Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich were the only members of congress to vote against a call to charge Ahmadinajad with violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The U.S. House of Representatives urged the U.N. Security Council to charge Iran’s president under genocide conventions.

The non-binding resolution, initiated by Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), passed Wednesday by 411-2. It cites an Oct. 27 speech in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad allegedly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” in its call for the Security Council to charge him under its 1948 convention for the prevention of genocide.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) attempted to have read into the record alternate translations of Ahmadinejad’s remarks that suggest the Iranian leader was calling Israel to come to an end through democratic means, and not through violence.

The two Representatives who voted against the resolution were Ron Paul (R-TX) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), both running for President who doubted the translation of Ahmadinejad’s comments. Kucinich cited faulty information leading up to the Iraq War as grounds for concern about the accuracy of Ahmadinejad’s comments. In other words, Kucinech and Paul thinks that this is all part of a new “war with Iran” propaganda.

Rep. Rothman asserted that Ahmadinejad had expressed the desire to “wipe Israel off the map” in an October 2005 speech and had made subsequent comments of a similar nature. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), expressing her support for the bill, stated: “Let us be clear, [Ahmadinejad] is calling for the genocide of Jews.”

Under the 1948 Genocide Convention, “direct and public incitement to commit genocide” is illegal.

Michael Rubin writes in the National Review online that revisionists and apologists have tried to soften the wording of the famous call to”Wipe Israel off the map.” He points out that Juan Cole wrote:

So, I have a suggestion for my readers. Every time you see a newspaper article that alleges that Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be wiped off the face of the map, please write the editor. Say that this idiom does not exist in Persian, and that what Ahmadinejad actually said was, “This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” And you can cite me.

Well, the real quote is there for the taking on an official Iranian News site:

Ahmadinejad: Israel must be wiped off the map
01:34:13 È.Ù
Tehran, Oct 26 – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”.

“The establishment of the Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world,” the President told a conference in Tehran entitled ‘the world without Zionism’.

“The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land,” he said.

“As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,” said Ahmadinejad, referring to the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini.

Does not leave much room for “interpretation” or misunderstanding.

So Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinech – are your coffers so empty that you hope to fill them with some Iranian Oil profits? Not that anyone is going to vote for these two candidates for President—but they should get voted out of Congress for their blatant tuches-kissing to of all dictators, the one that wants Israel gone.

Juan Cole— we always knew which team you played for, so it is no surprise to see that YET AGAIN your credibility as a so-called scholar of the region has been cast into great doubt. Perhaps you and Finkelstein can get jobs in Tehran?

About the author

Rabbi Yonah

120 Comments

  • Plain and simple dude,,you love war so much, why don’t you go fight! 70% of Americans want out of Iraq, this is a government of the people,,for the people and by the people. DO AS THE PEOPLE WANT.

    Yer prolly a disgusting fat body anyway like all these war mongers,,FATTY!

    I’m so sick of this crap!

  • I’m sure I’m some kind of closet anti-semite but shit sake, can’t the jews fight their own wars? How come I gotta be involved?

    Oh and yeah that “genocide” argument. Doesn’t Iran have a sizeable jewish minority? If he wanted to genocide the jews, why wouldn’t he start at home? Newsflash: ISRAELI STATE != JEWISH POPULATION. It’s just a crappy government like everywhere else.

  • I support the state of Israel but this is their war; if Iran has an issue with Israel, why is America being called to the front lines? America has provided Israel with enough nukes to blow Iran off the map; American taxpayers should also have no obligation of sending Israel six billion dollars a year in military aid, Israel is strong enough to fight or engage in diplomatic talks.

    AIPAC has bought and paid most American politicians, and honest politicians like Ron Paul and Kucinich are gonna have to deal with smear tactics of AIPAC, who want America to deal with Iran for Israel. Enough is enough!

