bible created the seedbed" within which Zionist lobbying took hold and flourished,[7] wrote in his 2001 book, Biblical Interpretation and Middle East Policy, that the American Friends of the Middle East, which was founded in 1951, and has since changed its name to Amideast, "remains an active anti-Israeli lobby."[8]

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Martin J. Raffel identified the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee ("ADC") as part of the "Anti-Israel lobby," an being viewed as hostile to Israel by the [Jewish-American] community."[1] The Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor identified it as "very active" in "anti-Israel political causes."[9][10]

Council for the National Interest

Rafael Medoff, founding director of The David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, labels the Council for the National Interest (CNI) as an organization that is part of the "anti-Israel lobby." CNI was founded following former Congressman Paul Findley's 1982 defeat by "pro Israel PAC money."[11] CNI's website states its objective is "to restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence and pressure of foreign countries, namely Israel."[11][12]

Other organizations

In 2008 the Jerusalem Post wrote that Wikipedia was "Part anarchy, part mob rule" and that "the 'mob' is the vast anti-Israel lobby that haters of our country have managed to pull together." The article focused on the negative reaction to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting's Israeli lobby campaign in Wikipedia.[13]

Caroline Glick wrote that the "anti-Israel Jewish lobby J Street," supported by several other Jewish groups "supports the White House's hostile positions on Israel as ends unto themselves." She also identifies George Soros as the individual who "first raised the prospect of a Jewish anti-Israel lobby in October 2006."[14]

Individuals labeled members of the "anti-Israel lobby"

  • Jeff Robbins, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled "Anti-Semitism and the Anti-Israel Lobby," writes that the billions of petrodollars Arab states spend in the U.S. for defense and business contracts have influenced U.S. politicians.[16] He includes Edward Stettinius, Jr., United States Secretary of State between 1944 and 1945, who at the time opposed American support for the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East, stating, "It would seriously prejudice our ability to afford protection to American interests, economic and commercial . . . throughout the area."

Criticism of the term

Bret Stephens, foreign-affairs columnist of the Wall Street Journal and former editor of the Jerusalem Post, in a 2006 speech to Chicago Friends of Israel criticized John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy for lumping together "the hugely disparate elements" of groups that support Israel and suggest they constitute a "Lobby." To make his point he described a hypothetical "anti-Israel lobby" made up of disparate groups, including such political opposites as Pat Buchanan and Noam Chomsky.[17]

In 2008 University of Florida political scientist Ken Wald warned that the left leaning pro-Israel lobby group J Street "will get hammered and accused of being anti-Israel" by "more conservative pro-Israeli factions."[18][19] The founder of J Street responded to such criticism of being "anti-Israel" saying that "the most pro-Israel thing any American politician or policy maker can do is help to bring about a two-state solution and a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and her neighbours."[18]

Barack Obama, during the 2008 election campaign, implicitly noted differences within the lobby in his comment that "there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says, 'unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, that you’re anti-Israel,' and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel." Commentary Magazine, notes “It was an odd choice of words—Likud has not been Israel’s governing party for more than three years—but what Obama clearly meant was that an American politician should not have to express fealty to the most hard-line ideas relating to Israel’s security to be considered a supporter of Israel’s.”[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Martin J. Raffel, section, "Anti-Israel lobby," p. 140-143, in Chapter 3, Jewish polity and American civil society: communal agencies and religious, by eds. Alan Mittleman, Robert A. Licht, Jonathan D. Sarna, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.
  2. ^ Column One: Intelligence and the anti-Israel lobby Jerusalem Post, Mar 12, 2009
  3. ^ Anti-war, not anti-Israel, The Evening Standard, February 11, 2003 describes the “well organized lobby” working for Palestinians and criticizing Israel.
  4. ^ Will Youmans, Israel's Singles Night Out: Critics Charge that Divestment "Singles Out" Israel. They Are Right, Counterpunch, October 25, 2002.
  5. ^ Saritha Prabhu, U.S. support of Israel isn't without problems originally published in The Tennessean, April 24, 2009.
  6. ^ Juan Cole, Only a "For America" PAC Can Stop the Madness, at personal website, January 12, 2009.
  7. ^ Biblical Interpretation and Middle East Policy: The Promised Land, America, and Israel, 1917-2002 (review), American Jewish History, Volume 92, Number 4, December 2004, pp. 499-502.
  8. ^ Merkley, Paul (2001). Christian Attitudes towards the State of Israel. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-7735-2188-7. http://mqup.mcgill.ca/extra.php?id=12.  
  9. ^ Experts or Ideologues: Systematic Analysis of Human Rights Watch, NGO Monitor, September, 2009, p. 14.
  10. ^ ADC Times. 2002. Washington: Vol. 21:7, April 30, 2002.
  11. ^ a b c Rafael Medoff, Jewish Americans and political participation: a reference handbook, Rafael Medoff, ABC-CLIO, 2002, p. 244-5.
  12. ^ Our Mission from the CNI website.
  13. ^ David Hamah, Digital World: Internet Independence Day, Jerusalem Post, May 6, 2008.
  14. ^ Caroline Glick, Column One: The lonely Israeli Left, Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2009
  15. ^ David Rothkopf, About the anti-Israel lobby, Foreign Policy, January 6, 2009
  16. ^ Jeff Robbins, Anti-Semitism and the Anti-Israel Lobby, Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2007
  17. ^ Bret Stephens, "Meet the Israel Lobby", Speech delivered to Chicago Friends of Israel at the University of Chicago, May 3, 2006
  18. ^ a b James Besser, New PAC To Offer Pols A Dovish Mideast View, The Jewish Week, March 26, 2003.
  19. ^ Max Deveson, Jewish lobby gains new voice, BBC News, April 16, 2008.
  20. ^ Jews and the 2008 Election

Further reading

  • Barsky, Yehudit, "The Anti-Israel Lobby Today: An Examination of the Themes and Tactics of an Evolving Propaganda Movement", ADL Special Report, 1991.

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