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Kampeas on Greenwald on Podhoretz:

Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (who I think is rather politically liberal himself, and whose posts are generally very mild-mannered):

So [Glenn] Greenwald is either infuriated into delusion or is willfully lying when he [claims that Podhoretz wrote that]"even though Obama shares most of their views on political matters. . . American Jews should have nonetheless voted for McCain because of McCain's 'alleged long history of sympathy with Israel'".... This is the kind of misreading that would get Greenwald booted out of a suburban weekly (or might otherwise earn Greenwald an excoriation from, well, himself), and the same is true of his sloppy ellisions, from Podhoretz to the entire neoconservative movement."

Kampeas goes on, in a post well worth reading, especially if you've been persuaded by Greenwald's attacks on neoconservatives.

Let me add that I am not a neoconservative, but I find worse than distasteful the consistent willful distortion by the likes of Greenwald of the neocon's general belligerent, militaristic, pro-democracy, pro-Western, anti-radical Islam views into a Jewish cabal dedicated to the promotion of Israel. (Joe Klein memorably described neoconservatism as "unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy;" accurate, except I would say it's not a cloak, it's what they believe they are fighting for.) For my previous posts on related matters, see here and here.

I'll reiterate what I said in the latter post: "The purpose, then, of associating 'neocons' with Jews, and neoconservatism exclusively or primarily with concern for Israel, is to delegitimize conservative Jews, just as conservative blacks are called 'Uncle Toms' and whatnot."

EvilDave (mail):
The Left has always been comfortable with Anti-Semitism.
9.14.2009 4:42pm
matthewccr:
In the post at issue, Greenwald gives a large block quote (with a link) to Podhoretz' own words that Greenwald summarizes. It seems to me to be neither 'infuriated into delusion' nor lying in his characterization of Podhoretz' claim. Even if he were, Podhoretz' own words are right there for the reader to evaluate themselves whether or not Greenwald's characterization is accurate. It seems hardly the injustice Kampeas (and you) are making it out to be.
9.14.2009 4:46pm
elmdor:
matthewccr is quite right. Greenwald's summary is an accurate representation of Podhoretz's original comment.
9.14.2009 5:08pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Tell you what, Prof. Bernstein:

Glenn Greenwald is quite amenable to interviews and rational discussion. You might contact him and see if he'd be willing to set down one-on-one with you and discuss whether the neocon 'agenda' is "general[ly] belligerent, militaristic, pro-democracy, pro-Western, [and] anti-radical Islam", a "Jewish cabal dedicated to the promotion of Israel", both, neither, or something else (I note that I have never seen Glenn refer to the neocons as a "cabal"; is this something you came up with or did Glenn say any such thing?).

I look forward to hearing such a conversation and I'm sure that such can be arranged.

Cheers,
9.14.2009 5:08pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Greenwald:
The reason why Podhoretzian neocons are so frustrated that more Americans Jews don't respond to their pressure tactics is because most don't think the way neocons do and don't have the same priorities.... That's why Norm Podhoretz and his friends are so angry and confused. Devotion to Israel is at the center of their political world-view -- it's what shapes their political beliefs.
Sounds like a Jewish cabal dedicated to the promotion of Israel to me.
9.14.2009 5:16pm
John (mail):
I always thought of myself as sort of neoconservative--a new conservative, having once been a liberal and having then seen the light. I thought that's what the term meant--a former liberal newly turned conservative.

