A slap in the face
World War IV
Why won't anyone say they are Jewish?
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Why won't anyone say
they are Jewish?
Friends help each other out. That’s why the US sends billions of
dollars every year to Israel. In return, Israel advances US strategic
interests in the Middle East. But despite this mutual back scratching,
Israeli-American relations are enduring a rough patch. Last December,
a senior State Department official blasted Israel for having “done
too little for far too long” to resolve
the conflict with its Palestinian neighbors. Indeed, President Bush himself
had scolded Israel a month earlier with his demand that “Israel
should freeze settlement construction, dismantle unauthorized outposts,
end the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people and not prejudice
final negotiations with the building of walls and fences.”
Harsh words, but is it all just window-dressing? This was not the first
time Bush criticized Israel and he has made numerous calls for a “viable” Palestinian
state during his presidency. Nevertheless, he has never concretely punished Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for ignoring US directives and shrugging off his
commitment to the peace process. It’s also worth noting that diplomatic
admonitions are the responsibility of the State Department which has been on
the losing end of the policy wars in Bush’s White House. One
wonders what Israeli-American relations, and indeed what American relations
with the rest of the world would look
like if the neocon hawks who control Rumsfeld’s Defense Department
were also in charge at State.
A lot of ink has been spilled chronicling the pro-Israel leanings of
American neocons and fact that a the disproportionate percentage of
them are Jewish. Some commentators are worried that these individuals – labeled ‘Likudniks’ for
their links to Israel’s right wing Likud party – do not
distinguish enough between American and Israeli interests. For example,
whose interests were they protecting in pushing for war in Iraq?
Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game.
Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite.
But the point is not that Jews (who make up less than 2 percent of
the American population) have a monolithic perspective. Indeed, American
Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat and many of them disagree strongly
with Ariel Sharon’s policies and Bush’s
aggression in Iraq. The point is simply that the neocons seem to have
a special affinity for Israel that influences their political thinking
and consequently American foreign policy in the Middle East.
Here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on and came up
with a carefully researched list of who appear to be the 50 most influential
neocons in the US (see above). Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult
since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape
policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral,
exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank
policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the US is a benevolent
hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world
into its morally superior image. And half of the them are Jewish.
Is this another Jewish
conspiracy theory – or
a truth people deny for fear of being labeled 'anti-semitic'?
From the March/April 2004 issue of Adbusters