Reconstruction 8.1 (2008)


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Alan Wald's The New York Intellectuals and the Discourse of Shifting Alliances: Anticommunist Liberalism, Neo-Conservatism, and the Rise of Israelism as a Manifestation of Jewish Nationalism / Matthew Abraham

 

Introduction

<1> The U.S. invasion of Iraq and its resulting occupation have placed American Jewry in a difficult - and largely undeserved - position, resulting in an unfortunate caricaturing of American Jews' political perspectives, which are presumably as diverse as any ethno-religious groups' might be [1]. Such caricaturing enables reactionaries to resurrect, and to deploy with great effectiveness, the nasty "dual loyalty" charge against prominent American Jews who have served in the Bush administration, unfairly suggesting that - within the context of formulating Middle East policy as U.S. officials - these American Jews will always place Israel's interests ahead of those of the United States [2]. Some figures, including Israel's top military commanders, for example, have identified Israel's key role in hyping the intelligence used to justify the U.S invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, suggesting that Israel's long-term security needs were the main motivation for the U.S. invasion [3]. Given the prominence of so many American Jews in key foreign policy positions dealing with the shaping of U.S Middle East policy within the Bush administration, a facile assumption has emerged: namely, that individuals such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliot Abrams, and Paul Wolfowitz have really acted as agents of the state of Israel in their capacity as American officials.

<2> With a great deal of blame for the invasion being lodged against the Neoconservative movement, and with many of that movement's leading figures being of Jewish origin, there has been a tacit - and, I would argue, unfortunate - assumption disseminated that the philosophical foundations for concepts such as preemptive war against nations within Bush's axis of evil, the denouncement of international bodies such as the United Nations that uphold international law and diplomatic negotiations, and the demonization of much of the Arab world for its inability or reluctance to create free markets and sustainable democracies, were in fact generated with the interests of Israel in mind. Surely, one could evaluate Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and Paul Wolfowitz as one-time Bush administration officials - who happened to be Jewish - working for the best interests of the United States, and not as agents of the Israeli government seeking to craft U.S. Middle East policy for the sole benefit of Israel, as some have argued [4]. What made it difficult to believe, however - prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003 - that figures such as Perle, Feith, and David Wurmser were working within their administrative positions solely with the best interests of the United States in mind, was their endorsement of a policy report called "A Clean Break: A Strategy for Securing the Realm," written in July of 1996 for then-Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It argued that Israel could take care of its security needs by pursuing an aggressive military strategy in dealing with its Arab neighbors, as had long been advocated by right-wing Zionism [5]. This report pushed for preemptive military action against Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah. Five years earlier, this report, entitled the "Defense Policy Report," was presented to George H. Bush as he neared the completion of his one and only term. At that time, the report was the object of ridicule because the United States, rather than Israel, was being forwarded as the regional hegemon capable of fighting Israel's supposed enemies.

<3> The authors of the "Clean Break" and "Defense Policy Report" were - as a matter of coincidence - American Jews with close connections to key officials in the Israeli government. Whether from this observation one can make any empirically verifiable inferences that American Jewish officials with Zionist sympathies were able to exert undue influence within the Bush administration in formulating U.S. Middle East policy, is dubious, but nonetheless it has a polemical edge that has obtained some salience within the public sphere. It is important to either dispel, once and for all, this polemical charge or to find a more intellectually satisfying basis for its articulation. In his Deadly Dogma: How Neoconservatives Broke the Law to Deceive America, Grant Smith contends that "[o]ne of the last significant colonial questions, that of the state of Israel, has enjoyed absolute US weight on the side of the Israelis, thanks in part to neocon thought, leadership, and lobbying, which is partisan to Israeli retention of occupied territories, nuclear weapons, and subsidies from the U.S." (21). Upon what grounds, if any, does Smith's condemnation of the Neoconservative movement - as it has sought to advance the U.S.-Israel special relationship - stand? What relationship, if any, exists between Neoconservatism and Zionism? Has the Neoconservative movement's forwarding of an aggressive U.S. Middle East policy merely allowed for an all-too-easy conflation of American Jewish interests and Zionist interests by critics, or are there, in fact - as many suggest - deeper ties between these two ideological tendencies? It is to these questions, as broad as they are, to which we must turn.

 

The Intellectual Stakes

<4> Recently, William King and Alan Wald have responded to the allegation, which was first made by Michael Lind in the New Statesman, that there is a direct line of descent from Trotsky's "Permanent Revolution" to the Neoconservative dream of Perle, Feith, and Wolfowitz to remake the Middle East through preemptive military intervention [6]. As I argue, it is not the Trotskyist wing of the New York Intellectual movement to which one must turn, but instead attention must be paid to the radical shift that ensued among leading American intellectuals after Israel's impressive military victory in the Six-Day War in 1967. Prior to 1967, Israel did not merit much attention among either the New York Intellectuals or other elite intellectuals in the United States. It is this shift one must address to better understand why modern-day Neoconservatism fully supports Israel's aggressive militarism in the Middle East. Before dong so, however, we must consider the configuration of the current historical moment, particularly with respect to American Jewry and Israel.

<5> While it is undoubtedly true that the majority of American Jews opposed the Iraq invasion, the majority of American Jewish organizations supported it. How does one explain this disparity? According to Eric Alterman, "Major Jewish groups respond to the demands of their top funders and best-organized constituencies," while "[m]ost American Jews, however, have little or nothing to do with these groups." As people struggle to find answers to the question "Why did the United States really invade Iraq?," the interests of another country - Israel - repeatedly surface as possibly providing the "real" motivation behind the press to invade Iraq in March 2003 [7]. But how could Israel, as a "junior" partner in its alliance with the United States, influence the world's remaining military superpower to invade another country? Certainly such a suggestion presumes that the United States went to war in March of 2003 to remove even the remote possibility that Iraq's large Sunni population could ever pose a security threat to Israel's quest for regional supremacy - a central tenet of Labor Zionist thinking [8]. If this thesis is plausible, then, what does it mean that an analysis of a possible central reason for the U.S. invasion of Iraq has been placed beyond the bounds of political discussion in the United States, as, for instance, Virginia Congressman James Moran quickly found out when he tried to raise the issue [9]?