But it appears that it means something very different. Is the definition of "neoconservative" in this post the common understanding of the term?
9.14.2009 5:17pm
Truth about Kampeas:
Kampeas's own history of being a self-hating Jew writing ignorant screeds should not be excused or forgotten. For example, see: http://tiny.cc/YARXS


It boggles my mind why the Jewish (!) Telegraphic Agency chooses to employ him.
9.14.2009 5:22pm
Barry Loberfeld (mail) (www):
From LIBERALISM: HISTORY AND FUTURE:

As the nation encompasses greater government control, so does the meaning of "liberalism." When the term (like the country) shifted from laissez faire to interventionism, with the advocates of the former renamed "conservatives," both the term and the policy continued down that road -- unstoppably: Progressivism, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society. When some liberals (including a few leftists-turned-liberals) in the 70s opposed any further move beyond the "alphabet soup" (FDR-JFK-LBJ) consensus, they suddenly became "neoconservatives." A person wasn't a neoconservative because he rejected Hubert Humphrey liberalism in favor of a return to Jim Crow, but because he clung to its opposition to quotas and "affirmative action" in the face of the absorption of such programs by the "liberal" juggernaut. And when that juggernaut then absorbed the sunny disposition towards the Soviet Union of George McGovern and his supporters, "neoconservative" pushed out even "Cold War liberal" as a term to denote Henry Jackson and the older (now former) liberals. Any number of persons and publications (e.g., The New Republic) went from "liberal" to "neoconservative" merely by standing still.
9.14.2009 5:22pm
matthewccr:
The reason why Podhoretzian neocons are so frustrated that more Americans Jews don't respond to their pressure tactics is because most don't think the way neocons do and don't have the same priorities.... That's why Norm Podhoretz and his friends are so angry and confused. Devotion to Israel is at the center of their political world-view -- it's what shapes their political beliefs.

Sounds like a Jewish cabal dedicated to the promotion of Israel to me.


You cannot be serious. Talk about infuriated into delusion or willfully lying! In that quote Greenwald explicitly says Jews do not think like the cabal you conjure and do not have the priorities of your imagined cabal! But "Podhoretz and his friends" do. What are you missing?
9.14.2009 5:23pm
Truth about Kampeas:
Sorry used some bad tinyurl service, should have tested it. This is the right link:

9.14.2009 5:24pm
Truth about Kampeas:
9.14.2009 5:24pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
You cannot be serious. Talk about infuriated into delusion or willfully lying! In that quote Greenwald explicitly says Jews do not think like the cabal you conjure and do not have the priorities of your imagined cabal! But "Podhoretz and his friends" do. What are you missing?
I'm afraid you're completely misreading what I wrote. I didn't say that Greenwald says that Jews, in general, form a cabal dedicated to promoting Israel. I said that he distorts neocons' general ideology, which by its nature would include a defense of Israel as a Western, democratic state under attack by militant Islam, into a Jewish cabal to support Israel. Since you acknowledge that Greenwald says that "Podhoretz and his [neocon] friends" do have the priorities of this imagined cabal, you actually agree with me.
9.14.2009 5:28pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
BTW, Podhoretz's opinion piece is not very well written, but he never says the he expected Jews who are very liberal on all other issues to vote for McCain because of Israel. Rather, he says that he expected McCain to get more than 22% of the Jewish vote in large part because of Israel, and at a whole different point of the article he mentions that Jews are overall much more liberal than the general population. I don't know that I'd go quite as far as Kampeas, but Greenwald is clearly putting words in Podhoretz's mouth, words that Podhoretz is too smart to say. More logically, Podhoretz is saying (a) I expected more Jews who are not ideologically committed to left-liberalism to vote for McCain, given his support for Israel; and (b) far too many Jews are ideologically committed to left-liberalism, such that they would never even consider voting or someone like McCain, and such that they drive the entire culture of the American Jewish community to the left.
9.14.2009 5:43pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Bernstein:
I'll reiterate what I said in the latter post: "The purpose, then, of associating 'neocons' with Jews...
Just for the record, it should be stated that Glenn Greenwald does no such thing. In fact, his point in his posts on policy WRT Israel government actions and policy is rather the opposite.

Cheers,
9.14.2009 5:44pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I'm with Professor Bernstein here. It is a big jump from "plenty of neocons are Jewish and care about Israel"-- which is true-- to any sort of association between neoconservativism and Jewish, or even right-wing Jewish, identity. Plenty of members of every other foreign policy school are also Jewish, after all.

