Jim Jones on the Israel-Palestine Circuit

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National Security Adviser Jim Jones is getting out more — and this is an excellent thing. He recently reinforced the Obama administration’s commitment to an active role in Israel-Palestine issues at the annual gala dinner of the American Task Force on Palestine.
Jones is also going to be serving as one of the lead keynote speakers at the first major J Street national policy conference. While Israel Ambassador to the US Michael Oren has officially declined J Street’s invitation to attend the meeting, the fact that Jones is going to be there is significant.
Jones, of course, has also and should continue to speak at AIPAC annual conferences and should speak to broader Arab Middle East groups.
The US can’t afford making a false choice between Israel’s interests and other Arab states’. As far as J Street versus its competition goes, it’s a mistake not to embrace heterodoxy of views when it comes to the contours of the US-Israel relationship.
Competition is good in most things – even among interest groups in the same policy arena.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

49 comments on “Jim Jones on the Israel-Palestine Circuit

  1. David says:

    All I can say, questions, is amen, amen, amen. One of the great opening statements of any recent comment.
    Ultimately single payer is the only viable solution. We just have to get there in stages. If we don’t, we will fall farther and farther behind the rest of the civilized world not only regarding public health but also as a competitor on the world stage. And our military prowess is not going to save us from anything meaningful. Just the opposite – it is going to continue to be a distraction, a notion of national greatness suitable only for conversation at an awards banquet for the academy that honors fools.

    Reply

  2. questions says:

    We CAN AFFORD SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE — it’s cheaper than what we have now. Have you paid no attention to the debates and the CBO scoring — just about everything is cheaper than what we have now.
    We don’t have single payer health care because of Republican politics.
    Give me a break about “personal responsibility”. People are already personally responsible.
    Then they get cancer, acne, raped, and their insurance company drops them. That is what the doctrine of personal responsibility has given us. And that is what Rawls fights against.
    But since you’re so into personal responsibility, go out with a hose and spray some sweaty children. And then ask yourself just how fucking personally responsible it is to build a house in a fucking desert, and not just one house, but a huge fucking city.
    Paul and …, I still got Rawls and Kant in. So there!

    Reply

  3. Outraged American says:

    People have to take responsibility for themselves- that doesn’t
    mean there shouldn’t be a safety net.
    The Democrats are equally as war-mongering, if not more so,
    than the GOP. We have one party, the UNI-WAR- PARTY.
    Why can’t we “afford” single payer health care, which I heartily
    endorse? Because we shit gold pellets via our taxes to be spent
    on the Military/ Terror/ Prison/ Industrial complex/ ISRAEL.
    …, thanks for the compliment. I can’t take anything too
    seriously anymore. We’re going to attack Iran and then all those
    little kids who are right now eating dinner or are outside killing
    butterflies or whatever Iranians do for fun at sunset, are going to
    die.
    That’s it. I don’t see the point in killing, but unlike Questions I’m
    obviously DUM.

    Reply

  4. Paul Norheim says:

    You`re right, …: If Questions really wants to do so (or get a bit pissed off), she is
    actually capable of expressing issues with clear, no nonsense words.
    You should do that more often, Questions. It`s refreshing.

    Reply

  5. ... says:

    questions – i really like this no nonsense 2:10pm post of yours… thanks for stating it so clearly..

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    Republican politics is all about allowing wealth to collect in fewer places, “personal responsibility” in a structure that simply doesn’t allow many people to thrive, lower taxes such that there are few public services because “responsible” people can get their own damned health care and it’s their own damned fault if they can’t get a job…. Republican politics denies structural suffering because it’s really expensive to correct structural suffering. Republican politics assumes personal responsibility because Republican decision-makers are already wealthy and they wish to protect that wealth.
    Rawls’s twin notions of the “original position” and the “veil of ignorance” show instantly that Republican politics is really bullshit. What Rawls doesn’t destroy of it game theory takes care of.
    There simply is no defense for basic Republican politics in a social setting. We cannot function this way.

    Reply

  7. ... says:

    i thought republican politics was all about war and spending for war? it now looks like democratic politics are one and the same… may as well just call the politicians in the usa middlemen for the corporate war machine at this point.. which reminds me – i notice both cheney and rove out in the past 24 hours claiming obama is wobbly on afganistan… this is a very real and concrete example of what i am talking about…

    Reply

  8. ... says:

    OA – i gotta say i get a good laugh out of your posts and that you sometimes hit on very real issues makes them all the more relevant…
    here is an example of what i’m talking about: “California is so broke it might even become sane and legalize pot to get the tax revenues.” the first part is true and the logic of the 2nd part makes too much sense so it will never happen until a different generation of politicians takes over….either way putting it in this context is lighthearted and enjoyable to read…

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    Well, use your husband’s bonuses to pay for a bunch of memberships to the local YMCA or YWCA. Or turn on your lawn sprinklers for the neighborhood children.
    Do it yourself.
    Note that much of the war spending (all of it) was somewhere between financed by bond sales and off budget, hidden and not financed at all.
    No one took those billions from you in any literal sense that I can figure out.
    Your argument is false.
    And worse, it’s nasty, inhumane, wrongheaded, foolish, stupid, selfish and ridiculous.
    Arizona’s problems are likely caused by typical Republican politics along with McCain’s stupid fucking refusal to dive into the pork barrel. I’m willing to bet that he could have swung a deal for money for swimming pools for “the children” if he had been any kind of competent legislator instead of being an idiot.
    California’s budget woes go back to that stupid fucking prop 13 nonsense.
    It isn’t war spending. It’s Republican politics.

