Israel lobby panics about ‘spoiled’ next generation turning against it
Philip Weiss, MondoWeiss, Aug 6 2016
Last week the NYT reported a shocking statement from the former University of California chancellor on the importance of stopping the BDS movement on campus because it threatens to poison the next generation of Pindosi leaders against the special relationship between USrael. Linda Wertheimer reported:
In December, Mark Yudof, former president of the University of California system, helped create the Academic Engagement Network. The group has some 275 members, mostly faculty, on about 110 campuses working in opposition to the BDS movement. Yudof told me: “I don’t want to see BDS become stronger, because 20 years from now these students will be judges & Congress critturs. We have to respond now to maintain the historical relationship with Israel.”
Yudof is not alone in being panicked about the effect of college politics on the future of the Israel lobby. Last December, the leading US Jewish journalist Jeffrey Goldberg and the Israeli politician Yitzhak Herzog expressed the same concern, specifically about young Jews, in a conversation at the Saban Forum. Goldberg noted that Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports BDS, is the fastest-growing organization on his daughter’s college campus in the north-east, then went on:
This is not speculation on my part, that things are shifting radically not only in non-Jewish Pindostan but in Jewish Pindostan as it concerns Israel and its reputation… What are you going to do about it?… The reality among liberal Pindosi Jews and liberal Pindosis is that they are turning, slowly sometimes, not so slowly other times, against Israel.
Goldberg then expressed his own contempt for those young Jewish Pindosis:
A lot of very mainstream Israelis ask, Why should we risk our lives by taking positions that could in fact hurt us physically, so that a group of spoiled children at Harvard and Yale and UCLA feel better about the Jewish state? The Jewish state was not created so that 18-year-olds at Berkeley (can) feel good.
Herzog responded that BDS is the latest manifestation of the “onslaught against Zionism for generations,” but he said that he is worried about it for the same reason Yudof is:
The problem that you’ve mentioned is the growing disparity between the Jewish community in Pindostan, and the next generation who are going to take the leadership, who are going to be government boxtops, who are going to be opinion makers, who might be the next Mark Zuckerbergs, and Israel. And that’s definitely a strategic risk because part of our national strength was derived from the fact that the Jewish diaspora especially in Pindostan was extremely close to us, extremely supportive, and had major influence on Pindosi policy overall. And what we will see in the next generation is if we hear and listen from our young generations, is Israel hate. Without understanding the case, without having a clue … about the vibrant, aggressive, impressive democracy that we have got.
Both these items (from last week and last December) underscore a profound truth that the Israel lobby has been denying for ten years: the power of the Israel lobby in Pindosi politics. That’s what Yudof is afraid is being undermined; and Herzog is even more straightforward about it: It’s Jewish power, the “major influence on Pindosi policy” exerted by older Pindosi Jews. This is no casual matter. The loss of the lobby is a “strategic risk,” Herzog said. This is precisely why Jeffrey Goldberg and Alan Dershowitz and Dennis Ross and Aaron David Miller and Richard Haass and others vehemently denied the allegations in the paper and book The Israel Lobby, published 9 and 10 years ago (respectively), because identifying this power openly was a threat to it, or to “Jewish enfranchisement,” as Goldberg stated on the stage of the Center for Jewish History. Now ten years on, the Israel lobbyists face a greater threat than academic critics of the Israel lobby: young Pindosis, who are awaking to Palestinian conditions on college campuses, thanks to the efforts of Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Black Lives Matter. And, pace Herzog, young Jewish Pindosis, the very Jews who are supposed to compose the leadership of the lobby, they’re deciding that Zionism with its inherent ethnic discrimination is not an ideology worth living for, yet alone dying for. I would only comment that Yudof, Goldberg and Herzog are the real threats to the Jewish future. They would happily swap out any real intellectual and moral engagement with the world on the part of their children for an attachment to Israel. They have thereby destroyed the vaunted Jewish mind, which produced so many wonderful achievements in the West over the last 100 years, and given us Jewish automatons. Thankfully, many young Jews are thinking for themselves, and their dependence in doing so on Palestinians and non-Jewish groups will forever change the definition of the liberal Pindosi Jewish community. And not a moment too soon.
Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no Pindosi aid without ending ‘oppressive’ settlements
Philip Weiss, MondoWeiss, Aug 5 2016
Here is another sign that what had been quiet disagreement between Pindosi Jews and Israel is breaking out in the open, thanks to the approaching jubilee year of the occupation. Citing “nearly half a century” of occupation, a former AIPAC boxtop comes out for conditioning Pindosi aid to Israel on that country agreeing to freeze its illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jayloomia. He says forthrightly:
Israel’s “oppressive and discriminatory settlement policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jayloomia continue unabated.
Greg Slabodkin of Buffalo is described as “a former opposition researcher for AIPAC in his piece in the Hill. The article is pegged to the news that the Obama administration is going to sign an aid package with Israel giving it $40b over ten years, “the biggest Pindo military aid package ever given to any country.”
Under Netanyahu’s watch, Israel clearly has no intention of ending its occupation. Consequently, Pindostan should be exerting pressure on Israel to persuade the Netanyahu government to abandon its settlement activities, not rewarding the Jewish state with increased military aid. The Obama administration should make it clear that there are strings attached to Pindosi aid and that Israel’s failure to comply with a settlement freeze will have financial penalties.
Slabodkin is for the two-state solution, but he repeatedly slams the “occupation.” Recall that the Democrat Party was incapable of even mentioning the occupation in its party platform. His piece includes a jab at Netanyahu as a madman:
Netanyahu, who recently formed the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, has driven USrael relations to their lowest point in a generation by undermining the prospects for peace with the Palestinians by entrenching the Israeli occupation, which has lasted nearly half a century.
Clearly the Israeli discourse and the Pindosi Jewish discourse are feeding one another here. Centrist Israeli Zionists like Moshe Ya’alon and Yitzhak Herzog have been so openly critical of the fascistic political culture in Israel that they are giving Pindosi Jews power to speak out. Daniel Birnbaum, the Pindosi-born head of SodaStream, has also issued an attack on Netanyahu to the Times of Israel, saying that Netanyahu has encouraged the “evil manifestations” of the conflict between Palestinians and Jews.
It pains me to say that I believe this administration is nurturing the conflict in all its evil manifestations. They nurture the hate and the boycott and they nurture separatism.
Birnbaum says that Netanyahu made certain that 74 SodaStream workers could not get permits to travel from the West Bank to the Negev to work for his company so that Netanyahu could blame the BDS for their unemployment.
Bibi is systematically spreading hate within Israel between Jews and Arabs and between Orthodox and secular. With such a separatist track record, it’s no wonder that he won’t embrace a straightforward solution to lower the flames and build a bridge to coexistence. Apparently our 74 Palestinians represent a threat to his agenda.
This is very much what Yakov Hirsch wrote here some weeks ago, that Israelis are flipping out over Netanyahu’s nihilist Zionism, which offers no path to a peaceful future and embraces a fascistic ideology that Palestinians just want to kill Jews. Yet another sign that Israel is cracking apart. Defense Minister Avigdor (‘Yvette’) Lieberman has called President Obama a Neville Chamberlain, for a deal the world made a year ago. What is Jeffrey Goldberg going to say?