<6> Similar concerns about Israel's attempts to push the United States toward military engagement with Iran - to disarm Iran's supposed military capability - have been expressed by figures such as General Wesley Clark, who when asked why the United States favored war with Iran, said "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers" [10]. Clark was immediately denounced as an "anti-Semite" for these remarks and asked to apologize by the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, with both organizations taking out full-page ads in the New York Times condemning Clark for trafficking in unsavory stereotypes that have historically been deployed against Jews. However, as American Prospect journalist Matthew Yglesias noted, "Everything Clark said is true. What's more, everyone knows it's true" [11; emphasis in original]. Of course, Yglesias is being hyperbolic with this statement since not everyone knows - or believes - what Clark said is true. Nonetheless, the notion the wealthy Jewish Americans in New York somehow placed pressure on the Bush administration to go forward with the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 repeats an anti-Semitic stereotype that has been deployed against Jews throughout history.

<7> Given the discursive contours shaping the extremely sensitive debates around the specific roles Israel and the Israel Lobby play in shaping U.S. Middle East policy, and the location of American Jews and Israel's Christian Zionist supporters in contributing to efforts to tilt U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction, it is understandable why it is so difficult to have frank discussions about the U.S-Israel special relationship; the rhetorically loaded charge of anti-Semitism is strewn about widely, in effect allowing for comparisons to be drawn between justifiable criticisms of Israel and its U.S. supporters (Jewish and non-Jewish) and the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Hitler's Third Reich. Many individuals and organizations seem intent to make it impossible to think about and discuss difficult issues such as the new anti-Semitism, Israel, and American Jews (Zionist and non-Zionist) without invoking the evil specters associated with Germany in 1933, there is little or no chance of understanding the predicament animating the present historical moment [12]. To claim, however, that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Ahmadinejad are the "new Hitlers" is neither helpful nor responsible; indeed, to traffic in such comparisons is to do violence to history and to the present context. To conduct a productive discussion about the U.S.-Israel special relationship and the key function Neoconservatives have played in promoting it, one must make key distinctions between vastly different historical moments. As the late Israeli dissident Israel Shahak, a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, once wrote:

True, any knowledge, no matter how approximate, of the extent of Jewish influence upon the U.S. policies is hard to obtain. The topic is taboo in the US (although not in Israel), with all major American Jewish organizations exerting themselves to maintain the taboo, often with the help of philosemitic Christians, who delude themselves by gagging discussion of Jewish affairs, and in particular about Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism, they 'atone' for the Holocaust. Reliable knowledge about Israeli influence, as about any other taboo subject, can be arrived at only after the interdict is lifted and the subject is freely discussed (Open Secrets, 141).

If free discussion about the possible interrelationship between Israel and the U.S. invasion of Iraq is to take place, it seems necessary then to openly explore the possible connection between Neoconservatism, Zionism, and U.S. Middle East policy - allowing, at the same time, for analytical errors to be made, as is often the case when dealing with any subject, taboo or not - without any error being flagged in advance as evidence of "anti-Semitism."

 

U.S. Support for Israel: The Background

<8> As the United States' vital ally in the Middle East, and as the, arguably, fourth strongest military power in the world, Israel is a regional and international player in the game of geo-strategic dominance and power politics. A popular and persistent illusion - that Israel has long sought peace with its Arab neighbors but has been unable to find a genuine "peace-partner" - persists, however, despite diplomatic and historical evidence to the contrary [13]. The following facts are uncontroversial: Since 1976, the Arab states have 1) recognized Israel's "right to exist" within its pre-June 1967 borders and have 2) not been committed to Israel's destruction. This version of history, of course, does not sit well with the widely disseminated propaganda version, which requires that Israel's "very existence" be continually presented as being in jeopardy. As Livia Rokach documents in her Israel's Sacred Terrorism, within which she draws upon Moshe Sharett's diaries for supporting evidence, Israel has sought - since its founding - to follow a program of perpetual war with its Arab neighbors [14]. In fact, Israel has not sought to live in peace with its Arab neighbors as is popularly believed, seeking instead to exert its quest for regional dominance whenever possible. Israel frequently creates pretexts for supposedly defensive wars - as it did in June 1982 prior to its invasion of Beirut - for furtherance of its strategic aims [15]. While pressuring its patron, the United States, with promises of cataclysmic violence in the region if its demands for unprecedented military support and diplomatic aid are not met, Israel has made it difficult - if not impossible - for the Israel-Palestine conflict to actually be resolved [16]. Indeed, preventing an actual resolution of the conflict is a goal that a number of dedicated individuals and organizations pursue with great energy [17]. Although popularly portrayed within the mainstream media as a "neutral broker" in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the United States has unequivocally sided with the Israeli government in its continual efforts to dispossess the Palestinian population of crucial pieces of territory in the West Bank, giving Israel full access to the U.S.'s top-shelf military armaments such as F-16s, Apache and Blackhawk Longbow attack helicopters, knowing full well that Israel will use this weaponry against Palestinian civilians [18]. In addition, the United States has used its considerable standing within the world community to shield Israel from having to comply with international law, frequently vetoing near-unanimous U.N. security resolutions that call upon Israel to cease hostilities with its Arab neighbors, dismantle illegal settlements in the West Bank, and reveal the extent of its own nuclear facilities to the international community.

<9> The United States and Israel have chosen to ignore United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which requires Israel to pull back to the 1967 Green Line and to immediately remove its population from the West Bank in accordance with international law - demonstrating that Israel does not have to comply with international law as long as the balance of military might is on its side. Since the United States is the most powerful member of the U.N., whose veto can obstruct the will of over nearly one hundred and ninety other countries, Israel can act as an outlaw state with relative impunity. Given Israel's human rights record in suppressing any base for the expression of Palestinian nationalism, along with Israel's extensive nuclear arsenal, and the United States' seeming support and shielding of both, it is hardly surprising that calls for Iran to terminate its uranium enrichment program are greeted with ridicule and contempt within the Arab world and much of Europe [19].

