the Israel Lobby – Part II
by G.S. <firstname.lastname@example.org>   14 October 2007
this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-14.htm
this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-10-14.htm
Keith is, I believe, an honest person, as firmly convinced that he understands what is right and what is wrong as the everyday people Joe Bageant writes about in his essays, as for example in “Poor, White and Pissed: A Guide to the White Trash Planet for Urban Liberals”  Unlike Joe’s subjects whose literacy is minimal and whose economic conditions are marginal, Keith is, I imagine, a reasonably well-to-do literate Jewish American. I think he is urban and guess that he lives in a California city, from one of his remarks, but I do not know. What troubles me about this exchange is not that Keith is Jewish and has accepted as reality a particular – in my view very largely false – version of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but that what he has written suggests that Manual Garcia Jr.’s deep pessimism – hopefully transient – regarding the educability of our species might be justified. Garcia, for whom I have great respect, wrote recently
We Jews are but a tiny fraction of the American population. Although our beliefs may concern us, in the larger scheme of things it is the beliefs held by non-Jewish Americans that is critical. If Garcia’s sense of futility is justified, then all the efforts to disseminate honest, informed thoughts and information in order to effect positive social change are hopeless. That would make me feel that much of my life is without meaning. I’m vain enough not to believe that, though of course there are times when I am discouraged. But this is an encouraging time because the (largely Jewish) Israel Lobby’s efforts to prevent open discussion of the issues involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict are beginning to be countered quite effectively.
In apparent response to wide public criticism of his earlier decision  to disinvite Archbishop Desmond Tutu to an event at the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul, Minnesota, the president commendably acknowledged he had been wrong and reversed himself with a message published in the University Bulletin on 10 October 2007. Excerpts follow:
That’s true, and in fact the examples you just mentioned are but a small sample of the many actions the Israel Lobby has carried out to its satisfaction. Nevertheless I am encouraged now because I think we are seeing, for the first time, a growing determined and forceful opposition, a refusal to be silenced by the empty, false charges that we are either Anti-Semites or, those of us who are Jewish, self-hating Jews. Of course there are true Anti-Semites, but we stand apart from them. Hating Jews (or any group of human beings) has never solved a human social problem in a socially humane manner. Hatred and fear are the tools of demagogues, people lusting for power: dictators, tyrants, and many politicians.
It’s encouraging to see the relatively new group, Jewish Voice for Peace, which began only in 1996, becoming a heavy hitter in the fight for truth. It’s not a group I belong to, because although nominally Jewish, I prefer to speak not with a ‘Jewish’ voice but with a ‘human’ voice inclusive of all ethnic groups within our species. But I welcome them as comrades in the struggle for truth to prevail. Just as I welcome the current efforts of Jimmy Carter despite all his terrible actions as president (e.g. backing the Shah of Iran). Just as I welcome the work of Mearsheimer and Walt despite my disagreement with their ‘tail wagging the dog’ thesis and my opposition to their ideology – they support the American empire, which I despise. The point is that there are many and diverse American voices beginning to speak out forcefully in opposition to unconditional U.S. backing for Israel, and these voices are gaining considerable traction even in corporate media. They are beginning to turn the tide, which had formerly been massively in support of Israeli policy, whatever it did.
Interestingly, when I went to Google to see how old Jewish Voice for Peace is, for the first time in my experience a cautionary note appeared at the top of the page saying, “Offensive Search Results www.google.com/explanation We're disturbed about these results as well. Please read our note here.” The explanation, is explicit in referring to the notorious Anti-Defamation League as follows: “p.s. You may be interested in some additional information the Anti-Defamation League has posted about this issue at http://www.adl.org/rumors/google_search_rumors.asp. In addition, we call your attention to Google's search results on this topic.” This supposed postscript can hardly be an afterthought. It strongly suggests that the Anti-Defamation League, of which Abraham Henry Foxman is the National Director, was a prime complainer — maybe the only one, since it’s the only organization singled out for mention — seeking to have Google remove or make less prominent some of its search results. The ‘search results’ link in this paragraph gets an old but also possibly revealing page that begins:
Google Search Ranking of Hate Sites Not Intentional
Update April 22, 2004UPDATE: ADL Praises Google for Responding to Concerns About Rankings of Hate Sites
An e-mail campaign suggests that Google intentionally lists a hate site as the first item that comes up when searching under “Jew” or “Jews.”
It appears that the ADL may have been responsible for an e-mail campaign three and a half years ago in an attempt to have Google give less prominence to anti-Jewish hate sites, possibly by removing them. This would not be surprising.