    Reply

  10. Outraged American says:

    Phoenix has paid 3.3 billion for war since 2001. Iraq,
    Afghanistan & Pakistan are all about Israel, the latter two
    according to Avigdor Lieberman himself, Israel’s Foreign
    Minister/ former nightclub bouncer/ corrupt fuck.
    Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon was partially if not totally
    funded by the US, as was the 2006 attack on Gaza and this last
    one. That’s not even part of the 3.3 billion that Phoenix shelled
    out, it’s extra $$$ and uncounted.
    Los Angeles, which is where I was living for most of the time
    since we bombed Afghanistan, or rather, started bombing
    Afghanistan, has paid $9.8 billion for war.
    Again, this has been carefully tallied and documented by the
    National Priorities Project
    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home
    I did call the city of Phoenix to find out why the pool was
    shutting down in July rather than Labor Day as has been the
    case since my family moved here in 1970.
    The nice lady on the phone at the mayor’s office said, “Ma’am,
    we don’t have office supplies. It’s all been cut out of the
    budget.”
    My state, Arizona, is SELLING ITS CAPITOL BUILDINGS. They’re
    kind of crummy looking, so I bet we could keep them should we
    have ??? billion in the bank.
    Wait, I’m going to look up what the entire state paid for war
    since 2001:
    Arizona 12.5 billion
    I’ll call the Capitol and see what the asking price is for our
    buildings, but they’re seriously crap and not in a good area, so
    I’d say maybe a mil or two.
    California 115.9 billion
    And California is so broke it might even become sane and
    legalize pot to get the tax revenues.
    So don’t bullshit me. Well, you can try.
    We were taxed at a very high rate last year because of my
    husband’s bonuses. Trust me, we’re not millionaires, except in
    my mother’s dreams.

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    Your money arguments are so totally wrong-headed and you don’t even see it….
    Money to Israel canceled would NOT lead to money in your pocket, your swimming pool, your health care….
    The public option has been scored by the CBO and has been found to SAVE MONEY. Single payer would likely SAVE MORE MONEY. No one in Congress is rushing to change a vote. The forces are never zero sum dollar transfers. Try to understand SOMEthing about Congress before you write this crap.
    You want to save all the Phoenix kids from the summer, DONATE LOTS OF MONEY TO A PRIVATE POOL AT A HEALTH CLUB OR BUILD ONE OF YOUR OWN — the money you donate can be deducted from your taxes. Just do your OWN PRIVATE GOOD and stop worrying about what the government does. That’s the libertarian solution to everything. And it’ll lower your tax bill!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    Dan,
    OA’s 90 thousand is the amount she alone paid in taxes last year and that she determined went directly to the killing machine instead of going directly to her swimming pool.
    Have no idea if this bill is just income tax — which would suggest a decent income all in all, or if this includes state and local taxes, property tax, sales tax….

    Reply

  13. Dan Kervick says:

    “Why should I pay for Israel’s “right to exist”? $90,000 in my taxes to KILL Israel’s enemies? Nada mas.”
    You must be loaded, OA. I think our annual aid to Israel is under 1/10th of 1% of the US budget. Granted, that’s a lot, given how big the US budget is. But $90,000?

    Reply

  14. Outraged American says:

    Why should I pay for Israel’s “right to exist”? $90,000 in my
    taxes to KILL Israel’s enemies? Nada mas.
    Feel free to pay for Israel for me next year, Paul.
    National Priorities Project details how WAR diverts funds from US
    communities.
    In Arizona, in the summer, we don’t need to heat our public
    swimming pools. The heat index is often close to 115 F. We just
    need pools to keep the kids occupied, exercised and not
    shooting each other or shooting up.
    But NO, my tax dollars should go to WAR for that punk,
    apartheid, terrorist, rogue nation, that spits in my country’s face
    every chance it gets and is about to start WW III.
    Detail to me why.
    US Jews are doing just fine as are other Jews in the Jewish
    diaspora. There is no longer a reason for Israel to exist except
    as one state at peace with her neighbors.
    What other group claims this enormous exceptionalism? Name
    one.
    Right now, I have a kid over who I take care of a few nights a
    week so his mother can get back on her feet. They have no
    health insurance, no car insurance, no money for food, no
    nothing. AND YET WE CAN PAY FOR ISRAEl’S ENDLESS WAR ON
    ISLAM.
    Again, NADA MAS.

    Reply

  15. JohnH says:

    If Obama is going to provide cover for Israel’s war crimes, he should at least get something BIG from Israel in return. But alas, he’s just rolling over, begging AIPAC to rub his belly, waiting for the next Israeli war crimes that America can be complicit in.
    And for this I pay taxes?

