Scott Horton Interviews Philip Weiss

Scott Horton, July 12, 2008

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Philip Weiss, syndicated columnist, author of the blog MondoWeiss and the book American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps, discusses the touchy subject of the Israel Lobby and Jewish power in American politics, the difficulty Americans face in criticizing Israel due to the smear of “antisemitism,” the centrality of Israel policy to the neoconservatives, majority Jewish-American support for the takeover of Jerusalem, Barack Obama’s pandering to the Lobby, the relative peace position of the Olmert government compared to the U.S. War Party, the Lobby-Christian Zionist alliance, the brutality of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, the cause of the media blackout on the occupation, the new J-Street lobby and Israel’s conflict with Iran.

MP3 here. (40:44)

The New York Observer, The Nation and The American Conservative and in the past has written for the National Review, Washington Monthly, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Harper’s Magazine, and Jewish World Review.

11 Responses to “Philip Weiss”

  1. Phil is prone to sentimentality, which leads to a sort of intellectual dishonesty, frankly, not all the time but intermittently – a romanticisation if you like.

    The example here is when he says that the Israeli press is wonderful. He means Haaretz, and it isn’t wonderful, it is full of artful disinformation and racism and warmongering. The only wonderful thing about Haaretz is the three or four leftish reporters, who are only read by overseas fans.

  2. to answer scotts question about why israel can not except iran it is because israel views an assertive middle eastern power capable of nuclear weapons(like japan) as an end to zionism just because the world is not just teeming with antisemitism there really is noo need for jews to emigrate to a militaristic state. im mean most jew would lkie to live in the “holy land” just how many are willing to give all of their children to the army to go man check point and shoot people just so they can feel “safe” the rational has fallen threw its not really a jewish state(just because of open immigration from the former soviet union) so most people living there are either secular immigrants coming for economic reasons alone.
    or as mr weiss said right wing jews from america who where brainwashed as kids in both the case of israel and america two moral beacons alone in the world and a history of being the last hope for morality and freedom. mix that in with deep militaristic currents in american culture(intensified since 9-11 but not starting with it)
    so for all you non jewish americans let me paint you a picture pretend that iraq was an american holy land(say george washington was immaculately conceived there) and the insurgency was almost non existent, enlisting would give you a free home in a safe new neighborhood free health care and education for your whole family. a direct sense of belonging and large population of basically slave labor(who do you think physical built israel)to make any business a success, it really helps when your employees get upiddy about wages to just call in the millitary and have em thrown in jail or back home (same thing)
    and after thinking about that tell me you would have difficulty recruiting people to go to iraq.
    the whole idea is religion has always been used as one of the many justifications for colonial expansion if not by the leaders then in the minds of the colonialist them selves
    so the problem now is reality what america has done in its ignorance and stupidity(but now that i think about it george bush might get his legacy after all) simply because iraq represented the key stone of a colonial middle east and iran represents a nationalistic one so illegitimate regimes, saudi arabia jordan the emirates egypt yemen turkey and (while not in the short run)syria all of all to fear from a stong and independent state developing in the middle east just because not one of these states can say it has the real support of a majority of its citizens. and each has a rather strong grass roots oppostion (if not a bit radical, but you would be to if you have had a king for 50 years being supported by the chapions of democracy)
    and so in conclusion israel and iran have no real problem with one another its just the way that each will pull the region contradict each other.
    will there will be any place for the current israeli state in a “new middle east”
    i think no that is my feelings a unified peninsula is not far off and if isreal is still a american proxy at that time they will be trown out with the rest of the american military regime

    if not our empire will be secured and we will be the new evil in the world
    and i do believe if we are still in iraq after the first obama term i pledge to revoke my citizenship and take up arms against the united states regime
    oh some ones knocking at the door…

  3. The awesome sight of all top American politicians flocking to AIPAC annual gathering to pay respect and pledge their undying allegiance to Israel would be beyond belief if it were not true.
    Capitol Hill is aptly called the Israeli Occupied Territory because of the unbreakable hold AIPAC exercises over Congress and the Senate.
    Perhaps the only reason for Bush Administration getting away with so many impeachable offences is the protection they receive from the Israeli Lobby which can and does policy and legislation in Washington.
    How this state of affairs has come about, and how it can be reversed are the questions that political pundits in America must address.

  4. Elcaro “the awesome sight of all top american politicians flocking to Aipac annual gathering to pay respect and pledge their undying allegiance to Israel would be beyond belief if it were not true”

    All of this ass kissing of Aipac while the msm and the so called progressive blogophere ignores the U.S. vs. Rosen investigation and trial and how Aipac was used to pass classified intelligence to Israeli officials. What other organization gets away with this and has their asses kissed?