  • Actually, Iran HAD a decent jewish population until the 50s, when the CIA launched a false flag operation and removed Dr. Mossadegh and his democratic government. He was thenreplaced by the Shah, and the rest is history. We’re in the whole mess with Iran because of US and oil…it’s no different than with Iraq.
    Maybe Ahmadinejad isn’t calling for the destruction of Israel, but for the destruction of her government, in the same way that most people generally like Americans, but hate our government?

    P.s. Iran won’t even have WMDs for at least another eight years–maybe they’re just trying to come up with an alternative to oil like we should be doing?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/01/AR2005080101453.html

  • I am so glad that this shows just how irrational and nutty Ron Paul, Kucinich and his fake leftist supporters are. These are the people who must be ignored and isolated; it scares me how much play they get within younger circles.

  • Someone reads one Chomsky book and things he/she knows the whole history of the Middle East. Pathetic. Though I am heartened in knowing that absolutely no one with a shred of decent, rational thought really gives Kucinich or Paul any second thought.

  • Oh and Bret, don’t worry there is nothing closeted about your anti-semitism when you claim that Jews fight wars by proxy. Don’t feel bad though, it puts you on par with the hate filled ignorance of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Besides, I prefer straight forward anti-semitism rather than the person who smiles at me but deep down hates Jews.

  • Rabbi, I wouldn’t say either Kucinich or Paul are “running” for President. They’re walking. Backwards. They are and will forever be known as perenial “fringe” candidates – and with the exception of both Harold Stassen and Pat Paulson a label akin to “kookball”.

    Remember Ron Paul was actually on the ballot in ’88 as the Libertarian Party candidate. Both are as likely to make an impact as Lyndon LaRouche was in the Democratic primary in ’96. Kucinich supporters # in the tens and most support him because they feel sorry for him.

    This seemed to be a well-attended vote for a non-binding resolution. I’d be curious to know who the 22 abstainers were and their reasons.

  • bret Says:
    June 22nd, 2007 at 12:19 pm
    I’m sure I’m some kind of closet anti-semite but shit sake, can’t the jews fight their own wars? How come I gotta be involved

    HAHA Bret!! That’s some funny crap! Actually Bret, be like me,,All people are equally worthless. The only person who I care about is my 80 year old handicap mom, who I care for.

    You people need real problem in life, like caring for some one who can’t even take a crap without help, then you will realize what a problem really is.

    What’s all this anti-race crap anyway, there are only two types of people in the world anyway. Italians,,and those aren’t!!

  • It is unfortunate that people continue to abuse the term anti-semitic. It devalues the meaning of the word, and betrays a lack of historical understanding.

    It is NOT anti-semitic for American politicians to vote according to the US constitution! It is arguably undemocratic for foreign lobby groups to have the amount of influence they have in the US.

    I’m a strong supporter of Israel, but I’m sick and tired this demonization of political opponents.

  • Well said Holly!I bet the guy who wrote this Blog, doesnt even know about REAL history, like who helped the Nazi’s into power,,,hmm,,,Alittle hint,,his grandson is president!!

  • No one wrote or implied that Ron Paul or Kucinich are anti-semitic; though each of made comments about Israeli influence on policy that certainly is precarious. I did say that Bret was clearly an anti-semite, considering he made the claim that Jews have the world fight their wars. And if looks like a duck, acts like a duck, walks like a duck…

    So maybe Ron Paul isn’t an anti-semite. He is, however, kind of a kook whose faux-populist schtick is tired and saddening that people buy into it the ways in which they also bought into Lyndon Larouche.

  • Holly, you need to relax a bit. The post didn’t call Paul or Kucinich anti-semitic. One of our visitors referred to another commenter’s remark “I’m sure I’m some kind of closet anti-semite” by accepting the claim.

    Cornelius, thanks for the link to the Antiwar article.

  • Adam,,you know what,, You are right,,,I think we need Big Government,,more War,,more Government intervention in our lives. BIG BROTHER!!! Hey maybe the Goverment can put you fatties on a diet..