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel has not been held accountable by the United States, or by that world community, for countless decades. The Liberty incident, an act of war, covered up by our own government, and ignored by the global community. Land theft, egregious human rights abuses. In violation of over 60 UN resolutions. War crimes in Lebanon, that people are STILL dying from, literally MILLIONS of cluster bomblets rained on Lebanon during the waning hours of the war. Countless incidences of espionage against us. And now this horrendous bloodbath known as “Operation Cast Lead”, that WE ALL KNOW WAS A WAR CRIME OF EPIC PROPORTIONS, AS DOES THE WORLD COMMUNITY.
    We give Israel BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS annually, with no conditions or stipulations. So how do we expect them to behave? Our Congress cowers before AIPAC, most of them on the dole, sucking up political contributions through a literal maze of Israeli lobby organizations.
    And now, this posturing coward Barack Obama is giving Israel a free ride once again. Change ain’t in the works, people, Barack is as fake as a three dollar bill, and the global Muslim community is beginning to realize it.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/21/us-vows-to-stand-by-israel-over-gaza-war-crimes/
    US Vows to Stand By Israel Over Gaza War Crimes
    Peres Condemns UN for ‘Spreading Lies’
    by Jason Ditz, October 21, 2009
    In a meeting today with America’s Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, Israeli President Shimon Peres condemned the UN for “spreading lies” in allowing the Goldstone Report’s consideration.
    The Goldstone Report details war crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas during the January invasion of the Gaza Strip. Rice vowed that the United States would stand by Israel “as a loyal friend” and fight against the report in the UN Security Council.
    The UN Human Rights Council formally endorsed the report last week, with the US one of the few nations to vote in opposition to it. It has been referred to the Security Council, but the US is expected to use its veto power to prevent it from going any farther.
    The report’s contents are largely the same as those from human rights groups that investigated the conflict, in which over 1,000 Palestinian civilians were slain. Israel has insisted that the author, South African Judge Richard Goldstone, is an “anti-semite” for penning the report, and the government has insisted its backers in the UN are also anti-semites which seeks to see the Jews slaughtered.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Convincing” this bigoted witch Nadine is an asinine concept.
    She lies, and she knows she lies. So you really have no idea what to “convince” her of, do you? When someone is such a prolific liar, you have no way to judge what they actually know or feel about an issue. To defend an argument so faithfully with lies can only imply a couple of things. One, that you are ashamed of your true motivations,(or at least feel the need to conceal them), and have to create a false rationale for your argument. And two, that your actual argument is not WORTH defending, because if it was, you wouldn’t have to lie to defend it.
    Its called RACISM, folks, with a capital R. There is no other explanation for Nadine’s constant stream of bullshit.

    Reply

  18. JohnH says:

    Nadine. Thank you for telling me what I think. (As if I didn’t already know.) As usual, your extravagant imagination surpasses any realistic perceptions you might have.
    Now for what I believe: Hamas does not have a right to shell Israel, and Israel has no right to place a strangling blockade or to conduct a pogrom in any of the Occupied Territories. Hamas does not have a right to destroy Israel, and Israel does not have a right to dispossess, humiliate and ethnically cleanse Palestinians. Period.
    As for the Torah, I thought it was clear that God expelled the Jews from the Holy Land long ago for failure to abide His commandments…

    Reply

  19. Paul Norheim says:

    No, the Torah is not a legitimate land claim.
    Basically I regard this more as a realistic/pragmatic issue than a principal issue.
    Israel is recognized as a legitimate state, but more importantly: Due to historical and
    current circumstances, if you deny Israel it`s right to exist, you create much bigger
    problems than you solve. It`s simply not a realistic option.
    By the way, I`m a bit fed up of hearing about your lack of a swimming pool. Actually, a
    lot of swimming pools were built here in Norway as well, during the 1950`s and 60`s. Now
    most of them are closed, because “maintenance and restoration is too expensive”.
    Who do I blame? You may say that we have so much oil that we can afford to maintain our
    swimming pools anyway. But if we spend money on everything worthwhile, we create
    inflation. This is more an issue of priorities, right? So the real issue is: where did
    the money go that should have been spent on swimming pools? Some people claim that it
    went to promoting the elite segment of sport (football, skiing, skating etc), instead of
    encouraging ordinary kids to swim. Others may say that it went to supporting cultural
    activities. You may ask: why are books and opera halls more important than swimming
    pools? And others may say that the money spent on Norwegian soldiers in the war in
    Afghanistan would be better spent on our swimming pools.
    I might agree with the last suggestion. But from that to creating a direct link from the
    war in Afghanistan to our swimming pools – as you do with your swimming pools and the
    support for israel – is an empty rhetorical argument. You may randomly create a link
    between any two priorities, but there is no real link between swimming pools and your
    support for Israel. Only a rhetorical one that is a bit worn out by now.
    When THAT is said, I agree with you that America should stop sending money to Israeli
    without conditions. I hope J Street eventually will have an effect in this regard.

    Reply

  20. Outraged American says:

    What does belong to Israel? You tell me how the Bible/Torah is a
    land claim + why the Palestinians and everyone in Israel’s
    neighborhood+ the US taxpayer/ military should pay for the Jewish
    Holocaust.
    Start typing. Please.

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    “Posted by Outraged American, Oct 21 2009, 6:03PM – Link
    Israel doesn’t have a right to exist.”
    —————————-
    Israel has a right to exist, but but not to occupy what doesn`t belong to her.