  5. Weiss gets down to business. Israel is occupying Palestinian territory. BINGO

  6. mUZZLEWATCH
    http://www.muzzlewatch.com/

    Greenwald: All attack dogs on Joe Klein for saying “divided loyalty”
    Posted by Cecilie Surasky under Media , neocons
    No Comments

    Joe KleinWith the drumbeat to war with Iran gathering steam (how’s that for mixing metaphors?), it’s inevitable that we return to the question of the neocons.

    Glenn Greenwald at Salon has another terrific lawyerly analysis of the multitude of hypocritical sins committed by various right wingers who scream “anti-Semitism” when anyone, Time’s Joe Klein in this case (pictured) , observes that Jewish neocons who pushed for war with Iraq were motivated in part by their feelings of loyalty towards Israel.

    Klein used the term “divided loyalty”, which unavoidably evokes language long used to attack Jews, Catholics and others who, it was argued, could not be trusted to put their country’s needs first. Problem is, the very people attacking Klein for using the phrase openly advocate for American Jews to vote for McCain and against Obama because, you guessed it, of their loyalty to Israel. (The absurdity of the logic that Obama is bad for Israel because he favors diplomacy isn’t even worth addressing here.) In other words, the arguments are used selectively to push their right wing agenda.

    Frankly, as Greenwald points out, lots of Americans living in the land of the hyphenated identity have multiple loyalties. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Further, we’d add, there is real room for debate about the role love-of-Israel played when it came down to who had the real power to go to war with Iraq.

    But in this case, attacking Klein while simultaneously urging Jews to, well, embrace dual loyalties, is another powerful, and duplicitous tool deployed by the thought police to make sure no reasonable person is able to openly discuss the questions obvious to any casual observer. Greenwald writes:

    Last week, Joe Klein — basically out of the blue — observed that while many advocates of an attack on Iraq (which once included Klein) were motivated by “neocolonial” fantasies or ensuring access to Iraq’s oil, many other war proponents were motivated by their allegiance to Israel:

    The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives — people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary — plumped for this war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel.

    Since then, Klein has escalated the provocative rhetoric, writing several days ago:

    You want evidence of divided loyalties? How about the “benign domino theory” that so many Jewish neoconservatives talked to me about — off the record, of course — in the runup to the Iraq war, the idea that Israel’s security could be won by taking out Saddam, which would set off a cascade of disaster for Israel’s enemies in the region? As my grandmother would say, feh! Do you actually deny that the casus belli that dare not speak its name wasn’t, as I wrote in February 2003, a desire to make the world safe for Israel? Why the rush now to bomb Iran, a country that poses some threat to Israel but none — for the moment — to the United States . . . unless we go ahead, attack it, and the mullahs unleash Hezbollah terrorists against us? Do you really believe the mullahs would stage a nuclear attack on Israel, destroying the third most holy site in Islam and killing untold numbers of Muslims? I am not ruling out the use of force against Iran — it may come to that — but you folks seem to embrace it gleefully.

  7. Scott, I wouldn’t count on any amount of Jewish ethnicity immunizing you from accusations of anti-semitism. Norman Finkelstein, whose parents survived the Holocaust, is referred to as an anti-semite on Daniel Pipe’s CampusWatch website and was refused tenure at DePaul University following a concerted effort by the Israel Lobby. I don’t think most Jews would consider him an anti-semite for his criticisms of Alan Dershowitz and the Jewish State, but the accusation has been leveled and the label placed.

  8. matt fay
    the apostate is always worses than the infidel

  9. I would like Philip Weiss to talk some sense into Stephen Zunes. Zunes refuses to see the primacy of “supporters of Israel” in getting us to go to war against Iraq. Zunes ridiculously cites the fact that the Iraq war turned out to be “bad for Israel” (in his opinion) as evidence that the pro-Israel fanatics weren’t primarily behind it.

    Oh, gee, Mr. Zunes – so we guess that since France’s invasion of Russia turned out to be a disaster that was “bad for Napolean”, we know that Napolean couldn’t have been the prime instigator of that enterprise!

    Besides, the Iraq war still HASN’T proven to be “bad for Israel”, in the neocon sense, because the Iraq war was supposed to be a stepping stone to a US war to destroy Iran. That could still happen.

    And the neocons — as well as the government of Israel (both right wings of it) — clearly believe (however wrongly) that such a war would be “good for Israel”.

  10. iran is not the only choice

  11. Now you need to find someone to talk about the AEI – how is it that this creepy place seems to be a second home for so many members of the administration?

    Who the hell are they?

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