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Fragile Bird

US Politics: The Accountability Problem

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5 hours ago, dornishpen said:

It's not the truth. AIPAC isn't a PAC and doesn't donate to political campaigns, they're a lobby, a strong one, but are maybe #20 overall. It's entirely possible to criticize AIPAC, Israel, Netanyahu etc without being antisemitic, but this, this kind of linkage to money and greed was absolutely antisemitic whether that's what she intended or not.

How do you think AIPAC infuelnce if there is not a implicit access to a well heeled donor class? In the U.S money has a very strong role in politics.

This is a few select points from a Mondoweiss article

Quote

Consider these examples of the Democrats and the Jewish Israel lobby:

–AIPAC reaches out to Democratic candidates; and it scripts the Middle East policy of congressional campaigns before they have campaign managers, just so they can get money from the “Jewish community,” says the head of Emily’s List.

–The 29 standing ovations for Netanyahu in the Congress in 2011 — when he was lecturing Obama on settlements — were led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was then head of fundraising for the Democratic Congress as the party chair and who shares a large donor with Netanyahu.

–At that time, Obama, facing reelection, went back on his vow to stop the settlements and vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution against settlements. His former aide Ben Rhodes says that Obama felt pressure from “Jewish donors.”

“Netanyahu’s smack at Obama [the lecture] came just as the 2012 presidential campaign cycle was cranking up, and it succeeded in igniting a firestorm of criticism… A number of congressional Democrats distanced themselves from the speech [in which Obama said the ’67 borders were the basis for negotiations]. I was given a list of leading Jewish donors to call to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides. It was far too painful to wade into these waters with no prospect of success. Netanyahu had mastered a kind of leverage: using political pressure within the United States to demoralize any meaningful push for peace just as he used settlements as a means of demoralizing the Palestinians…”

https://mondoweiss.net/2019/02/israel-christians-republicans/

 

FWIW, your reply is to a fellow Jew so I very much understand the concern of Anti-Semitism. At the sametime I think that are very extreme position have been mainstreamed as it concern the Israel and Palestine. That U.S is viewed to be as a main broker in the dispute make these positions very concerning. I understand how some of Rep. Omar remarks can slipped into some terrible stereotypes.  I also know that there can be almost no criticism of Israel without being called accused of Israel. Considering what is to be the U.S role I find that extremely troubling.

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I’ve seen a lot of celebs of Jewish decent support her comments, and probably the same amount decry them, so I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as a lot of people are saying.

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26 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I’ve seen a lot of celebs of Jewish decent support her comments, and probably the same amount decry them, so I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as a lot of people are saying.

I'm not Jewish and am loathe to get in on this fight but the term 'all about the Benjamins' is  hip-hop terminology as far as I ever knew. And that's what my first read was, an attempt to be hip but she done hopped on the wrong toes.

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33 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I’ve seen a lot of celebs of Jewish decent support her comments, and probably the same amount decry them, so I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as a lot of people are saying.

Oh, man, Jewish celebs supported her?!?  Well, let me try to get excited about that......

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2 hours ago, dornishpen said:

Benjamins is well known slang for $100 bills (because Benjamin Franklin is on them), "it's all about the benjamins" means "it's all about money". Jews and money, Jews being rich, Jews using money to secretly manipulate or control things are all extremely old and common themes in antisemitism.

This seems a really unreasonablly low bar man. You’re basically saying her comments were anti-Semitic because she’s saying AIPAC(a lobbying firm) is paying people to support Israel. You say one can critique AIPAC. Fine. Which critiques of the organization do you find as valid? Do you honestly see any insistence that there are politicians who support Israel in part because they were paid to anti-Semitic in it of itself?  

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The idea that AIPAC is bad because they have money is obviously stupid and can easily be seen as antisemitic simply because why single them out?

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5 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The idea that AIPAC is bad because they have money is obviously stupid and can easily be seen as antisemitic simply because why single them out?

AIPAC is a lobby like the NRA, and ones that Health Insurance companies, Pharmaceuticals, and Oil and Gas companies have. The money those other are able contribute directly or indirectly gets discuased several times.

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9 minutes ago, TheKitttenGuard said:

AIPAC is a lobby like the NRA, and ones that Health Insurance companies, Pharmaceuticals, and Oil and Gas companies have. The money those other are able contribute directly or indirectly gets discuased several times.

Then why name AIPAC specifically for that? They dont spend as much as others after all. Heck, I'm not even sure that they spend as much as the saudis.