When we note that only a short time ago Foxman’s ADL reversed itself in a conflict with Boston-area Jews after he first fired, then rehired a local ADL subordinate for saying that indeed the Armenian people had suffered a holocaust at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915, and that now he sent a message to the president of St. Francis asking him to reverse himself by reinviting Tutu, it seems pretty evident that Foxman is beginning to sense that he’s ‘on the ropes’, and he’d better try to salvage the ADL position by backing off a bit. Let Foxman follow the principle stated by my first angry correspondent, “Confession is the beginning of healing”, cited at the start of this note, by confessing that it was wrong of the (primarily Jewish) Israel Lobby to have campaigned for DePaul University to deny tenure to Norman G. Finkelstein and thus been responsible not only for damaging Finkelstein’s chances for a decent livelihood in his profession, but also for the ‘collateral damage’ to Mehrene E. Larudee, an assistant professor of international studies at DePaul, who had supported tenure for Finkelstein, and hence was denied tenure this spring. I would be delighted to see Foxman confess and would welcome ‘the beginning of healing’, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for him to ‘fess up’ to the despicable role the Lobby has been playing. It will be a tenacious struggle, I think. But I remain encouraged. Here is my exchange with Keith Davies, part of the stimulus for this essay.
Subject: Re: Into the Valley of Death rode the Israel Lobby [— Part I]
From: Keith Davies <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 06:56:01 -0700 (PDT)
To: George Salzman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I would love you to explain about the Arab lobby or would you deny this exists at all?
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 10:13:59 -0500
CC: Irving Wesley Hall <email@example.com>
Dear Keith Davies,
If knowledge of historical truth is for the sole purpose of satisfying the intellectual desire to understand the reality of our lives, then it is no more nor less legitimate than any other investigation undertaken in response to human curiosity. If it goes no further than to provide enlightenment, then I would say it is of no social importance, or more accurately of negative social value. To be of positive value the knowledge must serve to shape actions. If we see our goal as merely to understand historic truth, we are adopting a passive role as objects of history. I contend that we ought to think of ourselves as subjects of history, not just as people on whom history acts. We are both objects of and shapers – even if only passively – of history. It is up to us not to be passive but to actively take part in building the world we want. To do that intelligently we need to be informed of historical truth.
A wakeup call to my fellow American Jews
Yes. I believe it is well within the realm of possibility, especially if the surging social and economic inequalities are not substantially eliminated. However, this wakeup call is intended not only for American Jews but for all privileged people, of which group Jews constitute but a miniscule part. In other words, what I want to argue is that in order for American Jews to try to safeguard ourselves against the possibility of an American Judeocide, our effort must be generalized to embrace the entire American middle and wealthy classes. My understanding of historical truth, for what it is worth, points to the need, in order for us to be secure, for a basic solution to the global problems of raging inequalities and unbearable suffering. Achieving our security is possible only within a framework where all people are secure. Of course Jews alone cannot resolve these terrible injustices, but I think we can play a role, along with all other privileged peoples.
If you want to do more than simply pose our different views in terms of ‘Jews vs. Palestinians’, it might help if you took a look at the draft paper from which the above excerpt comes. It is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-09-12.htm . If you care to offer criticisms I will welcome them, but I have no intention of getting into a trivialization of the sort your note would lead to if I answered your question and assertion in its own terms. If your intent is not to simply troll, I'll respond again.
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 08:41:44 -0700 (PDT)
As all intellectual wafflers and haters of “The Israel case” you cannot even answer a simple question?
The world is so “fucked up” as you call it because people like you cannot face reality or understand the Jewish principle of “the evil inclination”.
We have people today in the Middle East acting and behaving just like the Nazis but they have a religious twist to their ideology, yet you wish to undertand their anger and their grievances. The people I am refering to are not Zionists as you would obvioulsy like to argue.
Let me help you understand since you do need a little help. Be proud of your Jewishness and respect others who respect you and are different. There is nothing wrong with being different. However those that say they wish to kill you because you are a Jew, an American, a gay person or an Israeli; understand them too and recognize that they are evil.
The rest is just for a better word - BULLSHIT.
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 11:45:13 -0500
To: Irving Wesley Hall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: Keith Davies <email@example.com>
From: Keith Davies <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 19:16:19 -0700 (PDT)
When you can’t face reality you argue how your reality (illusion) fits your mold of how one should think. Jews in reverence to them are the most tolerant people in the world, however sometimes they are too tolerant and go overboard to tolerate evil and lies for the sake of “peace.” Their Arab adversaries keep lieing and murdering; saying one thing in English for your ears and another in Arabic- the truth. Jews bury their heads in the sand and make believe that we should all get along because we just should. While it is right that we all get along and respect peoples’ differences this is just not REALITY in the world today. I bet you would agree that Hitler was not to be negotiated with, if you agree with this statement why would you think that Arafat, Ahmedinjad, Asad, Nasrallah are any different? The all say “Death to Israel, Death to America,” or “Death to the Jews”. These are also quotes from the mosques in their domains, so it is not just political as you may like to espouse.
My view of the of the world is irrelevant but the world is what it is, based on exact circumstances. I would be very receptive to contesting views but so far you have not been able to come up with any views other than the world is “fucked up” and I am a “troll”.
Then you follow up by denying that history is important and put history aside so we can move forward with Kumba Yah, that the action of making peace is the only course of action when war is unfortunate but the correct action. If the allies had gone to war in the early 1930s against Hitler then 6 million Jews would be alive today, instead we appeased Hitler and we know what happened.
Today Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map and the left act just like the appeasers of the 1930s. Hitler was regarded the same way as Ahmadinjad. He even looks like Hitler in that he is skinny and little crazy looking. We must talk and understand them. They are misunderstood. Rubbish!