    Reply

  22. Paul Norheim says:

    I`m sure JohnH is more worried about the white phosphorus than the air raid alarms.
    Do you think that the use of white phosphorus is a morally defensible part of a defense
    system, Nadine.
    Of course you do.

    Reply

  23. nadine says:

    In JohnH’s opinion, Israel is sorely at fault for creating a civil defense system that limits Israeli casualties. If they refused to build any shelters or sound any air raid alarms, many more Israeli civilians would be killed, which might improve their moral standarding in JohnH’s eyes. After all, that’s what Hamas does, and JohnH approves of Hamas.
    Hamas does not have a right to shell Israel. Hamas does not have a right to destroy Israel. Period. However much you want to tell them they do.
    Telling a population that is living its life in bomb shelters that they are just being needlessly paranoid is a new high in arrogance.

    Reply

  24. Paul Norheim says:

    “And as I’ve said before, the voice of Nadine is the voice that has to be convinced that
    there are alternatives.” (Questions)
    What are you discussing here? What does it mean to convince “the voice of Nadine”? Do you
    assume that she is an Israeli citizen? An American citizen? Or both?
    In any case, these are two separate issues in the context of J Street.
    As an American organization, I regard J Street as an attempt to give a voice to American
    Jews sympathetic to Israel that do not feel represented by the AIPAC lobbies. If they can
    convince more ordinary Americans (Jews, but also non-Jews), as well as American
    politicians, that being sympathetic to, or feeling loyalties to Israel, does not
    necessarily imply that you support Israeli hardliners and AIPAC – that there are
    alternative ways of being sympathetic to Israel – then they can say mission accomplished.
    However, this is an entirely different issue than convincing scared, aggressive, paranoid
    citizens of Israel that there are other options.
    This also implies that the goal of J Street should not be to convince the Nadine`s among
    the Jewish-American population, but to convince other Jewish-Americans who feel discomfort
    with AIPAC, that Nadine and AIPAC do not possess the monopoly of being “pro-Israel” – to
    break their monopoly as to how you define being “pro-Israel”. I also think that J Street
    should try to convince more Christians in America that AIPAC is not the sole voice of a
    pro-Israeli Christian.
    To convince “Jonah-sixpack” and Sarah-boxed-white-wine, who are Israeli citizens, that
    there are alternatives to Nadine`s or Netanyahu/Lieberman`s voices is a different task –
    it may be important, but shouldn`t be part of the goal of J Street.

    Reply

  25. JohnH says:

    “Israeli public opinion is what needs to be altered.” So far, the Israeli right is petrified of Palestinians, who have no power whatsoever. The best the militants in Gaza could do was to damage a few structures and kill a person or two. Lightning probably killed more Israelis in the past couple years than Gaza rockets. Yet the paranoia about Hamas is deeply rooted and irrational.
    So how to convince them? Maybe hitting them where it hurts? Their wallets! Unlike Iran, Israel has no neighbors who would eagerly bust an embargo.

    Reply

  26. Outraged American says:

    At least 1/3 of the Jewish Holocaust survivors in Israel LIVE
    BELOW THE POVERTY LINE. Israel took the reparation money but
    NEVER GAVE IT TO THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY SURVIVED THE
    JEWISH HOLOCAUST.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4566762.stm
    Mexico has some of the toughest immigration laws on the
    planet, yet we peons are supposed to absorb the cost of failed
    policy that the US and Mexican governments voted in during an
    endless greed fest for corporations?
    Pay-out Questions, in your own state, if you believe so much in
    ILLEGAL immigration. My state is bankrupt. I can’t even
    backpack in my state’s national parks because of armed
    Mexican drug runners/ Coyotes (people smugglers).
    This illegal immigration argument for many people, like me, has
    nothing to do with racism, just economics and safety.
    Both the US and Mexican government screwed their populations
    up the ass, and we’re all paying for it now.
    But yes, I do feel that the $90,000 we paid in taxes last year
    should go to a community pool and not WAR.
    Why should we have to convince the Israelis of ANYTHING. We’re
    they’re SUGAR DADDIES, they need to listen to us OR ELSE.

    Reply

  27. ... says:

    Lenny Ben-David: The Man Smearing J Street
    http://mediamattersaction.org/blog/200910210001
    hate and fear only go so far…

    Reply

  28. ... says:

    questions to my way of thinking everyone has a choice between love and fear… justifying one or the other on the basis of whatever only goes so far… one has to decide for themselves what they want to embrace.. nadine embraces fear and communicates out of this same position regularly.. the attachment she has to fear defies logic..it is a terrorist mindset that she holds.. one becomes what they fear…

    Reply

  29. questions says:

    …,
    The voice of Nadine is the concerns of a huge percentage of Israelis — deep deep fear about Palestinians, deep deep fear about pulling back militarily.
    Now I know that you’re Canadian and so you have absolutely no contact with people of ethnicities different from yours and all the distrust that comes with the territory. But we, in the US, have been dealing with this issue since the beginning of the nation, and we have not dealt with it well.
    There has certainly been progress on issues of racial difference, ethnic trust, and border security, but we still seem to want a wall against Mexico, we fear th’illegals, our politicians are caught on tape over and over again saying truly outrageous shit regarding ethnic and racial difference. We elected an African American president and a big chunk of the country thinks he’s not American.
    Israel has it worse as the fights are current rather than historical, the country is small rather than big, there’s a huge and terribly scarred population and a national myth of unbelievable power, there are pulls towards the west and towards the east battling, there are political rewards for being ever more rightward in thinking — and all of this is what needs to be pulled towards a new and different way of thinking.
    So, yes, I maintain that Nadine’s voice is the one that must be worked with.
    Convincing regular Israelis to think and vote and act differently is actually what needs to happen. Other perceptions will change when the perceptions of Jonah Six-Pack change.
    Remember, not only do I not think funding should change, but I also don’t really give a damn about potholes on my street or a swimming pool in my neighborhood. Plenty of the former, none of the latter anyway.
    So yes, Israeli public opinion is what needs to be altered. Not my tax bill.

    Reply

  30. ... says:

    Israeli refusers follow South African footsteps in the struggle against apartheid
    Shministim are conscientious objectors. We are Israeli high-school graduates who refuse conscription into the military, and are repeatedly imprisoned as a result. We will not take part of the occupation of another people, the Palestinians, particularly when doing so goes against human values and cannot be explained on grounds of security. I am now 19 and have been jailed three times for my refusal, usually in solitary confinement because I refuse to wear military uniform in prison.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/10/israeli-refusers-follow-south-african-footsteps-in-the-struggle-against-apartheid.html#more-10233

    Reply

  31. ... says:

    questions, are you that thick? it appears so..
    questions quote “the voice of Nadine is the voice that has to be convinced that there are alternatives.”
    the voice of nadine is not interested in alternatives, and you appear to have not noticed yet…

    Reply

  32. Outraged American says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if J-Street is a secret love child of AIPAC.
    It is advocating a two state solution.
    Israel helped start Hamas to destabilize the PA. Now UsRael is
    funding PA opposition to Hamas including military training
    camps in Jericho.
    Nothing like DIVIDE AND CONQUER.
    The Israelis and their lobby play chess, we play marbles.
    From THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES
    ITSELF!!!
    2009 PRESS RELEASES
    Press Release
    March 15, 2009
    Jerusalem
    Training Center for Palestinian Authority Security Forces Opens
    in Jericho
    JERICHO – In a ceremony at the Presidential Guard Training
    Center in Jericho, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam
    Fayyad and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International
    Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) David Johnson
    formally opened the facility, built with $9.1 million of U.S. State
    Department/INL funds as a training center for Palestinian
    Authority security forces.
    The camp, completed by Palestinian contractors over the course
    of the past 16 months, has a training capacity of 700 officers
    and enlisted men, including accommodations and dining
    facilities, waste water treatment, parade grounds, classrooms,
    and an obstacle course. The construction was overseen by the
    United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The camp is
    the first of several construction projects to be built with INL
    funds in support of Palestinian Authority security forces in the
    West Bank.
    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnson praised the work of the
    Presidential Guard and the Palestinian Authority in developing a
    well-trained, professional force to advance the rule of law,
    which is of fundamental importance to Palestinians.
    For more information please contact the U.S. Consulate’s Press
    Office at 02-622-6908 or 02-622-6909 or Assistant
    Information Officer Christina Higgins at 054-678-8501.
    http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov/pr150309.html

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….but anything that breaks the stranglehold that AIPAC has in the political arena is worth looking at”
    Gee, haven’t you heard, Don??? No such “stranglehold” exists in questions’ alternate universe.
    And yes, it was me that once suggested that J Street may in fact be a construct of AIPAC. A method of reining in those nasty “self hating Jews” that dare criticize Israel and the zionist agenda, if you will. Jury is still out on that one for me. But its food for thought, as it “corrals” the more moderate Jews into an entity that can be attacked by name, rather than some loose ethereal concept of rogue Jews interspersed throughout the fabric of American society.

    Reply

  34. DonS says:

    Questions, I’m sure your list of do’s and dont’s is meant to be helpful to J Street — we’ll pretty sure. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. But as far as convincing “Nadine”/Wigwag that alternatives (to AIPAC?) exist, that is merely a rhetorical point. It’s never going to happen. The real audience needs to be the American public and particularly the US Congress. It doesn’t really matter how “pro-Israel” J Street is or isn’t, so much as beginning to pry policy influence out of the hands of AIPAC. In any case, J Street will never be “pro Israel” enough for the ‘Nadines”; positing that is a red herring.
    Of course the AIPAC types are going to fight tooth and nail to maintain their predominant role. What would one expect? And wouldn’t it be stupid, given the need to attract US policy makers, and provide political cover from AIPAC at the same time, to be anything but “pro-Israel”.
    Street may not be all I might wish — and I’m speaking from some ignorance here — but anything that breaks the stranglehold that AIPAC has in the political arena is worth looking at.