We need to find ways of criticizing schools of thought we don't agree with without making ethnic slurs.
9.14.2009 5:49pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Geez, not "associating Jews with 'neocons' [i.e., that Jews tend to be neocons]," but "associating 'neocons' with Jews [i.e., suggesting, as Greenwald. does that neonconservative ideology is just a smokescreen for Jews motivated by an Israel-centric worldview]".
9.14.2009 5:49pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Bernstein:
Sounds like a Jewish cabal dedicated to the promotion of Israel to me.
It may. And to me it might sound like "to-mah-toe" (but my view is irrelevant here). What is true is that <CTL-C> and <CTL-V> are free keys on most keyboards, and you'd be better served actually quoting him than saying what it is that you thought you heard.

And the use of the phrase "Jewish cabal" (your words) is needlessly inflammatory and histrionic. Why?

Cheers,
9.14.2009 5:50pm
BT:
John, regarding the definition of Neoconservatism from Wikipedia:

Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that emerged in the United States of America, and which supports using American economic and military power to bring liberalism, democracy, and human rights to other countries.[1][2][3] In economics, unlike traditionalist conservatives, neoconservatives are generally comfortable with a welfare state; and, while rhetorically supportive of free markets, they are willing to interfere for overriding social purposes.[4]

The term neoconservative was used at one time as a criticism against proponents of American modern liberalism who had "moved to the right".[5][6] Michael Harrington, a democratic socialist, coined the current sense of the term neoconservative in a 1973 Dissent magazine article concerning welfare policy.[7] According to E. J. Dionne, the nascent neoconservatives were driven by "the notion that liberalism" had failed and "no longer knew what it was talking about."[8] The term "neoconservative" was the subject of increased media coverage during the presidency of George W. Bush.[9][10] with particular focus on a perceived neoconservative influence on American foreign policy, as part of the Bush Doctrine.[11]

The first major neoconservative to embrace the term, Irving Kristol, is considered a founder of the neoconservative movement. Kristol wrote of his neoconservative views in the 1979 article "Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed 'Neoconservative.
9.14.2009 5:50pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
5:49 was response to Zuch.
9.14.2009 5:50pm
Teller:
This is the part you bolded as evidence of a Jewish cabal charge:

Devotion to Israel is at the center of their political world-view -- it's what shapes their political beliefs.

Where does it say they are Jewish?

Also, do you not think any such Americans are so devoted. I happen to be on intimate terms with some I might characterize, thus.
9.14.2009 5:52pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Game, set and match.
Prof. Bernstein: More logically, Podhoretz is saying (a) I expected more Jews who are not ideologically committed to left-liberalism to vote for McCain, given his support for Israel...
Ummm, isn't that basically what Greenwald said he said?!?!? What's the big beef?

Cheers,
9.14.2009 5:55pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
And the use of the phrase "Jewish cabal" (your words) is needlessly inflammatory and histrionic
Your defending Greenwald by accusing his critic of being "needlessly inflammatory and histrionic?"

Anyway, it's neither inflammatory nor, certainly histrionic. It's part of a campaign (not in the organized sense) by various left-wing Jewish writers, including Greenwald, to shut up their opponents by claiming that the opponents are motivated by single-minded devotion to Israel. The fact that this plays on anti-Semitic themes and likely encourages anti-Semitism, at least on the margin, is of no concern to them, so long as they advance their ideological agenda. I'd feel the same way about conservative Jews who accuse the ACLU and other heavily Jewish civil liberties groups of setting out to destroy Christianity in the guise of civil libertarianism.
9.14.2009 5:55pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Bernstein channels Podhoretz:
[F]ar too many Jews are ideologically committed to left-liberalism, such that they would never even consider voting or someone like McCain, and such that they drive the entire culture of the American Jewish community to the left.
Oh, really? What would be the right number? And why?