You must of learnt this at Berkeley or Columbia. God help us with these intellectuals! Sorry should not have used God as you probably do not believe in such a concept.
Confession is the beginning of healing. There will be no peace till the Arabs confess their wrong and apologize for their transgressions. I can assure you the Jews will reciprocate and there then would be peace. If all Jews would apologize to the Arabs and say let us have peace, can you honestly say that the Arabs would lay down their arms allow Jews to live in their own homeland (Granted at the same time period that Arabs were receiving their lands from the Imperial powers) not threatened by war? If you can answer this question with intellectual honesty you will then understand the truth and what really needs to be recognized and then acted upon.
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 06:16:16 -0500
Subject: Intent to publish our exchange, and one minor correction
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 10:56:19 -0500
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 18:04:29 -0500
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 16:13:51 -0700 (PDT)
How pathetic a person you are? When Israel won the 6 day war and the Yom Kippur war they did not dance in joy at their victory but you seem to enjoy when your people lose.
I hope your liberal friends and self hating Jews enjoy our exchange
 Joe Bageant’s <email@example.com> essay “Poor, white and pissed: A Guide to the White Trash Planet for Urban Liberals” is at http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2005/02/poor_white_and_.html .
4] The decision to disinvite Archbishop Desmond Tutu was reported in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune on 3 October 2007, at http://articles.citypages.com/2007-10-03/news/banning-desmond-tutu/ in an article by Matt Snyders <firstname.lastname@example.org> that I think was carefully and accurately written.
 The decision to reinvite Archbishop Desmond Tutu by the president of St. Francis University is, in its entirety, in the university Bulletin on 10 October 2007, at http://www.stthomas.edu/bulletin/news/200741/Wednesday/Dease10_10_07.cfm .
 'Corrie' canceled in Canada, allegedly because it could produce “a negative reaction” in Toronto’s Jewish community http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jan2007/rach-j04.shtml .
 The Chronicle of Higher Education 6 September 2007 report on the tenure denials is available at http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1225 .
 To see Professor Howard Zinn’s letter asking people to write to the University of Michigan Press, go to the website of the Committee for the Open Discussion of Zionism, at http://www.codz.org/send-letter.html .
 On the Lobby’s political force see for example some excerpts from the Mearsheimer-Walt research paper at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/2006-05-09L2.doc .
 The Jewish Voice for Peace site is at http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/ . An excellent opinion piece by Mitchell Plitnick and Cecilie Surasky of this group was published in the principal Minneapolis/St. Paul daily newspaper on 10 October 2007 at http://www.startribune.com/562/story/1474498.html . A short post by Surasky to the group’s Muzzle Watch project website at http://www.muzzlewatch.org/ on the same day is informative and has links to comments on the ADL and the Zionist Organization of America websites. Her recommendation of Tony Karon’s piece, at http://tonykaron.com/2007/10/03/my-favorite-anti-semite/ , is well worth reading. Another article worth reading is from The Black Commentator, on 11 October 2007, by Bill Fletcher, Jr., available at http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9037.shtml .
An explanation of our search results.
If you recently used Google to search for the word “Jew,” you may have seen results that were very disturbing. We assure you that the views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google. We’d like to explain why you’re seeing these results when you conduct this search.
A site’s ranking in Google’s search results relies heavily on computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page’s relevance to a given query. Sometimes subtleties of language cause anomalies to appear that cannot be predicted. A search for “Jew” brings up one such unexpected result.
If you use Google to search for “Judaism,” “Jewish” or “Jewish people,” the results are informative and relevant. So why is a search for “Jew” different? One reason is that the word “Jew” is often used in an anti-Semitic context. Jewish organizations are more likely to use the word “Jewish” when talking about members of their faith. The word has become somewhat charged linguistically, as noted on websites devoted to Jewish topics such as these:
Someone searching for information on Jewish people would be more likely to enter terms like “Judaism,” “Jewish people,” or “Jews” than the single word “Jew.” In fact, prior to this incident, the word “Jew” only appeared about once in every 10 million search queries. Now it’s likely that the great majority of searches on Google for “Jew” are by people who have heard about this issue and want to see the results for themselves.
The beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google, as well as the opinions of the general public, do not determine or impact our search results. Individual citizens and public interest groups do periodically urge us to remove particular links or otherwise adjust search results. Although Google reserves the right to address such requests individually, Google views the comprehensiveness of our search results as an extremely important priority. Accordingly, we do not remove a page from our search results simply because its content is unpopular or because we receive complaints concerning it. We will, however, remove pages from our results if we believe the page (or its site) violates our Webmaster Guidelines, if we believe we are required to do so by law, or at the request of the webmaster who is responsible for the page.
We apologize for the upsetting nature of the experience you had using Google and appreciate your taking the time to inform us about it.
p.s. You may be interested in some additional information the Anti-Defamation League has posted about this issue at http://www.adl.org/rumors/google_search_rumors.asp. In addition, we call your attention to Google's search results [http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=anti-semitism] on this topic.
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