    Reply

  35. Outraged American says:

    Perhaps the Iranians and Arab Americans are searching for a
    RELATIVELY sane version of AIPAC before more Muslim
    (predominantly) countries are attacked?
    It’s Israel that doesn’t want peace. She’s running out of water
    (all those damn settler swimming pools — where do they think
    they are? Seattle?) and that Litani river in Lebanon sure is
    mouthwatering.
    Again, Iran hasn’t attacked another country since the mid 1700s.
    It’s ridiculous to “argue” with Questions or Nadine. Nadine
    usually just flat-out lies, even when she’s not quoting Hasbara
    talking points or the fascist tools over at Little Green Footballs/
    Free Republic/ Pajamas “media”
    Questions will go off into some mini-dissertation about the
    meaning of meaning nothing. Then my chin will start drooping
    down to my neck until Questions will throw something in like
    “Violence is often necessary” (but only if you’re Israeli)
    Then I’ll pop awake, turn on AC/DC (YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT
    LONG, QUESTIONS) and be forced to actually look something up
    to refute her nonsense
    OK, Nonsense Du Jour, or rather Du Yesterday whatever that is
    in French. The Israeli spy.
    Which Israeli spy you ask? So many Israeli spies so little time to
    get them back to the homeland before they’re arrested as
    opposed to drawn and quartered like they and their enablers in
    Congress very justly deserve.
    Nozette, who yesterday Questions was begging us not to judge
    too hastily.
    Justin Raimondo at AntiWar.com fleshes out the accusations
    leveled at Nozette:
    (Excerpt)
    Yet Nozette may have made more than a mere “attempt.” The
    affidavit alleges that, from 1998 to 2008, he served as a
    consultant to “an aerospace company wholly owned by the
    government of Israel,” during which time “approximately once a
    month representatives of the aerospace company proposed
    questions, or taskings, to Nozette.” He answered these
    questions, and, in return, received regular payments totaling
    $250,000.
    This indicates the Feds had been on to Nozette for quite some
    time, and with good cause. The affidavit also notes that, at the
    beginning of this year, he traveled to “a different foreign
    country” in possession of two computer “thumb” drives, which
    seemed to have mysteriously disappeared upon his return some
    three weeks later. What was on the drives – and who were the
    recipients?
    In 2007, federal authorities raided the offices of Nozette’s
    nonprofit company, the Alliance for Competitive Technology
    (ACT), purportedly because ACT, having procured several
    lucrative government contracts, had defrauded the federal
    government by overcharging. The affidavit cites an anonymous
    colleague of Nozette who recalled the scientist said that if the
    U.S. government ever tried to put him in jail he would go to
    Israel or another foreign country and “tell them everything” he
    knows.
    Perhaps the real reason for the raid, however, had to do with the
    FBI’s growing suspicion – if not certainty – he was funneling U.S.
    secrets to Tel Aviv. ACT is a curious creation, a “nonprofit”
    group that nevertheless generated over half a million dollars last
    year according to documents filed with the IRS, with over
    $150,000 in salary and benefits paid out to Nozette. But it
    wasn’t just about money. ACT’s mission statement reads like a
    spy’s dream come true:
    (Whole article)
    http://tinyurl.com/yfeszzq
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2009/10/20/the-dark-side-
    of-the-special-relationship/

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    OK, one more thing — didn’t POA (and maybe Carroll???) allege that JStreet was a fraudulent creation of AIPAC at some point? Correct me if I’m wrong….

    Reply

  37. questions says:

    And furthermore, if JStreet wants to fight the good fight, it needs to be insanely politic and careful as it bridges a huge generational divide.
    Any group that takes on a commonly held view needs to be really careful in constructing its rhetoric. It is threatening an old guard and it must survive without the old guard’s support, deal with the old guard’s defenses, and attract the young turks — OR it needs to attract a decent chunk of the old guard by making it safe for them to come over. Either way, they need to watch the rhetoric.
    Were I starting JStreet, I’d watch my funding sources extra extra carefully even if it meant I had to limit my activities and work for peanuts for a while.
    JStreet has to be extra pure for a decade as it gains legitimacy.
    JStreet MUST provide political cover for MCs and other politically vulnerable creatures.
    JStreet should really watch its donor list.
    JStreet should take a range of half positions for now so that it’s a safe option and a reasonable middle ground instead of being merely opposed to the old guard.
    JStreet should have gala dinners with the old guard, debates across the country where multiple views can be heard, sympathy for the terror on the other side, a solid understanding of turf battles and the funding challenge it presents to the other side (money to JStreet doesn’t go to organizations on the other side), and so on.
    There are some very basic things they could do to avoid the shitstorm, or at the very least, to provide themselves with extra strong umbrellas. And since the group seems to me to have laudable goals, I would hope they’d get this right.
    Aiming directly at your target is a sure way to miss. (See Machiavelli for the analogy.)
    And as I’ve said before, the voice of Nadine is the voice that has to be convinced that there are alternatives. But around here, the insults go flying….

    Reply

  38. questions says:

    POA, I’m beat. You’re right. The tobacco lobby has never ever engaged in any untoward practices. No hand outs. No distortion of scientific fact. No oppo research. No files on anyone. Why, they just believe in their product!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In fact, there’s really only one sector of the universe that engages in oppo research, trashes its opponents, engages in espionage, does anything “shady” and that’s the “I-Sector”.
    The rest of the universe accepts its lumps with gratitude.
    Yep.
    And the rest of us are merely victims of the I-Sector. Except of course, YOU!!!! So thanks be to the almighty that POA sees the truth, isn’t a victim of obfuscation, and knows that oppo research was invented by the I-Sector. The one that got away will save us all.