It is a shame they don't listen to Podhoretz and do as he tells them. See Greenwald's posts on Robert Altemayer and RWA.

Cheers,
9.14.2009 6:00pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Anyway, it's neither inflammatory nor, certainly histrionic. It's part of a campaign (not in the organized sense) by various left-wing Jewish writers, including Greenwald, to shut up their opponents by claiming that the opponents are motivated by single-minded devotion to Israel. The fact that this plays on anti-Semitic themes and likely encourages anti-Semitism, at least on the margin, is of no concern to them, so long as they advance their ideological agenda.

This.

I have a very different viewpoint on a lot of Israel issues than Professor Bernstein does. Indeed, I probably agree with Glen Greenwald quite a bit with respect to the MERITS of his criticism of various American "supporters of Israel". But we really, really, really need to remember that it wasn't that long ago when severe anti-semitism in the west led to a string of wrongs ranging from discrimination in Ivy League admissions to the gas chambers. And the accusation that Jews had "dual loyalties" was a favorite of the anti-semites.

We really need to find a way to discuss the Middle East, neoconservativism, and lots of other issues without resorting to references to people's Jewish identities. That, at least, is a lesson I learned from the sorry history of anti-semitism.
9.14.2009 6:01pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Prof. Bernstein: More logically, Podhoretz is saying (a) I expected more Jews who are not ideologically committed to left-liberalism to vote for McCain, given his support for Israel.. Ummm, isn't that basically what Greenwald said he said?!?!? What's the big beef?
No, Greenwald said he said that he expected Jews who ARE ideologically committed to left-liberalism to vote for McCain, given his support for Israel', to wit:
According to him, even though Obama shares most of their views on political matters ("on abortion, gay rights, school prayer, gun control and assisted suicide, the survey data show that Jews are by far the most liberal of any group in America"), American Jews should have nonetheless voted for McCain because of McCain's alleged "long history of sympathy with Israel."
The only way you can extrapolate this from what Podhoretz wrote is if you think P. meant that he expected McCain to get 80%+ of the Jewish vote. A more reasonable interpretation of what P. wrote is that he expected McCain to do significantly better than 22%, perhaps 30-35%, which could still obviously exclude all ideologically very liberal American Jews, who are probably about 40-50% of American Jews. It's true that the vast majority of American Jews are liberal on the social issues mentioned above, but large percentages are also moderate to conservative on economics and foreign policy.
9.14.2009 6:01pm
Mark N. (www):
Isn't this a typical accusation of post-hoc justification? Neoconservatives claim that they support Israel because of a set of general beliefs; while some people accuse them of starting out with a support of Israel, and adopting the general beliefs of neoconservatism as a post-hoc justification. That's an accusation that crops up with basically any ideology, though. The accusation is probably even true in a proportion of cases, in any field: some proportion of the people who hold any ideological position probably adopted it as a post-hoc justification for some previously held viewpoint, bias, or interest (in economics, there's the typical "communists are just jobless hippies" and "capitalists are just justifying their greed" accusations).

I guess the issue would be whether the accusation is made unreasonably often or forcefully specifically for Jews, for reasons derived from anti-Semitic conspiracy theories?
9.14.2009 6:05pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Dilan Esper:
I'm with Professor Bernstein here. It is a big jump from "plenty of neocons are Jewish and care about Israel"-- which is true-- to any sort of association between neoconservativism and Jewish, or even right-wing Jewish, identity. Plenty of members of every other foreign policy school are also Jewish, after all.

We need to find ways of criticizing schools of thought we don't agree with without making ethnic slurs.
Just for the record then, Greenwald is very careful and precise in disambiguating "Jewishness" from "neocon tendencies", and instead makes clear that it is neocon policy towards the Israeli government policies that he attacks, and he has repeatedly in the past stated that most Jews in the United States do not support these, at least to the extent of the neocons. Which is something that even Podhoretz is aware of, seeing as it's the gravamen of his kvetching.