  • Adam- Are you seriously denying the CIA coup in Iran in ’53, its motivations, and its implications? There is enough scholarship available that says you are the irrational one. Sorry.

    Rabbi-
    This statement is not in violation of the Convention on Genocide. Article 3 says:

    The following acts shall be punishable:

    * (a) Genocide;
    * (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
    * (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
    * (d) Attempt to commit genocide;
    * (e) Complicity in genocide.

    Genocide being defined as:

    * (a) Killing members of the group;
    * (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    * (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    * (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    * (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    Can you explain how quoting the equally insane Ruhollah Khomeini’s statement violates that 3rd article within the definition of the 2nd? I assume you will point (c) of Article 2, but I suppose the burden is on you to explain how a widely accepted mistranslation of quotation fits that criteria. The ICJ would have an impossible time doing so, I suspect you will as well.

    I say mistranslation because the quote:
    “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.”

    Was oddly and inexplicably mistranslated by IRNA and then carried by media outlets. Rabbi, the word Israel isn’t even IN this sentence, neither is the word Jew. Seriously. And to place that statement in context, when Khamen’ei gives sermons and people chant death to Israel, they say “Marghbar esrail”, not “marghbar rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods”, which means the regime occupying Jersualem. The word map “nagsheh” isn’t there…wipe out, also not there.

    The quote is:
    “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time”.

    The truth is, after the revolution Khomeini ran a poor ship in Iran and when things were going poorly domestically he used this kind of inciting language against the US and Israel as a political tactic. In this context, we should be able to deduce or at least debate why he would say that the regime occupying Jerusalem must disappear from the pages of time. Surely he wasn’t speaking militarily…because he had no MEANS of speaking militarily against Israel.

    I am no defender or fan of the regime in Iran, but I fail to see how we as Jews would lend our support to a military strike on Iran, which would result in the loss of SO much life and put Israel in a far more precarious position than it is already in. This resolution strikes me as another bang on an increasingly loud war drum, not a real attempt to temper an Iranian nutjob.

  • Elon, no I wasn’t denying that at all. I wasn’t taking issue with Jared’s point. I was specifically commenting on the claims above that fall into irrational, stereotypical, pointless platitudes that often come out of the so-called peace camps.

    Jeez, does anyone actually READ my comments? Though I will say this; Mossadeq has been really romanticized within most narratives, adn he was actually a pretty nasty, explotative guy. Neither here nor there.

  • Another point of clarification…how is it precisely that Iran hasn’t already declared war on Israel with its support, arming and training of members of Hamas and Hezbollah? People either conveniently ignore this or somehow categorize these types of attacks (since they are not by a regular army) as being inconsequential.

  • Adam-
    A fine argument to make. It doesn’t however have a thing to do with this resolution or your previous statements regarding Iran.

    This also opens up the discussion. How is it that the U.S. hasn’t already declared de facto war on Iran with its covert operations inside of Iran? That’s a violation of its sovereignty. And whoooop, down the slippery slope we go!

  • Elon, seriously, I didn’t make any previous comments about Iran?? (I just scrolled through again to double check and nope) Unless of course you are referencing a previous post or something. Look, I agree with you in principle. I would rather the United States support liberal elements in Iran, the whole secret, shadowy war methodology is no way to run a democracy. In fact, one could argue that a democracy can’t truly exist under those conditions. That said, I do think it would also be somewhat foolish to entirely ignore the claims of Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs entirely. It is difficult to place rational thought onto inherently irrational actions. So yes, rationally speaking Iranian leaders would be crazy to attempt to start a regional war. But when you add in a martyr-based ideology (one that believes the Mahdi will only come after a cataclysmic event) that is innately irrational, I think that it is only wise to at least prepare for any possibility.

  • Elon,

    My long response including links was just refreshed on me and I don’t feel like redoing the research. Many people have looked at that phrase and have disagreed with Cole and his translation. The NY Times even wrote an article where they specifically went to Persian translators and to the Iranian foreign ministry’s own translators and concluded that Cole was wrong.