    Reply

  39. nadine says:

    CAIR and the Arab American Institute already provide alternative views to AIPAC, and nobody in the Jewish community has tried to shut down Rabbi Lerner Tikkun Olam or other peacenik groups. What is objectionable about J Street is its fraudulence.
    If J Street was remotely pro Israel you would be the last person on earth to support it, Khalid, and everybody here knows it!

    Reply

  40. ... says:

    an alternative view from aipac would be refreshing.. i understand how the far right fascists will feel uncomfortable with the idea and want to shut it down…

    Reply

  41. nadine says:

    Hey look …, whom I call Khalid, likes J Street and has rushed to its defense. Does anybody need more evidence than that that J Street is not pro Israel? Or did Khalid suddenly turn into a Zionist?
    The Lenny Ben David piece asks all sorts of important questions that J Street ought to answer:
    E.g. why are heads of the Arab American Institute and Iranian lobby NIAC making big contributions (>$10K) to a “pro-Israel” lobbying group?
    Who makes policy at J Street?
    George Soros’ aide Mort Halperin is on the board – is Soros the sugar daddy of J Street?
    Before J Street director Jeremy Ben-Ami started J Street, he worked for Fenton Communications, which signed contracts with a Qatari foundation to do anti-Israel campaigns.
    Is Ben-Ami still working with Fenton Communications?
    Is that why J Street refuses to support Israel against Hamas and won’t condemn Goldstone?
    J Street also refuses to oppose the Iranian nuclear program – is it because of Iranian government support?
    Do any Israelis support J Street? Even the ultra left wing in Israel takes the threats of Iranian nukes seriously. J Street doesn’t.
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/showdown-on-j-street/
    These are questions that J Street ought to answer, but won’t. So they attack the messenger instead.

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    Yeah, I`ve seen some of those points before.
    Tahoe provides links, but no talking points.
    Nadine provides talking points, but no links.

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel advocacy group faxing lawmakers about J Street conference concerns
    By Bridget Johnson – 10/16/09 03:53 PM ET
    An Israel advocacy group has been faxing out letters since Friday morning to the 160 lawmakers reportedly committed to attending the honorary dinner for the J Street “Driving Change, Securing Peace” conference in Washington Oct. 25-28.
    The statement from StandWithUs is prefaced by a cover letter to each lawmaker, noting the lamaker’s reported attendance and expressing concern about J Street’s positions. The group does not specifically ask the lawmakers to not attend the J Street conference, but includes an attached statement and offers to answer questions about issues concerned with J Street.
    J Street sent out an e-mail to supporters blaming “neoconservatives and their Swift Boat tactics” for five members of Congress pulling out of the conference host committee. The J Street e-mail blamed The Weekly Standard for orchestrating a phone campaign to members’ offices, using “thuggish smear tactics” to dissuade members’ participation. The Weekly Standard also reported this afternoon that Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) asked that her name be removed from the host committee list, saying that she didn’t know her name was on the list to begin with.
    The StandWithUs letters began arriving at members’ offices this morning and have been continuing to go out throughout the day. The list of recipients includes the lawmakers who have reportedly pulled out. The group also plans on taking out one or more ads in local newspapers.
    L.A.-based StandWithUs bills itself as a “an international, non-profit Israel education organization that ensures that Israel’s side of the story is told on campuses and communities.” The group, founded in 2001, has offices in the U.K. and Israel as well as the U.S.
    The full text of the statement sent to lawmakers is after the jump:
    continues….
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/63523-israel-advocacy-group-faxing-lawmakers-about-j-street-conference-concerns
    I suppose we should just consider it a “coincidence” that our resident bigot has used the same “talking points” against J Street that the letter to lawmakers does.

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Eeenie, meeny, minie moe….
    Elliot Abrams…. (AIPAC speaker)
    Chuck Hagel….. (J Street speaker)
    Eenie, meeny, minie moe…
    John Hagee… (AIPAC speaker)
    Daniel Levy……… (J Street speaker)
    Eenie, meeny, minie moe.
    (Its really a no brainer, isn’t it?)

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The jury is still out whether or not the proffessional worm John Kerry attends. Rumor has it that he is weaseling, making excuses. And rumor has it that Harmon is a confirmed weasel-out.
    One thing is for sure, Reid and Hoyer won’t be within 100 miles of it, unless they are assisting a Mossad false flag operation.
    And, uh, you can bet Maddow and Olberman won’t be giving this gig any press, unless they can find something bad to report about it. They oughta talk to management, I’m sure they could come up with some damaging tid-bit to cast this conference in a bad light.