Cheers,
9.14.2009 6:07pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
I feel a little stuck here. I believe (we can argue the accuracy of my belief later) that what we can consider "neo-conservative" foreign policy views about the Middle East do arise from a particular vision they have about Israel, one that generally coincides with the Likud Party's. More settlements. Weak, corrupted, token Palestinian autonomy and no Palestinian land rights. Solution of Arab-Israeli conflict at a level not involving Palestinians, e.g., by arranging for Ahmad Chalabi to lead Iraq. (Chalabi, in telling the neocon marks what they wanted to hear about Israel and Iraq, ran one of the most successful con jobs in human history.) I don't view this as a pro-Israel agenda; I see it as disaster-in-the-making for Israel. Those who hold to it, though, surely think it's to Israel's benefit.

Now, there is nothing intrinsically Jewish about this set of beliefs; the (evangelical Protestant) Christian Zionist movement adheres to them, by and large, as do Dick Cheney and other non-Jews formerly in power. But the intellectual leadership is almost entirely Jewish. How do I point that out without being an anti-Semite?
9.14.2009 6:10pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Bernstein:
It's part of a campaign (not in the organized sense) by various left-wing Jewish writers, including Greenwald, to shut up their opponents by claiming that the opponents are motivated by single-minded devotion to Israel.
More nonsense and folderol. Where has Greenwald ever said that such people should be silenced? He's got a blog to wrote, and in the "If it weren't for the honour, I'd just as soon not have been blacklisted" sense, I'm sure he appreciates the raw material from which to draw his posts. ;-)

More histrionics, Prof. Bernstein? Surely you can do better. I look forward to your interview with him. Shall I put you in touch?, or ask him to contact you?

Cheers,
9.14.2009 6:14pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Andrew:

Neoconservativism, just like any other intellectual movement, is comprised of various people who adopt the positions they adopt for various reasons. Neocon A might be a right-wing Jew who believes that the ideology furthers the goals of the Likud movement, whereas Neocon B might be a non-Likudnik Jew and Neocon C might be a gentile who just believes in US primacy and the use of American force to promote democracy.

And I frankly don't understand what positing a connection between neocons and Likud adds to the discussion. All it does is take the discussion away from the substance of the issues and focuses it instead on the ethnicity of the people advancing the arguments. And it does so in a context where there have been poisonous allegations of dual loyalties in the past.
9.14.2009 6:18pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Bernstein:
[zuch]: And the use of the phrase "Jewish cabal" (your words) is needlessly inflammatory and histrionic
[Prof. Bernstein]: The fact that this plays on anti-Semitic themes and likely encourages anti-Semitism, at least on the margin, is of no concern to them...
So why did you use these words? As I explicitly pointed out, it was not Greenwald that said "Jewish cabal", but rather you.

Cheers,
9.14.2009 6:20pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Dilan, I don't see why we should obscure the relationship between the program Likud Party and an American movement that (arguendo) is strongly behind that program. Presumably if, like me, you think the policy of the Likud Government is short-sighted and destructive, you will have the same opinion of neoconservative foreign policy initiatives.

Nor do I understand why we have to step around the charge of dual loyalties. After all, it is Podhoretz himself who is calling on American Jews to cast their votes in an American election based upon the ramifications for Israel. He says so himself.
In 2008, we were faced with a candidate who ran to an unprecedented degree on the premise that the American system was seriously flawed and in desperate need of radical change—not to mention a record powerfully indicating that he would pursue policies dangerous to the security of Israel.
Now, this doesn't indicate dual loyalties any more than Americans of Cuban ancestry voting for or against Obama because of his policy towards Cuba. But in both cases, it supports a conclusion that the importance given to that single issue is skewed way out of the mainstream, and in Podhoretz's case, even more so because his ideas of how to enhance Israeli security strike many people interested in Israeli security as totally mistaken.
9.14.2009 6:36pm
Richard Riley (mail):
Podhoretz basically said he WISHED more Jews had voted for McCain because of his devotion to the security of Israel, not that they DID, or even WOULD.