<10> When this factual record is compared with what the average American knows about the US-Israel "special relationship," it becomes clear that several discourses have grown up, and taken root, around these specific topics, surveilling and controlling what can be articulated - and even known - about the subject of Israel's influence over U.S. Middle East policy. Understanding how these discourses have grown and taken root requires one to inventory the intellectual precursors of Neoconservatism. Jewish intellectuals, as intellectuals of legitimation, have played a key role in this movement. And ironically, American welfare liberalism has functioned as the midwife of this Israelist-Neoconservative linkage. Jewish liberal intellectuals' work in helping to expand state protections for vulnerable minorities, for instance during the civil rights movement - later became a key aspect explaining how and why American Jews, sympathetic to Zionism's aims, became key players in the American welfare state, and supporters of the aggressive, interventionist Neoconservative state in later years [20].

 

Jewish Intellectuals and Neo-conservatism

<11> Tracing the rise of Jewish intellectuals, as they have become associated with legitimizing the state and its agencies, is an important part of understanding the rise of the Neoconservative movement [21]. To borrow a phrase from Benjamin Ginsberg, the Jews' "fatal embrace" of the state has been both a godsend and a curse [22]. A godsend in that the state has provided vital corrections to the perfidy of societal and institutional anti-Semitism. A curse in that the figure of the Jew has been once again unjustly associated with capitalism, mercantilism, wage exploitation, usury, and the legitimizing functions of the state. In his The Utopian Dilemma: American Judaism and Public Policy, Murray Friedman writes: "At least until recent years, political liberalism has been the secular religion of American Jews" (6). In their America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order, Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke write:

Intellectuals such as [Norman] Podhoretz argued that the American commitment to Israel derived from Israel's democratic rather than religious nature. He emphasized that the profound neo-conservative commitment to Israel's security transcended individual religious status. This is not to say that neo-conservatism at any point in its history was a purely or predominantly Jewish phenomenon. To depict it as such is a sloppy and false characterization - one that has been abused by tabloid polemicists of both left and right to distract attention from the substance of neo-conservative ideas (58).

Although Neoconservatism cannot be characterized as a purely or predominantly Jewish phenomenon, it can be characterized by its close connections to liberalism since the 1930s and to Zionism, especially since the 1970s.

<12> The Neoconservative dream of transforming the nations of the Arab world - into Western-style market-democracies - as envisioned by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), whose signatories included Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Jeb Bush, now seems to have unleashed a civil war in Iraq that could conceivably create widespread regional conflict and instability in the Middle East [23]. While plans to invade Iran have perhaps been put on hold in light of the latest National Security Estimate, opportunities to preemptively strike against nations comprising the Bush administration's Axis of Evil are apparently not to be missed [24]. According to PNAC, and many affiliated organizations such as the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Brookings Institution, and the Saban Center for Middle East Studies, many of the twenty-two Arab nations in the Middle East are awash in political corruption, incapable of protecting the civil liberties of its citizens, and perhaps most importantly, refuse to recognize Israel's "right to exist."

<13>  A few of the Neoconservatives, who initially exerted a great deal of influence in shaping the Bush administration's Middle East policy, were students of University of Chicago philosopher Leo Strauss; Wolfowitz and Perle are the two most obvious examples. Although Strauss had no relation to the New York Intellectual movement, his views on how national leaders should employ noble lies and deception to hide the country's true military aims from the general population  - particularly in the context of preemptive war - has found some resonance in the present-day Neoconservative outlook. This outlook actually dovetails with the views of the later New York Intellectuals who, in their retreat from principled radicalism, conspired with the CIA to combat communism. But while the Straussian origins of Neoconservativism have been widely noted, a careful reckoning of how Neoconservatism grew out of the New York Intellectual movement has not been rendered [25]. Alan Wald's New York Intellectuals traces the intellectual and political trajectories of figures such as Sidney Hook, Irving Howe, and Lionel Trilling - who like all New York intellectuals showed no particular interest in or affection for Israel prior to 1967 -  and in particular traces their shifts from communism to Trotskyism to an embrace of conservatism. However, there has been no complete accounting of how exactly Jewish nationalism, or Israelism, emerged as a result of a larger fascination for Israel within U.S. intellectual culture after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, where Israel demonstrated its military serviceability for U.S. aims of state.

<14> At the same time as Israel was winning the 1967 War, the United States was losing the War in Vietnam, which led many to wonder out loud if perhaps Moshe Dayan, the celebrated Israeli general and prime minister, should be sent to Vietnam to put the "third-world upstarts" in their place. Israel's impressive military performance in the Six-Day War, in addition to the demographic shifts within U.S. society, which were accompanied by growing social unrest, led to a rightward shift in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement. The New York Intellectuals went from first being supportive of Civil Rights liberalism, to then opposing the "radical" Black Power movement [26]. Indeed, this shift in attitude in the U.S. intellectual culture towards Israel and social change within U.S. society more generally, represented a prelude to the rise of the Neoconservative movement.

<15> To understand the full gravity of this shift today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, consider the rise of the Project for a New American Century, which boasts members ranging from Jeb Bush to Irving Kristol, all of whom were signatories to "Rebuilding America's Defenses" document in 2000 [27]. The Project for a New American Century can be viewed as an umbrella organization for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and the American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC). Each of these organizations has sought to argue that the United States and Israel should remake the political structure of the Middle East through the flouting of international law and the use of Carl Schmitt's "The Law of Exception," whereby the strongest states are exempt from the regular conventions of the international community in times of crisis or social upheaval, such as that offered by the events of 9/11. These organizations have found that the promotion of democracy and the expansion of market economies, in such contexts, often serve as a useful pretext and cover for aims of war. As if deploying insights inherited from their distant and disavowed leftist intellectual forebears, think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and Hoover Institution have been fighting Gramsci's "war of position" for nearly two decades, creating the necessary epistemological framework for the events of the last five years in the Middle East.