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5 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Then why name AIPAC specifically for that? They dont spend as much as others after all. Heck, I'm not even sure that they spend as much as the saudis.

I don't get this criticism. If you are discussing policies toward Israel, you criticize the lobbying organizations who focus on those policies.

If someone would criticize the money Pharmaceutical lobbies use to influence politicians while discussing the opioid crisis without mentioning the organizations that lobby on other issues, that doesn't make them "anti-druggist". So why does criticizing the money a pro-Israel lobby spends without mentioning groups that lobby on other issues make one "anti-Semitic"?

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7 minutes ago, Ormond said:

I don't get this criticism. If you are discussing policies toward Israel, you criticize the lobbying organizations who focus on those policies.

If someone would criticize the money Pharmaceutical lobbies use to influence politicians while discussing the opioid crisis without mentioning the organizations that lobby on other issues, that doesn't make them "anti-druggist". So why does criticizing the money a pro-Israel lobby spends without mentioning groups that lobby on other issues make one "anti-Semitic"?

Isn’t that because any negative mention is anti Semitic? Everyone I’ve seen speak on the subject of Israel insists there are ways to criticize Israel without being anti Semitic, but it’s very difficult to do, and a flippant hip-hop manner is on the other side of that equation?

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12 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Then why name AIPAC specifically for that? They dont spend as much as others after all. Heck, I'm not even sure that they spend as much as the saudis.

Because Kevin McCarthy, as far as I know about this story, had singled Omar out for her support of the BDS movement, (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, which wants to protest Israel's actions towards Muslims by pulling outside investment and such) and Omar had responded by essentially saying that the only reason McCarthy pretends to care about anti-semitism is because AIPAC and similar pro-Israel lobbies donate to him.

Yeah, the bullshit greedy Jew controlling the world trope needs to have died in a fire at least a couple of centuries ago, but why criticism of a pro-Israel lobby and saying someone only cares about that issue because lobbying groups pay them to care is different from saying that a Republican senator only cares about oil because oil lobbying groups fill their pockets, or write policies beneficial to big pharma or Wall St. because pharma and Wall St. groups give them money is beyond me.

As is why criticizing Israel is the same as criticizing Jews. And considering some of the policies and tactics of Israel and the distaste I've often seen for those policies among quite a few American Jews, if anything I think conflating Israel with all Jews worldwide is if anything really dangerous and wrongheaded.

Quote

After years of tolerating Iowa Rep. Steve King’s increasingly overt racism, McCarthy took action against him early this year by stripping him of his committee assignments. Then on Sunday, Ron Kampeas of the JTA news service reported that McCarthy was preparing to challenge Democrats to take similar action against Omar and Tlaib, arguing, according to Kampeas, that “statements by freshmen Democrats Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota were equal to King’s and ‘more so.’”

It wasn’t clear from Kampeas’s report which statements he had in mind, but in the larger context of the GOP push for laws that would punish people for boycotting Israel, it seems like he was trying to say that Omar and Tlaib supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement was worthy of punishment.

That led Glenn Greenwald, a prominent journalist and critic of both Israel and BDS laws, to send a tweet:

OP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.

Then Omar followed up on Greenwald by saying that McCarthy’s approach to this issue was “all about the Benjamins baby” (i.e., motivated by money).

And lest we think McCarthy has a single honest bone in his body about this issue:

https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/1055170806949523458/photo/1

In case the link doesn't work, in McCarthy's own words about the 2018 election "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican on November 6th!"

But please, do go on about how much McCarthy cares about anti-semitism. Especially when he said that just after a bomb was sent to Soros' house...

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15 hours ago, Guy Kilmore said:

I was going to say that they are playing a bit of local politics in going after her about this. 

 

14 hours ago, DMC said:

This, like, is the exact opposite of local politics.  The entirety of the House Democratic leadership didn't admonish her because of local politics.

I have to disagree. This is entirely local. Republicans are being heavy handed with her because liberal Jews are a key part of her base, and Democrats are giving her a pass because liberal Somalis and Muslims are the single most important part of her base. MN CD-5 is very liberal, but the liberals here really don’t like one another, and sadly most people in Minneapolis don’t like the Somali immigrants that are here. It’s complicated, but it’s certainly all politics is local.