The more interesting (and longer) part of Kampeas's column is his take-down of Podhoretz's WSJ piece - which David B doesn't even mention. Kampeas gets much the better of the argument there, I think.
9.14.2009 6:38pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Dilan, I don't see why we should obscure the relationship between the program Likud Party and an American movement that (arguendo) is strongly behind that program. Presumably if, like me, you think the policy of the Likud Government is short-sighted and destructive, you will have the same opinion of neoconservative foreign policy initiatives.

What do you mean the "relationship"? If there were evidence of, say, direct connections between the Likud Party and American neoconservatives, I don't think anyone's arguing that can't be pointed out. But you'd need actual evidence of such connections, and even if they exist, that's a lot different than just making generalized accusations that the Neocons are motivated by their ethnic connections to Israel.

Nor do I understand why we have to step around the charge of dual loyalties. After all, it is Podhoretz himself who is calling on American Jews to cast their votes in an American election based upon the ramifications for Israel. He says so himself.

Again, if someone's arguing specifically that American Jews SHOULD have dual loyalties, there's nothing at all wrong with pointing out what a dumb and dangerous argument that is. But that, again, is a lot different than just drawing general connections between neoconservativism and Jewish ethnicity.

And certainly the fact that Norman Podhoretz makes a dumb argument that American Jews should have dual loyalties doesn't justify his opponents deploying the charge against his ideological compatriots.
9.14.2009 6:42pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Dilan, I don't see why we should obscure the relationship between the program Likud Party and an American movement that (arguendo) is strongly behind that program.
The premise is false. With the partial exception of Natan Sharansky, who is considered hopefully naive in Israel, Likud Party people in Israel are extremely skeptical of the neocons' belief in democratization in the Arab world. Indeed, for better or worse, it has been the policy of all Israeli governments to rely on deals with Arab dictators, who are thought to be more pragmatic than their anti-Israel polities. Plus, some neocons, like Wolfowitz, are strong proponents of much more dovish policies than adopted by Likud.
9.14.2009 7:07pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Aye, carumba.
9.14.2009 7:13pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
I will concede that Wolfowitz is more dovish than the Likud. And also AIPAC, where his dovish speech was booed. I'm sure this is the incident we are both thinking of. So I would suggest that this is an example where we have a single deviationist, and that the lesson to take away is that Wolfowitz is the exception, and the militarist, anti-anything-to-Palestinians viewpoint of those who booed him is the rule.

I had missed, however, the neocons' faith in democratizing the Arab world. As far as I can tell, their affection for Chalabi had very little to do with democracy, and a lot to do with absurd promises of a warm relationship between Iraq and Israel.

As far as the relationship between AIPAC and the Likud Party, here's one example.
Aipac Shelves Major Lobbying Effort [in support of Sharon Peace Plan] After Likud Voters Nix Sharon's Plan
9.14.2009 7:18pm
MarkField (mail):

Again, if someone's arguing specifically that American Jews SHOULD have dual loyalties, there's nothing at all wrong with pointing out what a dumb and dangerous argument that is.


As I read Greenwald, this was the principal purpose of his post -- to criticize Podhoretz for making statements which suggested that Podhoretz himself has dual loyalties and expects other Jews to have them as well.
9.14.2009 7:21pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
As far as the relationship between AIPAC and the Likud Party

That's not the issue. The issue is an alleged relationship between Neocons and the Israeli right. My understanding of AIPAC is they tend to support whoever is in power in Israel, and that has nothing to do with neoconservativism.
9.14.2009 7:24pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Likud Party people in Israel are extremely skeptical of the neocons' belief in democratization in the Arab world.
It could be argued with some force and validity that, for all their high-faluting rhetoric about letting democracy flower in the barrels of guns, some (if not many) neocons are also extremely sceptical of democratization in the Arab world. They have an affinity towards Straussian ideas and think that "democracy" is thing best administered by those who know best. RWA runs high in that bunch.