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The Man Behind The J Street Smear Campaign
    By M.J. Rosenberg – October 20, 2009, 6:46PM
    Everyone should read Spencer Ackerman’s powerful piece about his friend, Rebecca Abou-Chedid, a young law student in Washington who is Arab-American.
    Why a piece about Rebecca? Because Rebecca was the target of a drive-by hit directed at J Street by an Israeli settler, Lenny Ben David. Lenny is the quarterback of the smear campaign against J Street and attacked Rebecca in passing. She’s Arab-American. She worked for an Arab American civil rights group. She supports J Street. Hence, J Street is consorting with the enemy because everyone with Arab blood in their veins is THE ENEMY.
    I know Rebecca well and she is about as anti-Israel as Yitzhak Rabin was. I choose the analogy carefully. Ben David (Lenny Davis) is a settler, an enemy of peace and of everything Rabin represented. Naturally he hates J Street. Read his screed. It’s a combination of Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover, one lie after another. And racist on top of it. (Lenny has a pathological hatred of Arabs)
    So who is Lenny?
    I knew him during his AIPAC days (he worked there for 25 years before being handed his gold watch and shown the door). At AIPAC, Lenny was in charge of the AIPAC version of oppo research. Lenny compiled files on everyone who criticized Israeli policies in any way and used the material he gathered to destroy careers. Lenny loved his files. He loved sending college kids out to gather negative information about journalists, politicians, rabbis, whatever. I remember Lenny’s file on Washington Post columnist, Richard Cohen. You’d think Cohen was in charge of the Beer Hall putsch.
    Lenny loved his files so much that he once complained to me that his successor at AIPAC didn’t maintain the files the way Lenny would have. His successor was one Steve Rosen who, I am sure,kept the files beefed up quite nicely. (Steve really knows files).
    Lenny now lives in Israel in the Efrat settlement. He’s been on the payroll of the governments of Turkey, Georgia, oil companies, whoever will pay. He also was a Netanyahu aide. He remains close to AIPAC and to Netanyahu, although, oddly, Lenny was never really that thrilled about Netanyahu.
    I wonder who is paying for his current efforts. Someone is. The boy don’t work for nothing although smearing “leftists” (by which Lenny means Jews and others who don’t hate Arabs) is something he would do for fun.
    Anyway, it’s nice to know that it’s Lenny, a feckless character if there ever was one, who is running the anti-J Street campaign. If it was Steve Rosen, I’d be worried.
    But not as worried as Lenny (and his lobby buddies) are that J Street will help President Obama achieve peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians. Just the thought of that keeps Lenny up nights.
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/20/the_man_behind_the_j_street_smear_campaign/
    “At AIPAC, Lenny was in charge of the AIPAC version of oppo research. Lenny compiled files on everyone who criticized Israeli policies in any way and used the material he gathered to destroy careers. Lenny loved his files. He loved sending college kids out to gather negative information about journalists, politicians, rabbis, whatever”
    Gee, I didn’t know the Tobbacco lobby did these kinds of things. Thank God questions has set us all straight.

    Reply

  47. Kathleen Grasso Adersersen says:

    I’m encouraged by this….

    Reply

  48. ... says:

    Under strong attack, J Street accommodates its critics, but does it alienate its supporters?
    J Street’s national conference starts this upcoming Sunday (yes, we’ll be there) and we could pretty much fill this website with stories about the rightwing smear campaign against them between now and then.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/10/under-strong-attack-j-street-accomodates-their-critics-but-do-they-alienate-their-supporters.html

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oren has not only declined to attend, but has also stated that J Street is working against Israel’s interests. Nadine, our resident bullshitter, racist, and hasbarist has gone one further, and accused J-Street of being “frauds”.
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/10/khaled_mashal_c/#comment-142049
    Must be the same as “self hating jews”, eh?
    But regardless, pretty hard core shit coming from Oren, when he says stuff like J Street “impairs” Israel. I guess he doesn’t see the world community agreeing with Israelis being accused of war crimes as an “impairment”.
    And we have people like Schumer making very public efforts to distance themselves from J Street.
    Meanwhile, you have the Democratic side of the aisle clammoring for positions as “speakers” at the AIPAC conferences, along side the likes of Eliot Abrams and past featured superstars like John Hagee.
    And here you have an AIPAC sanctioned “Iran expert”, Dr. Patrick Clawson, deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “briefing”…..
    http://www.aipac.org/1680.asp#29869
    …..”nearly 70 congressional staffers” on Iran’s “illicit nuclear pursuit”, and advocating tougher sanctions for Iran’s “human right abuses”. Of course, we all know that a handpicked AIPAC mouthpiece will give the “nearly 70 congressional staffers” a perfectly honest and unbiased lecture, eh? Besides, whats it matter? I mean, hasn’t our most long winded and level headed contibutor here, “questions”, convinced us of the impotence of AIPAC? I mean hey, we have all sorts of entities “briefing” the “Hill staff” on Iran, don’t we??? Why, any minute now a speaker from the Tobacco lobby will weigh in on Iran, just after the NRA speaker finishes his schpiel on Iran. Its a damned good thing that questions clued us all in, or I’d be thinking that maybe AIPAC has just a bit to much power when it can send in one of its pimps to “brief” the “Hill staff”.
    J Street is in trouble, for Israel’s hatchet men are zeroing in on them.
    If I was high up in the J-Street hierarchy, I’d be especially careful when that bombshell blond sidles up next to you at the bar, and grabs a handful of your thigh. And if you’re gay, beware of hunks bearing gifts. In both cases, you might wanna brush your teeth, comb your hair, and make sure you’ve got clean underwear on, because you don’t wanna look shabby for your cameo role on film.

    Reply

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