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8 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Isn’t that because any negative mention is anti Semitic? Everyone I’ve seen speak on the subject of Israel insists there are ways to criticize Israel without being anti Semitic, but it’s very difficult to do, and a flippant hip-hop manner is on the other side of that equation?

The technical term is "anti-zionist" and yes it's perfectly possible to be strongly anti-zionist without being anti-semitic, though it helps to be a Jew in this case - see Chomsky. Though funnily enough, right-wing Israelis apparently call Chomsky a "self-hating Jew," ha ha.

The confusion between anti-zionism and anti-semitism deeply annoys me*. FFS Israel has committed so many crimes that it should be facing massive economic sanctions right now.
 

*not directed at you bird, I'm only using your comment to vent.

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If I were a CR I think I'd avoid responding in anyway to Greenwald, even if I happened to agree with him on something.  Dude is mildly obsessed with the Russia investigation being a witch hunt and has transformed or revealed himself to be, on a good day, a pseudo-libertarian who picks strange hills to die on.  

The GOP has been salivating for an opportunity to hammer Dems on grounds of being "anti-pc", and of course they're going after Muslim women.  I'm surprised it took this long.  Also I'm seeing on Twitter that the Bernie Bros are up in arms at AOC for not taking a harder stance against American silence on Israel's behavior.  

Dems need to keep hammering on easily digestible policy-bytes like "rich need to pay their fair share" "new clean energy jobs" "Medicare for all" etc, the media is incapable of covering policy in lieu of the red meat gossipy shit.  And expect these accusations and calls for censure to keep coming.  A good way to do this would be to not tweet on the fly without staff review, not sure if Omar does this or not.  I know there are plenty of reps and senators who don't have anyone screening their tweets, Seung Min Kim had an incomplete list of them awhile ago.

 

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52 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Then why name AIPAC specifically for that? They dont spend as much as others after all. Heck, I'm not even sure that they spend as much as the saudis.

The topic involved relates to matters Israel and AIPAC is the main lobby related to Israel.

There is some confusion as related to Lobbying. As other poster (and the article I used though not highligted) noted, AIPAC does not do direct donations.  They are in many ways gatekeepers to very lucrative donors. The Saudis need to spend more directly for there is not as many lucrative donors they can act as the gatekeepers on.

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36 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

The technical term is "anti-zionist" and yes it's perfectly possible to be strongly anti-zionist without being anti-semitic, though it helps to be a Jew in this case - see Chomsky. Though funnily enough, right-wing Israelis apparently call Chomsky a "self-hating Jew," ha ha.

The confusion between anti-zionism and anti-semitism deeply annoys me*. FFS Israel has committed so many crimes that it should be facing massive economic sanctions right now.
 

*not directed at you bird, I'm only using your comment to vent.

There is intersections where one can be Pro-Zionist/Anti-Semetic as well. There is a good arguement that Netanyahu beem cultivating this the last few years. So, people like Soros can be attacked with many Anti-Semetic canards yet since Soros is not fervertly Pro-Israel and those who use it are, the criticism is more muted.

I will caution that people who state they are Anti-Zionist can wind up using very Anti-Semetic imagery as well, and some use it to cover for Anti-Semitism.

For me, Israel has many problem that needs to be more honestly discussed. When one wants to states Israel is The Problem is when it starts to be a problem.

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47 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I have to disagree. This is entirely local. Republicans are being heavy handed with her because liberal Jews are a key part of her base, and Democrats are giving her a pass because liberal Somalis and Muslims are the single most important part of her base. MN CD-5 is very liberal, but the liberals here really don’t like one another, and sadly most people in Minneapolis don’t like the Somali immigrants that are here. It’s complicated, but it’s certainly all politics is local.

No.  The reason this blew up has nothing to do with her district.  That doesn't even start to make sense and isn't really arguable.  As for why she said it?  No, that has nothing to do with local politics either.  MN-5 is an incredibly safe seat for Democrats, and she doesn't really have any reason to worry about being primaried - unless she keeps this up.  She won the primary by 18 points and got nearly 50 percent without the advantage of incumbency.  She is being targeted because she is an important voice against Israeli policy.  I'm excited about that, which is why her very stupid tweets are so disappointing.

Also, that idiom needs to die anyway as any type of "wisdom."  All politics are not local.  In fact, with polarization, politics are incredibly nationalized right now.