 

Shifting Intellectual Alliances

<16> By extending Wald's analysis of the New York Intellectuals into the present by examining how Jewish nationalism, or Israelism, became a central - but unarticulated - aspect of American left-liberalism after 1967, one can learn a great deal about the current politics of the Neoconservatives. More importantly, such an examination may help us to understand the policies informing the Bush administration's decision to launch the Iraq invasion in March 2003. By drawing upon current intellectual debates around Israel, especially through the examples of Alan Dershowitz and Michael Walzer, I will demonstrate that American liberalism has really been at one with, if not Zionism, then certainly Israelism, since 1967. Indeed, there is a hidden religion-approximating devotion to Israelism within American liberalism, which desperately needs to be explored and analyzed since this devotion has assumed an almost hegemonic status within U.S. culture - as recent intellectual controversies clearly demonstrate. Among such controversies we might include the dominant elite responses to the publication of Walt and Mearsheimer's London-Review-of-Books article "The Israel Lobby" and their book of the same title, Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and the row around Norman G. Finkelstein's recent tenure denial at DePaul University. In each instance, the specific writings of these authors were ignored, with innuendo and insinuation about hidden anti-Semitic motivation successfully replacing sober analysis - a clear indication that the charge of anti-Semitism can be used to distract attention away from Israel's human rights record [28].

<17> The New York intellectuals, as a predominantly Jewish dominated movement, struggled with the Jewish Question as early as the 1930s, albeit in subtle and indirect ways. As questions go, the Jewish Question seems to have been answered, however temporarily, through the "normalization" of the Jew through the creation of Israel as the Jewish state, a state within which Judaism and Jewish culture would define the limits of the normal. Clearly, then, the resolution of the Jewish Question initiated the beginning of the Palestinian Question. Although Israel did not figure prominently in the writings of the New York Intellectuals prior to 1967, figures such as Herbert Solow did struggle with the implications of Zionism for Arab Palestinians even before 1948, resulting in Solow's separation from the Menorah Journal in 1933 after he penned several articles critical of Zionism.

<18>The rise of the New York intellectuals, as a countercultural phenomenon in opposition to the movement of the tendencies of the dominant consensus, followed many eddies, as Wald documents in The New York Intellectuals. By forsaking the radical roots within which the movement began, by the 1970s, the NY intellectuals turned their back on the fight against U.S. imperialism, anti-Black racism, anti-feminism, and the destruction of indigenous cultures throughout the postcolonial world. As Wald writes,

In the 1960s quite a few of the New York intellectuals would be distressed more by rebelling students, women, and blacks than by the American government's slaughter of Vietnamese peasants and its support of reactionary dictatorships around the world, some, in fact showed a real fear and loathing of the new militants precisely for the wrong reasons - because many of the students raised intellectual challenges, refused blind obedience, and significantly raised the country's moral and cultural level (270).

According to Wald, the NY Intellectuals anti-radical stance took place through four central stages: Trotskyism, Menshevism, Anti-Communism, and liberal Anticommunism. More importantly, according to Wald, ". . . there is a direct line of continuity between many of the New York intellectuals engaged in the American Committee for Cultural Freedom and subsequent right-wing developments culminating in the Neoconservative campaign of the 1970s against affirmative action and feminism, coupled with a new cultural elitism and a foreign policy somewhat to the right of Ronald Reagan." This direct line of continuity that Wald points to has not been adequately appreciated. Indeed, the political deception of the New York Intellectuals forms a pivotal, but understudied aspect of American intellectual history. Wald claims that:

In fact, only by understanding the peculiar nature of their transformation can one come to grips with the most contradictory and confusing aspects of the NY intellectuals: that a group of individuals who mainly began their careers as revolutionary communists in the 1930s could become an institutionalized and even hegemonic component of American culture during the conservative 1950s while maintaining a high degree of collective continuity. This pendular evolution by so many New York intellectuals suggests, from a radical point of view, that their politics were deceptive from the beginning (70, emphasis mine).

This deceptive aspect of the New York Intellectual movement that Wald highlights suggests that political opportunism, rather than principled political commitment, motivated one-time radical such as Sidney Hook and Irving Howe. Howe's commitment to Israel after 1967 verged on the bizarre as he issued a steady stream of apologetics for Israel's treatment of the Palestinian Arabs. Similarly, one can locate an equally problematic political opportunism among contemporary Jewish policymakers such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Martin Indyk, and Dennis Ross as these figures have placed their commitment to promoting the territorial expansion of Eretz Israel ahead of their responsibilities to the "United States national interest" in their capacities as American government officials [29]. These Neoconservatives represent the pinnacle of an intellectual corruption that began nearly sixty years earlier. It is to this earlier era to which we will now turn.

 

Alienation from the Intellectual Mission

<19> But first, a lament: The ideals of the intellectual class often find their way into the mainstream culture. Potentially they can buoy the laity against the corruption of a particular era, providing people with hope in the recognition that a thoroughgoing group of individuals has forsaken the materialism and the fashions of an age for genuine intellectual inquiry, refusing to act as mere sycophants of power - the consequences be damned. In the modern era, however, locating such thoroughgoing individuals is a daunting task. Beyond figures such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and, perhaps, Gore Vidal, one is hard pressed to identify a group of dissident intellectuals who conduct - and publicize widely - radical social critiques that expose the very seams of the operations of power [30]. The NY intellectuals possessed an opportunity to be just such a coterie of individuals, but forsook it for the rewards of the mainstream, and ultimately, the trappings of power.

<20> The NY intellectuals, a group that shared in its early stages so much that is admirable about a group of progressive thinkers, eventually made common cause with repressive and totalitarian aspects of the American power elite and its neo-imperialistic aims. That a fairly independent group of intellectuals could be so totally co-opted by the American power establishment should give all of us pause for concern. As Wald contended in 1987:

Today, when so many of our middle-class intellectuals are swinging left, it is well to remember that the position of the bourgeois intellectual in any proletarian movement has always been an anomalous and precarious one. However sincere he may be, the mind of the intellectual is apt to be overlaid with conflicting values so that it is impossible for him to be sure of his position; having so many values, he is likely to betray one to defend others. In this dilemma the recognition of his own training and nature can be his only safeguard against confusion and eventual missteps (Wald 64).