    Recently, the illustrious Iranian leader called for the “destruction of Israel” and once again all of the apologists are here to tell us that he doesn’t mean destruction but, you know, destruction. The other kind. Take a look at what the Islamist movement, Hamas, did in Gaza and maybe you get a clue as to what is meant?

    In any case, unlike you and others such as Paul who view this vote regarding genocidal statements as a stepping stone to war, I view it as a stepping stone to international condemnation of Iran. It adds leverage and a means of pressuring that regime.

    You see, nothing else is working. Talking to them isn’t working, ask the Germans, and threatening them isn’t working. Sanctions aren’t working and neither are any threats of further sanctions. The UN has no pull with them either. In fact, nothing has changed regarding Iran and all of their Leftist defenders except that they are now producing nuclear material, have had a Holocaust denial conference, and their glorious leader keeps giving speeches in which he calls for the destruction of Israel.

    Now, I realize there are some Jewish voices calling for war against Iran, but I don’t see many such voices. In fact, I see very few such voices. Instead, I hear plenty of voices, including AIPAC, for example, calling for more talk and pressure on Iran.

    This non-binding resolution is a way to apply more pressure on Iran, not to go to war. And by the way, the Ron Paul article advocates developing friendlier relations with Iran in lieu of taking a harsh line (he assumes it’s going to be war) and it seems to me quite misguided to take a friendly and supportive approach to a regime that considers the “destruction” of Israel or any other state to be a legitimate articulation of its goals.

  • Adam-

    Sorry, I thought this:
    Adam Says:
    June 22nd, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Someone reads one Chomsky book and things he/she knows the whole history of the Middle East. Pathetic. Though I am heartened in knowing that absolutely no one with a shred of decent, rational thought really gives Kucinich or Paul any second thought.

    Was a direct response to Jared’s comments on Iran. If it wasn’t, I apologize.

    I would like to clarify, I DON’T think that the US should support liberal elements in Iran. It hasn’t worked. We have to come to terms with the fact that the US has no credibility in Iran.

    TM-
    I hate that refresh thing…twice now on my response on the “hamastan” thread that has happened.

    I am not going off of Juan Cole’s translation. I don’t really care about Juan Cole. I’m going off of my limited knowledge of Farsi vocabulary, and a discussion about the bits I can’t translate with a good friend of mine born in Tehran, now living in the states. In that same speech he also references the U.S.S.R saying that no one could have imagined this regime crumbling, but we have in fact seen that happen. Context. Listen, I don’t think it was a proper diplomatic statement. I strongly disagree with it personally, but SURELY it is not one worthy of condemnation as inciting genocide. And we should not be passing resolutions, binding or otherwise to “do something else” if the conditions for passing that resolution are not clearly met. It undermines international law.

    Finally, since i need to get some work done at work…Let me ask you, what’s the end goal of “international condemnation”? What effect do you envision it having on the situation on the ground? Whose interests does it serve, and why?

  • Out of curiosity, where are all of these charming new readers coming here from? I assume there’s a single referrer — guessing from what passes as vocabulary for them that they’re from the Paul camp, not Kucinich’s.

    Jared: You might want to get the slightest clue about the history of the Iranian Jewish community (say, about their relationship with the Shah) before handing out your little lectures.

  • JSinger- If you’re referring to me, I’ve been a long time reader and used to be a frequent poster on this site. Don’t have anything to do with either Paul or Kucinich.

  • Elon, no worries…since my post came up right under Jared’s, I understand the confusion. When I was posting his comment was yet to have been posted, and my response was more directed towards Bret and Robert who (unlike Jared) did not contribute anything but hatred.

    And to be a little more specific…re: the Iranian liberal elements, I meant specifically when there are student uprisings and such (say, like the soccer riots in 2001–I believe it was in ’01?) where we basically offered no inkling of support for nascent moverments of liberalization in Iran. I think it is unfair to just wash our hands clean of Iran; for our own security reasons and perhaps just as importantly because of the oppression of the Iranian people.

