Into the Valley of Death rode
the Israel Lobby – Part I

by G.S.   <george.salzman@umb.edu>    9 October 2007

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-09.htm

Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 08:02:41 -0500

Oaxaca, Tuesday 9 October 2007
Dear friends,
      What a struggle it is to keep one’s sense of humor alive. We are all so serious, we who want to save the world. Having fun doesn’t rank high enough on our priority list to find much place in our daily lives, and we envy the little children having fun, playing their games in innocence of what the future holds for them. We Jews like to believe we have good senses of humor. I’m sure that’s true of most if not all ethnic groups. A common joke has it that any three Jews represent at least four political parties. So, although Tennyson wasn’t thinking about rightwing, leftwing and opposition politics, one of his stanzas in “The Charge of the Light Brigade” can be applied to the Israel Lobby if slightly adulterated (i.e. the stanza, not the Lobby, which is already highly adulterated):

—Dedicated to the Israel Lobby—

Jews to right of them,
Jews to left of them,
Jews in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they lied but not too well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the Israel Lobby


      The wall of denial erected in the United States around Israel’s crimes is beginning to be breached, as shown by the increasingly frantic efforts to prevent open discussion of the roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict. A recent bit of evidence is pressure on the University of Michigan Press not to distribute Professor Joel Kovel’s Overcoming Zionism, published by Pluto Press, and to stop distributing Pluto titles in the U.S. To see Howard Zinn’s appeal to oppose this censorship effort, go to http://www.codz.org/zinn-letter.html.

      Coming from the direction of political satire — why not try to have a little fun? — I got news from Irving Hall <irvinghall@notinkansas.us> that he’s about to publish “a jumbo political satire, The Einstein Sisters Bag the Flying Monkeys, (excerpts on www.notinkansas.us). Albert Einstein’s precocious great-great granddaughters attack anti-Semitism, lampoon Christian Zionists, . . .

      A recent event of interest was orchestrated by the American Jewish Congress (I think it used to be called the American Jewish Committee, but I’m not sure. See correction, note added 7 Nov 2007 [1] ). I posted a paper yesterday that starts:

‘Higher education’ in the service of empire as 286
university presidents goose-step to the dictates
of the American Jewish Congress
[1]

by G.S.   <george.salzman@umb.edu>    7 October 2007

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-07.htm

      Shortly after the end of the First World War, deservedly famous American author and social activist Upton Sinclair wrote what should be known as a classic study of the higher education establishment in the United States, The Goose-Step: A Study of American Education.[2] His most extensive first-hand experience was as a college student at Columbia University. Born in 1878, at age 45 when The Goose-Step appeared he was already a famous investigative, muckraking author.

      In Chapter IV of The Goose-Step Sinclair writes:
 
      “In the year 1901 I was twenty-one years of age, and was ready to quit Columbia. The great university had become to me nothing but a library full of books, and some empty class-rooms in which to sit while reading them. No longer was I lured by elaborate prospectuses, setting forth lists of “courses”; I had tried forty of them, and knew that nine-tenths of them were dull. The great institution was a hollow shell, a body without a soul, a mass of brick and stone held together by red tape.”
. . .
      “. . . I have come to understand that . . . [o]ur educational system is not a public service, but an instrument of special privilege; its purpose is not to further the welfare of mankind, but merely to keep America capitalist. To establish this thesis is the purpose of The Goose-step.”
 
      To keep America capitalist requires maintaining the empire, which right now includes maintaining Israel as the top regional military power in the mideast. To keep American public opinion committed to that position is a goal of the American Jewish Congress (AJC). So when the AJC signals for the goose-step parade to commence, President Bollinger of Columbia leads the march in this initiative organized by eight presidents (marked by * in the rich text format–rtf–file linked to in [1] ), “along with Harold T. Shapiro, President Emeritus of Princeton University”, as stated in the ad. Presumably the AJC did the footwork and paid the cost of publication.
      To see the remainder of this display of how the American Jewish Congress secured the supine obedience of the administrative heads of 286 American colleges and universitites in the service of Israel, go to http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-07.htm . I also posted a pdf file of the full-page advertisement in the New York Times, which is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-07.pdf , and a rich text format file with the same information as the pdf file, but arranged in a more transparent way with a complete alphabetical list of the institutions of “higher education” whose heads signed on to this ‘official’ Jewish initiative. This file is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-07.rtf . Intellectual cowardice is in abundant supply in the higher reaches of academia.
 
NOTE
[1] Clarification on the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress. Eva S. Moseley <esmoseley@mindspring.com> kindly wrote me on 11 Oct with what she termed ‘an oversimplified summary’, explaining the two AJCs. Her summary: There have “always” been both an American Jewish Congress and an American Jewish Committee. The Congress used to be more left-wing and consisted mainly of Eastern European Jews, more or less socialist types. The AJ Committee is/was Jews of German extraction mainly, I guess Austrian too. Probably they were also the ones, or descended from the ones, who arrived here earlier (1848?) and were then ashamed of their unwashed brethren who arrived late in the 19th century. Nowadays I think the two organizations are less distinct, the Congress having become more like the Committee, as far as I know, i.e. 200 (or more) % Zionist.
All comments and criticisms are welcome.  <george.salzman@umb.edu>

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