Regrettably, the NY intellectual's complicity with some of the worst aspects of American foreign policy, as this manifested itself during the U.S.'s onslaught against Vietnam and throughout Indo-China, should serve as a reminder of the seductions of violent power and the effects these may have upon purported intellectuals who protect themselves inside ideological cocoons. Norman Podohoretz, Midge Decter, and William Kristol succumbed to this tendency, channeling their intellectual commitments to dovetail with U.S. imperial interests, particularly as the U.S. began fighting communist influence in Indochina.

<21> Ironically, throughout their careers, the NY intellectuals used a sense of their alienation and distance from the corridors of power as the basis for much of their critique. How far the NY intellectuals really ever were from power, however, is debatable. That Norman Podhoretz, Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin, and Phillip Rahv eventually became a part of the American establishment, despite beginning their careers detached from it, reminds us the pangs of social anomie in early adulthood often propel ambitious men into the seat of conservatism. How much of this commitment to social justice animated the NY intellectual's mission? How much of their critique of the status quo really developed out of the egoism and resentment that often drives young people to speak for, instead on behalf of, the oppressed and downtrodden one can never be sure. That Norman Podhoretz, the longtime editor of Commentary, became and continues to be such a representative voice of neo-conservatism in the United States, suggests that intellectual engagement with idealism and even radical social critique can fall by the wayside when power calls.

<22> Podhoretz, in his Why We Were in Vietnam, argued that the U.S. presence in Vietnam became misrepresented in the American imagination because of leftist distortions of the war. While figures such as Edward Said spoke out and wrote against the U.S. invasion of South Vietnam because it was a colonial enterprise, Podhoretz claimed that the U.S. "protection of South Vietnam against North Vietnamese aggression," proved itself vital to the promotion of U.S. interests. Podohoretz's defense of U.S. imperialism has found analogs in contemporary political discourse.

 

The Birth of Israelism and Liberalism's Love Affair with Israel

<23> Since 1967, the country of Israel has been an object of near-religious devotion for U.S. intellectuals, particularly among those who style themselves as "Liberals." After Israel's impressive victory over Egypt in the Six-Day War, Israel became a strategic asset for the United States and the special relationship was born, along with all the numerous problems that it has yielded for the indigenous Palestinian population, the stability of the region, and the world. As Chomsky and others have noted, the term "rejectionism" within the doctrinal system is reserved exclusively for the Palestinians in their supposed refusal "to recognize Israel's legitimacy" or "right to exist" (terms applied to no other country in the international system). These phrases, "right to exist" and "legitimacy," frequently appear without some crucial additional language - "right to exist [as an apartheid state] and "legitimacy" [as a state that bases citizenship on religious affiliation]. This Newspeak hides the fact that Israel is a country with no declared borders actively forcing the Palestinians not only to admit the loss of 78% their historical homeland - which they formally did unambiguously in 1988, and implicitly well before - as Benny Morris has noted - but also to accept the legitimacy of that loss. In fact, the admission of this loss is the required starting point for any negotiation [31]. That is the point of the extraordinary demand for the "right to exist," after the right to exist in peace and security, etc. as in U.N. resolution 242, had already been conceded in 1976. All of this has to be presented as something other than what is - a reflection of our society's deep-seated racism against Arabs, particularly Palestinian Arabs. Alan Dershowitz is in many ways symbolic of this U.S. intellectual love affair with Israel, representing the particular intellectual difficulties - and official benefits - apologists for a holy state encounter in their near lifelong quest to dutifully serve a perverted nationalism's aims.

<24> Within a well functioning propaganda system, such as the one that governs discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict in the United States, a figure such as Alan Dershowitz can pose as a defender of Israel and, by extension, Jewish interests, while in fact posing a distinct danger to Israel by defending its immoral governmental policies. Similarly he can pose as a "civil libertarian" while devoting the lion's share of his public energies to preventing free and civil discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from occurring. The continued conflation of Israelism and Zionism with Judaism - which then allows charges of anti-Semitism to be lodged against well-meaning people seeking to preserve the time-tested ethical dimensions of Judaism - prevents a serious intellectual debate from emerging about the distinct threats U.S. and Israeli militarism pose to the stability of the Middle East region. Yet as the American public comes to learn more about the exact circumstances surrounding the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from what is now Israel proper that began in 1948, this debate will arise out of sheer necessity. Dershowitz and Walzer continue the long and dishonorable tradition of the New York Intellectuals' flight from principled intellectual activity. A more accurate, and widely disseminated, accounting of this flight is very much in order.

<25> Alan Dershowitz and Michael Walzer, who should not be identified as occupying the same portion of the political spectrum, offer somewhat similar approaches in providing apologies for Israel's behavior toward its Middle East neighbors. Michael Walzer, the Just War theorist, is considered a leading left-liberal intellectual. His writings on war, and the justifications states employ to forward it, are quite well-known. While it would be crude, facile, and inaccurate to describe Walzer as an apologist for U.S. imperial aggression - since he has opposed some U.S. military interventions (such as the invasion of Iraq) - he can be viewed as a representative of American liberalism, particularly with respect to this millieu's views on Israel. With all too much frequency, American left-liberal intellectuals have erected the most elaborate justifications for describing the events of 1948 and the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 in terms more favorable to Israel. Walzer has played a key role in this propaganda effort that operates under the banner of Western liberalism. Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars claims to conduct a historical survey of warfare from antiquity to the present, highlighting conflicts that possess components of moral ambiguity, tracing a model through which to distinguish just from unjust conflicts. In his analysis that pertains to the 1968 counter-terror operation at Beirut airport, launched in response to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's attack upon an Israeli airliner in Athens, Walzer argues that the Israeli response was clearly justified as a "counterterrorism operation" that falls within the category of a "just war" because "it was clearly responsive to the incident at Athens; it was parallel and proportionate in its means (for one can destroy a great deal of property in answer to the destruction of human life); and it was carried out so as to avoid civilian death" (Just and Unjust Wars, 202). The point to be made here is that Walzer rules out the possibility that the PFLP's attack upon an Israeli airliner was in response to Israeli atrocities in the Occupied Territories, a mere year after the Six-Day War. In addition, Israel's retaliatory response in Beirut is not labeled "terror" because it is carried under the aegis of state authority. Walzer's statements become somewhat curious in light of his repeated defenses of Israel's military actions, however, particularly because one can never find an instance in which he actually points out Israeli wrongdoing.