Cheers,
9.14.2009 7:25pm
zuch (mail) (www):
I should add that democratization worldwide, with and without the help of American force, is the very heart of the neocon program, and that, not Israel, is what was the driving force in their push for the Iraq War, which they hoped would usher in democracy in the Arab world.
I thought it was this:
"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business."
Silly me.

By their actions shall you know them. See, e.g., "Iraq".

Cheers,
9.14.2009 7:34pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Dilan, I disagree with you on whom AIPAC follows. As you can see in the one citation I gave, they followed Likud over Ariel Sharon when the latter became a Greater Israel apostate. You could also compare their comparative proximity to Netanyahu and Olmert during the latter's run as PM.

On another facet, if you want to know where Truth about Kampeas is coming from, his link criticizes Kampeas for, inter alia, refusing to credit Commentary Magazine's rumors that Saddam's chemical weapons were shipped to Syria before the Iraq War. Given our failure to find any laboratories capable of producing these fugitive weapons, nor the scientists responsible, it's worth reiterating that reality-based thinking and honesty are not hallmarks of the neoconservative movement. One should keep that in mind when they talk about democracy in the Arab World.
9.14.2009 7:39pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
As far as the relationship between AIPAC and the Likud Party, here's one example.
That's not a very good example. The story says that the governing party, Likud, rejected its Prime Minister's plan. While that's not the way it turned out, the logical next step would have been for Sharon to be replaced as prime minister or for new elections to be called. Instead, Sharon started his own party. But it wouldn't have made sense for AIPAC to lobby for a proposal by a government that looked about to fall.
9.14.2009 8:00pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Zuch, you're linking to something Jonah Goldberg wrote. Jonah may be Jewish (his mother isn't I'm not sure if he is), and he may be a conservative, but I'm pretty sure he's not a neoconservative; I don't believe he identifies as such, and I've never seen anyone who actually knows anything about neoconservatives identify him as such.
9.14.2009 8:02pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I will concede that Wolfowitz is more dovish than the Likud. And also AIPAC, where his dovish speech was booed
That wasn't an AIPAC speech, it was a speech at a public rally to support Israel at the height of the Second Intifada.
9.14.2009 8:06pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Richard Riley: I do generally agree with Kampeas, but I've been mean to blog something similar, so I'll wait until I do to comment.

And I accidentally deleted this: "I should add that democratization worldwide, with and without the help of American force, is the very heart of the neocon program, and that, not Israel, is what was the driving force in their push for the Iraq War, which they hoped would usher in democracy in the Arab world."
9.14.2009 8:08pm
Can't find a good name:
Andrew Lazarus: I disagree with your analysis of the AIPAC-Likud relationship with regard to the Gaza issue. When Likud held its referendum against the Gaza withdrawal plan, AIPAC stopped lobbying for the plan, because at the time Likud was Sharon's own party and the plan would have had a hard time going forward before Sharon had his own party on board. Note that AIPAC didn't start to actively oppose the withdrawal, even though that might have pleased many Likud voters at the time -- they just stopped lobbying in favor of it.

As this Forward article, from a year later, by the same writer indicates, AIPAC did support the Gaza withdrawal plan a year later, once Sharon had gotten the approval of his own cabinet and the Knesset for it.
9.14.2009 8:16pm
Glenn Greenwald (mail):

Let me add that I am not a neoconservative,


Good one.


but I find worse than distasteful the consistent willful distortion by the likes of Greenwald of the neocon's general belligerent, militaristic, pro-democracy, pro-Western, anti-radical Islam views into a Jewish cabal dedicated to the promotion of Israel.