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9 hours ago, TheKitttenGuard said:

 

FWIW, your reply is to a fellow Jew so I very much understand the concern of Anti-Semitism. At the sametime I think that are very extreme position have been mainstreamed as it concern the Israel and Palestine. That U.S is viewed to be as a main broker in the dispute make these positions very concerning. I understand how some of Rep. Omar remarks can slipped into some terrible stereotypes.  I also know that there can be almost no criticism of Israel without being called accused of Israel. Considering what is to be the U.S role I find that extremely troubling.

 

I think there can be critique of Israel and AIPAC and BDS etc without being antisemitic, but it probably needs to involve more nuance than most people seem willing to give and definitely more than a tweet of a few words. I think it's definitely fair to say tha AIPAC and it's lobbying power and it's unquestioning support of Israel is bad for the situation, but because MCs get so much more money from other groups and people than from AIPAC involved Jewish donors (perhaps people like Wasserman Schultz are an exception, though in her case I doubt she would have different beliefs) I find it difficult to believe that most Democratic MCs support Israel because of some Jewish donors, I think it's probably because most Americans, including most Democratic voters (this is changing, but still true) support Israel. AIPAC and it's link to donors may lead to less criticism of Israel, though this seems to be changing as Senate Democrats recently blocked an anti-BDS bill. I think it would probably be good for MCs to understand that most American Jews oppose settlements and many oppose the occupation.

 

4 minutes ago, TheKitttenGuard said:

There is intersections where one can be Pro-Zionist/Anti-Semetic as well. There is a good arguement that Netanyahu beem cultivating this the last few years. So, people like Soros can be attacked with many Anti-Semetic canards yet since Soros is not fervertly Pro-Israel and those who use it are, the criticism is more muted.

I will caution that people who state they are Anti-Zionist can wind up using very Anti-Semetic imagery as well, and some use it to cover for Anti-Semitism.

For me, Israel has many problem that needs to be more honestly discussed. When one wants to states Israel is The Problem is when it starts to be a problem.

 

A lot of the rhetoric about Soros is absolutely antisemitic.

It be useful too if there was a more uniform definition of anti-Zionism, because some people use it for being critical of Israel and others use it for being against the entire existence of Israel (and I think if someone is against self determination for Jews, but supports it for other people (like Catalan, Scotland, Palestine, Tibet, Kurds etc) that is antisemitic, if they're opposed to all nation states (so including many Europe and Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Denmark, Finland etc) then not). Perhaps coining a new word to differentiate this would be useful. I think it would also be useful if anti-zionists who aren't antisemites paid more attention to the company they keep, palling around with groups like Hamas is not a good way to convince people it's not just disguised antisemitism (and to be clear that wasn't a reference to Omar, as far as I know she doesn't hang out with Hamas).

I think there's a general lack of intellectual honesty on both sides of this issue generally and not enough nuance.

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40 minutes ago, DMC said:

No.  The reason this blew up has nothing to do with her district.  That doesn't even start to make sense and isn't really arguable.  As for why she said it?  No, that has nothing to do with local politics either.  MN-5 is an incredibly safe seat for Democrats, and she doesn't really have any reason to worry about being primaried - unless she keeps this up.  She won the primary by 18 points and got nearly 50 percent without the advantage of incumbency.  She is being targeted because she is an important voice against Israeli policy.  I'm excited about that, which is why her very stupid tweets are so disappointing.

Also, that idiom needs to die anyway as any type of "wisdom."  All politics are not local.  In fact, with polarization, politics are incredibly nationalized right now.

We can’t say for sure, but it is entirely possible that she was attacked because it’s known that the issue is a sore spot in her district, and likewise that leadership has given her a pass for the same reasons. You might think she’s safe because of the primary results, but I’d point out that her only real competition had been out of politics for a decade and jumped in at the last minute. Much like AOC, she is a young freshman who is more vulnerable to being primaried than one would think and thus needs to avoid making mistakes like this.

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11 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

We can’t say for sure, but it is entirely possible that she was attacked because it’s known that the issue is a sore spot in her district, and likewise that leadership has given her a pass for the same reasons.

I know, for sure, that the Democrats who said they were offended by her comments did not have her district in mind at all.  I also know, for sure, that McCarthy and the GOP are targeting her and Tlaib not because of their respective districts but because they're the first two Muslim Congresswomen ever.  

11 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Much like AOC, she is a young freshman who is more vulnerable to being primaried than one would think and thus needs to avoid making mistakes like this.

AOC is probably in the 99th percentile of least likely MC to be primaried.  Such a notion is absurd.

Edited by DMC
They're not their...ugh

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