<26> Walzer makes history ideologically serviceable to his political commitments, as a critical reading of many of the cases he deals with in Just and Unjust Wars indicates, particularly in his handling of Israel's Six-Day War, which he justifies as a "defensive" war, although Israeli New Historians such as Pappe and Morris have suggested that it was actually an Israeli offensive war. Walzer makes up part of the American intellectual scene that Chomsky calls "admiring left-liberal commentary," a group that completely sanitizes the history and facts of the Israel-Palestine conflict for easy consumption by a Western audience that is too craven and lazy to "dig" for the truth, and yet who may not be comfortable with the strict, amoral Schmittian power terms of the Neocons. Because of its hold on elite public opinion, "admiring left-liberal commentary" suppresses aspects of the conflict that are unfavorable to Israel, manufacturing consent for continued American economic, ideological, and military support. Anyone presenting a reality of the conflict outside the sharply defined fiction created by "admiring left-liberal opinion," will be slandered as "objectively anti-Semitic." The unwillingness of this segment of the American intellectual community to address how this slander has essentially silenced critical debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict in the United States warrants its own intellectual history.

<27> For example, Israel's real purpose in invading Lebanon in June of 1982 was to crush the PLO and to break the remaining vestiges of Palestinian nationalism [32]. Apologies for Israel's aggression and rationalizations for Israel's "self-defense" cannot circumvent this central point. Admiring left-liberal commentary in the United States, however, provided just the right explanation to keep elite opinion in check and the ideological, diplomatic, and economic aid to Israel flowing. Fantastic distortions and accusations and necessarily childish illusions went unchallenged because of the docility and subservience of the American media and politicians when it comes to U.S. support for Israel. Although the U.S. press faced repeated accusations of "anti-Israel bias" during the '82 Lebanon war, the opposite was in fact the case: Israel has enjoyed, since 1967, a unique immunity in world affairs, with the '82 Lebanon War damaging - but not crippling - Israel's public-relations image in the United States. In this The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, Noam Chomsky painstakingly traces out - through news event coverage in the U.S. and official statements made by Israeli and U.S. politicians - how the image of Israel's commitment to "purity of arms" was not consistent with reality. This, Chomsky argues, is indicative of the disciplining of the news media and the tight control exercised over the propaganda system by supporters of Israel [33]. The refusal of these supporters of Israel to accept that the '82 invasion was launched to subvert a PLO peace offensive reached the heights of absurdity, with The New Republic and Commentary producing a steady diet of articles alleging the supposed biases of the U.S press against Israel, when in fact Israel has been given unique immunity within the United States against serious criticism for its military adventurism.

<28> One of the triumphs of Zionism, as it has infused the philosophical outlook of neo-conservatism with Israelism is the ease with which it has become part of the American ethos, an extension of the U.S. quest for empire, while staying closely wedded to American liberalism. This helps to explain how and why the U.S. intelligentsia, particularly at the left-liberal aspect of its spectrum, have been so willing to support Israel's Labor government policies in the Middle East in the name of universalism and emancipation.

<29> As Norman Finkelstein copiously documents in his Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Misuse of History, Dershowitz's writings on the U.S.-Israel-Palestine conflict are symptomatic of a much larger problem within the U.S. intellectual world: there is a systematic bias within our cultural institutions against viewing the indigenous Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza as human beings worthy of respect and rights as a people. While posturing as a civil libertarian, Dershowitz, who claims to be in favor of the free exchange of ideas, has managed to establish a track record on the U.S.-Israel-Palestine conflict which really defies description [34]. Dershowitz's advocacy as a civil libertarian, which has made him a world-renowned legal scholar, ends right where his defense of Israel's military adventurism begins. Furthermore, Dershowitz has successfully fused his defenses of Israelism behind defenses of Judaism, believing that in defending Israel's unlawful military behavior that he is somehow defending Judaism:

I plan to continue - as a proud Jew and a proud American - to speak out on every issue of importance. Sha shtil has never served us well. It did not save us from the Nazis. It did not help Soviet refuseniks. And it will not protect our interests as Jewish Americans. We cannot accept one standard of freedom for Jewish Americans on the one hand and a different standard for "real" Americans on the other. I know that I will never accept the status of guest in America, Harvard, or in the world at large. We are full citizens, and as such we have an obligation to speak our minds (Chutzpah 126).

It is such rhetoric offered by Dershowitz that one can trace the twisted civil rights liberalism of Israelism. As Finkelstein demonstrates in Beyond Chutzpah, Dershowitz, like the New York Intellectuals before him makes his actual political calculations based on a realpolitik, perhaps realizing that he can write whatever he likes about the conflict as long as his conclusions flatter ruling elites in the United States [35]. Dershowitz's calculations as a supposed civil libertarian in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict are reminiscent of the New York Intellectuals' bizarre retreat from their previous political commitments:

The behavior of the NY intellectuals is suspect because of the hastiness with which Marxism was entirely abandoned in the absence of a viable alternative theory of society; the falsification of past history so as to erase the revolutionary anti-Stalinist tradition; the blind spot exhibited in regard to U.S. imperialism; the dissipation of militant anger against domestic racism and class exploitation; and the gross insensitivity to the costs of the McCarthyite witch-hunt (310).

How could Dershowitz, as a civil libertarian, attempt to interfere with the publication of Finkelstein's Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History if he really believes in "the marketplace of ideas"? He need not fear being exposed by the mainstream academic institutions since intellectual subservience always brings with it more benefits than intellectual courage, and his colleagues actively fear reproaching him. In Dershowitz's case, Finkelstein exposed the bizarre costs discipleship can extract from its most devoted adherents when it comes to toeing the pro-Israel line, and paid a high price for it professionally [36].