I'm more than willing to let Podhoretz's words -- which I excerpted at length -- speak for themselves. Any honest person can see I described his argument exactly as he made it. But for those who want more, here's The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier. reviewing Podhoretz's book in The New York Times:

[Jewish-Americans'] steadfast allegiance to the Democratic Party, Podhoretz insists, now flies in the face of Jewish interests. . . . The Jewish interest that makes Podhoretz most desperate for a Jewish defection to the Republicans is Israel."


That's precisely what Podhoretz argues. It's precisely what I said he argued. And it's exactly that view that, if one attributes to neocons, will subject one with the smear of anti-Semitism. Thanks for proving that point so well.

[EDITOR: Hey thanks for visiting Glenn. First, I don't accuse you of anti-Semitism. I accuse you to being indifferent to anti-Semitism, at least if it doesn't serve your political agenda. As for my views, I wrote my college thesis on neoconservatism, with a focus on Podhoretz and Kristol, so between that and the fact that I actually know my own views on politics, I think I'm in a pretty good position, rather better than you are, to know whether I'm a neoconservative.

As for Wieseltier, after I read Podhoretz's book, we can debate what Podhoretz writes in that book, and what it says about Podhoretz specifically and neocons generally. But what Podhoretz did NOT say in the WSJ, and what you attributed to him, is that he thinks that Jews who otherwise agree with Obama on most political matters should vote for against him because of Israel, or that he expected them to do so.

It's not a well-written essay, but he clarifies in the essay that he hoped that seeing how Obama associated with the likes of Khalidi and Wright would lead some Jews to "finally break free of the liberalism to which they have remained in thrall." In other words, he hoped that the shock of seeing that the great liberal candidate somehow also associated with anti-Israel characters would shake Jews out of their reflexive liberalism, at which point they would vote for McCain, not that they would somehow stay liberal but vote for McCain because he was better for Israel.

This would make even more sense if he had pointed out that some Jews who relexively vote for Democrats aren't really very liberal if you ask them their policy views, but associate Jewish interests, culture, etc., with voting for liberal Democrats, and perhaps having a pro-Israel Republican vs. Rev. Wright's friend would change their mind. But, I recognize that he didn't actually say this, though it's a more likely interpration than yours.]
9.14.2009 8:17pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Prof. Bernstein:
Zuch, you're linking to something Jonah Goldberg wrote. Jonah may be Jewish (his mother isn't I'm not sure if he is), and he may be a conservative, but I'm pretty sure he's not a neoconservative; I don't believe he identifies as such, and I've never seen anyone who actually knows anything about neoconservatives identify him as such.
Actually, Goldberg is quoting Michael Ledeen. You can find more with a Google of "Ledeen" and "crappy little country". HTH. I thought you'd be more familiar with this. And also, National Review (in which Goldberg wrote this) is very friendly nowadays to neocons, even if The Weekly Standard sets the pace.... :-)

Cheers,
9.14.2009 8:18pm
neurodoc:
Andrew J. Lazaarus @ 6:10PM: I believe (we can argue the accuracy of my belief later) that...
Andrew J. Lazarus @ 6:36PM: I don't see why we should obscure the relationship between the program Likud Party and an American movement that (arguendo) is strongly behind that program.
It seems your case, one that assigns most, if not all, fault to Israel, little or none to the Palestinians and neighboring Arabs ("More settlements. Weak, corrupted, token Palestinian autonomy and no Palestinian land rights.") rests on your beliefs that "neocons" in the US and Likud supporters in Israel think the same way (except when they don't, like Wolfowitz) and act in concert with each other to influence US foreign policy; there was a link between Israel and the US's decision to go to war in Iraq that ran through Chalabi; and others that you have previously elaborated, all to the same effect. So, if we don't accept these predicates of yours, we can reject the conclusions you urge upon us. OK, I reject them.
9.14.2009 8:23pm