<30> As long as Dershowitz's scholarly conclusions serve the propaganda need, all is well. In brief as Finkelstein has repeatedly pointed out, "When it's for the cause, anything goes." As a particularly sad example, consider Dershowitz's claim in The Case for Israel that Rachel Corrie, the American student from Olympia, Washington who was killed when she was run over by an IDF bulldozer in April of 2003 while defending a Palestinian home in Gaza against demolition, "threw herself in front of the bulldozer" (170). He writes, "She belonged to a radical pro-Palestinian group of zealots - some from the extreme left, others from racist 'right wing' - who are one-sided supporters of Palestinian terrorism" (170). Dershowitz provides this remarkable explanation right before stating that the International Solidarity Movement is a group dedicated to aiding and abetting Palestinian terrorism, even though the group's mantra - borrowed from Albert Einstein - is "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" (qtd. in Beyond Chutzpah, 119). That Dershowitz chose to describe the ISM as supporting Palestinian terrorism, when in fact it is devoted to defending Palestinian homes against IDF demolition, should produce outrage. And yet there has been no official investigation of Rachel Corrie's death by the United States government, which is clearly shielding Israel from critical scrutiny in its role in killing a U.S. citizen.

 

Conclusion

<31> Modern-day Neoconservatism is at an impasse. Its commitment to producing a steady stream of apologetics for U.S. and Israeli military adventurism and dominance in the Middle East has resulted in the warping of the once honorable political tradition of American liberalism. The early New York Intellectuals represented the best of this tradition, upholding the radical political principles that often animate progressive social change. Unfortunately, the movement's abandonment of these principles for accommodation with ruling political power bases - in the wake of sweeping social change in the late 1960s - created the conditions for supporting Zionism after 1967. The disastrous results of this change of course are readily apparent, as the future of the Middle East hangs in the balance.

 

Works Cited

Alterman, Eric. "Bad for the Jews" in The Nation, January 7/14, 2008.

Brom, Shlomo. "An Intelligence Failure," Strategic Assessment (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University), Vol. 6, No. 3 (November 2003).

Carey, Roane, Ed. The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid. London: Verso Books, 2001.

Cook, William. Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy. Tempe: Dandelion Books, 2006.

Dershowitz, Alan. Chutzpah. New York: Touchstone, 1992.

---. The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997

Finkelstein, Norman. Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

---. The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. London and New York: Verso, 2002.

Friedman, Murray. The Utopian Dilemma: American Judaism and Public Policy. Bryn Mawr: Seth Press, 1985

Halper, Stefan and Jonathan Clarke. America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order. Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 2004.

Morris, Benny. "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, Eds. The War for Palestine. (Cambridge: 2001), pp. 39-59.

Shahak, Israel. Open Secrets: Israel's Foreign and Nuclear Policies. London: Pluto Books, 1997.

Wald, Alan. The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left From the 1930s to the 1980s. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1987.

Walt, Stephen and John Mearsheimer. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. London: Farrar and Strauss, 2007.

Walzer, Michael. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York: Basic Books, 1977.

Yaniv, Avner. Dilemma's of Security: Politics, Strategy, and the Israeli Experience in Lebanon. Oxford: Oxford U P, 1987.

 

Notes

[1] A presumption that, given the notion of Jewish tribalism, should be backed by meaningful polls or other information. See Israel Shahak's Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years. London and Ann Arbor: Pluto Books, 1994. [^]

[2] First, merely stating that people have dual loyalties is either wrong or unconvincing; but when people state this and back it with solid examples of dual loyalty (or even being an Israel-firster), then the criticism becomes legitimate; second, that reactionaries point out the existence of a Jewish cabal within power structures does not negate the existence of such cabals nor does it imply that all Jews are part of such a cabal. [^]

[3] See John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. London: Farrar and Strauss, 2007 and Brom, Shlomo. "An Intelligence Failure," Strategic Assessment (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University), Vol. 6, No. 3 (November 2003). [^]

[4] See Grant F. Smith's Deadly Dogma: How Neoconservatives Broke the Law to Deceive America (Washington D.C.: Middle East Policy, 2006 ) and his Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee From the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal (Washington: Middle Eastern Policy, 2007) and William A. Cook's Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy (Tempe: Dandelion Books, 2006). [^]

[5] See http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm. [^]

[6] See William F. King's "Neoconservatives and 'Trotskyism'" in American Communist History, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2004 and Alan Wald's History News Network article "Are Trotskyist's Running the Pentagon?" at http://hnn.us/articles/1514.html. In addition, see Michael Lind's "The Weird Men Behind George W. Bush's War" at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10804.htm. [^]

[7] See Erick Alterman's Nation article "Bad for the Jews" at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080107/alterman. [^]

[8] See Israel Shahak's Open Secrets: Israel's Foreign and Nuclear Policies. London: Pluto Books, 1997 and Avner Yaniv's Dilemma's of Security: Politics, Strategy, and the Israeli Experience in Lebanon. New York and Oxford: Oxford U P, 1987. [^]

[9] See http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/mar2003/morn-m21.shtml. In early 2003, Moran - after stating that the United States would not be invading Iraq if were not the support among Jewish Americans - was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League and other organizations for invoking "historical anti-Semitic stereotypes." At that time, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leaders, stated that Moran should not seek re-election. [^]

[10] Qtd. in Walt and Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby, p. 302. [^]

[11] Qtd. in The Israel Lobby, p. 302. See "Smears for Fears" in American Prospect (online), January 23, 2007. [^]

[12] See Tony's Judt's "Goodbye to All That" at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050103/judt and Brian Klug's "The Myth of the New Anti-Semitism" at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040202/klug. [^]

[13] See Yehuda Lukacs edited collection The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, a documentary record (1967-1990). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. [^]

[14] Israel's Sacred Terrorism. Washington D.C.: The Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc., 1980. [^]

[15] See "Peace for Galilee" in Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, pp. 181-315. [^]

[16] See Seymour Hersh's The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (New York: Vintage, 1983) and Noam Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle (Cambridge: South End Press, 1983), "The Road to Armageddon," pp. 441-469. [^]

[17] See Walt and Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby. [^]

[18] On October 3rd, 2000, just four days after the second Palestinian Intifada began; the Clinton administration approved the sale to Israel of Blackhawk helicopters and spare parts for Apache Longbow helicopters. As Noam Chomsky writes in his introduction to Roane Carey's The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid (London: Verso, 2001), On October 3rd, 2000, "[t]he defense correspondent of Israel's most prestigious newspaper reported the signing of an agreement with the Clinton administration" for "the largest purchase of military helicopters by the Israeli Air Force in a decade," along with spare parts for Apache attack helicopters for which an agreement had been signed in mid-September. What's crucially important about the sale is that the press right at that time was reporting Israel's use of U.S. helicopters to attack civilian targets, killing or wounding dozens of people, and that the Pentagon informed (foreign) journalists that the new shipments had no conditions on use.  As Chomsky writes, "Rushing new military helicopters to Israel under these circumstances with such authorization for use is surely newsworthy. There was no news report or editorial comment" (Chomsky in Carey 7). The sole mention in the United States was in an opinion piece in the Raleigh, North Carolina News and Observer." [Note: Ann Thompson Cary. "Arming Israel…." News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 12, 2000] In February 2001, "a $500 million deal for Boeing Apache Longbow helicopters, the most advanced in the US arsenal, was noted marginally in the United States business news" (Chomsky in Carey 7). See the following sources for the little media coverage that did occur when the helicopters arrived in Israel and began being used against the Palestinians: "Amnesty International USA Calls for Cessation of all Attack Helicopter Transfer to Israel," A1 release, October 19, 2000, Aviation Week & Space Technology, February 26, Jane's Defence Weekly, February 28, 2001, and other military journals. International Defense Review, April 1, 2001. Reuters, AFP, February 19; AP, February 20, financial pages; Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2001, a sentence in section B, p. 10, in business announcements. America, March 5, 2001. Jane Perlez, "U.S. Gingerly Discusses Taking More Active Role," NYT, May 17, 2001; William Orne, "World Briefing," May 17, 2001. See also Robert Fisk, "Death in Bethlehem, Made in America," Sunday Independent, April 15, 2001, and the National Lawyers Guild report, The Al-Aqua Antiradar and Israel's Apartheid: The U.S. Military and Economic Role in the Violation of Palestinian Human Rights (www.nlg.org ). In October of 2000, Chomsky joined a delegation of journalists and others political activists in Boston, attempting to get mainstream newspapers - such as the Boston Globe - to report the unprecedented helicopter sale to Israel for "civilian population control." These efforts, regrettably, were to no avail. When Palestinians are murdered, with U.S. taxpayer support, it is not considered murder. This example is instructive with plenty of evidence in the historical record - for those who care to look. [^]

[19] See Michel Chossudovsky's "Planned US-Israel Attack on Iran" at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO505A.html. [^]

[20] See Murray Friedman's The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. [^]

[21] In his "Are Trotskyites Running the Pentagon," Alan Wald observes how the label "neoconservative" is employed quite loosely:
Today the label appears as a catch-all phrase applied to diverse right-wing intellectuals, many with little palpable connection to the famous neoconservative movement that coalesced in the 1970s. The latter were one-time liberal intellectuals who shifted sharply to the Right in response to perceived excesses of 1960s radical movements (see: http://hnn.us/articles/1514.html). [^]

[22] See Benjamin Ginsberg's The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1993). [^]

[23] In the Project for the New American Century's "Rebuilding America's Defenses," one finds that:

The military's job during the Cold War was to deter Soviet expansionism. Today its task is to secure and expand the "zones of democratic peace;" to deter the rise of a new great power competitor; defend key regions of Europe, East Asia and the Middle East; and to preserve American preeminence through the coming transformation of war made possible by new technologies. From 1945 to 1990, U.S. forces prepared themselves for a single, global war that might be fought across many theaters; in the new century, the prospect is for a variety of theater wars around the world, against separate and distinct adversaries pursuing separate and distinct goals (2). [^]

[24] See http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf. [^]

[25] In his Tracking Deceptions: Bush Mid-East Policy, William Cook writes:

It is instructive to watch how the [Neoconservative] cabal anticipates the beliefs of the Zionists in Israel and the evangelicals in America as they grasp at the prophecies in the Old and New Testaments. The need for a "clash of civilizations between the Muslim and Jewish world play significantly into their hands. These fanatical groups become the "glue" that the Straussian can use to unite the people and force allegiance to the government that protects the religious interests. They have made legitimate the taking of Palestinian land by the Jews and denigrated the Palestinians and their leaders, especially Arafat (112). [^]
[26] See Friedman's The Neoconservative Revolution, Chapter 6 ("The Liberal Meltdown") for a complete explication of this shift. [^]

[27] See http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf[^]

[28] See my "The Case for Norman Finkelstein' at http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/matthew_abraham/2007/06/a_battle_for_academic_freedom.html. [^]

[29] There is no point bowing to an inaccurate and misleading convention when speaking of a national interest. Perhaps it is more accurate to state what the national interest really is: it is the interest of an oligarchy consisting mainly of very rich, white men. [^]

[30] Some may question whether this is a fair criticism. It depends on whether one is discussing a paucity of socially active intellectuals or their exclusion from the corporate media. One might submit that other intellectuals have not managed to break into the limelight. The exclusion of James Petras from the corporate media is relevant here. [^]

[31] Based in a position of great military weakness and violence against it; based on unfulfilled obligations on the part of Israel, so how valid is such a admission? Is only one partner required to fulfill obligations? How could Arafat - without electoral mandate - decide on behalf of Palestinians? Crucially, the Palestinian state never admitted anything; anyway, states grant and withdraw recognition as their ruling class sees fit. [^]

[32] See Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Yari's Israel's Lebanon War (New York: Touchstone, 1985) and Robert Fisk's Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon. (New York: Nation Books, 2002). [^]

[33] See The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians. Cambridge: South End Press, 1983. [^]

[34] See: http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1287. [^]

[35] See p. 229 in Beyond Chutzpah. [^]

[36] See my review of Beyond Chutzpah at http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.4/abraham.htm. [^]

 

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