  • JSinger- If you’re referring to me…

    No, I largely agree with you. (Except for your defense of the notion that the hostility to jews and Israel came from the Shah, not from Khomeini.)

    It’s the loons who posted early and have now moved on to wherever their new marching orders have sent them that I was wondering about.

  • Again, Iranian translators disagree with you. In fact, I recently saw a Toronto blog by an Iranian guy who also translated the phrase in a manner that suggests destruction. I see it as a call to genocide and find it hard to see it any other way. The fact is that Iran acknowledges supporting Hizbullah and Hamas directly. This isn’t sport, it’s support of murder.

    The end goal of international condemnation is to have Iran act like a citizen of the world which doesn’t threaten its neighbors, including the Sunni countries that tend to provide much of the world’s energy supplies. It means that they don’t threaten democracies like Israel simply because they disapprove of a “regime.” In other words, the goal is to show the Iranians that it’s better to be peaceful and harmonious than belligerent and threatening. As for whose interests are served, I would venture that giving an Islamic theocracy one of whose leaders believes in some apocalypse nuclear capability threatens Europe physically and in terms of energy supplies and economy. It threatens the US in energy supplies and economy. It threatens Israel physically. In short, the West’s interests are served, as are the interests of the Arab kingdoms that currently populate the Gulf.

  • TM-
    Wow. First off, while not exactly on let me present:
    The end goal of international condemnation is to have the United States act like a citizen of the world which doesn’t threaten its neighbors, including the Sunni countries that tend to provide much of the world’s energy supplies. It means that they don’t threaten democracies like Iran simply because they disapprove of a “regime.”

    Secondly, who is the Bush Administration to tell ANYONE “it’s better to be peaceful and harmonious than belligerent and threatening”? That’s been there Modus Operandi.

    Finally TM….apocalyptic scenarios are not only prevalent in Tehran, we’ve got some folks with their own scenario in Washington, D.C. Also, quickly…Iran NEEDS Europe and it NEEDS Israel/Palestine.

  • Ron Paul’s comments regarding resolution 21:

    ” Clearly, language threatening to wipe a nation or a group of people off the map is to be condemned by all civilized people. And I do condemn any such language. But why does threatening Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as many here have done, not also deserve the same kind of condemnation? Does anyone believe that dropping nuclear weapons on Iran will not wipe a people off the map? When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide? And we wonder why the rest of the world accuses us of behaving hypocritically, of telling the rest of the world ‘do as we say, not as we do.'”

  • Ron Paul is against nukes. Thats great I am too.
    So step up to the plate and condemn IRAN. They are the only country threatening another with nukes.

    I had a feeling we would attract a gander of Paulists when I posted this.

    To all the Paulists: Welcome to Jewlicious! I don’t advocate nuking Iran, nor does anyone else here.

  • Cut the theatrics, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich do not want Israel to be destroyed, and they’re hardly cuddling up to Ahmadinejad. At least as far as Dr. Paul is concerned, whining for the United Nations to do something is, in of itself, un-American. Let Iran and Israel settle their dispute on their own, American blood need not be shed.

  • For the record, since the Paul supporters who visit us keep referring to American blood being spilled for Israel, American soldiers have never fought for Israel and have never been asked to do so.

  • @themiddle: I’m sorry. You are right the article itself does not say they are anti-semitic. I wonder why the article does not examine the motivation for the no votes.

    @Adam: First you write: “No one wrote or implied that Ron Paul or Kucinich are anti-semitic;” and then you write: “So maybe Ron Paul isn’t an anti-semite. “. I’m confused.

    Also, what Bret said was not clearly anti-semitic. Your interpretation of what he said was however clearly anti-semitic. I think what Bret wrote was in poor taste, ill-informed and factually wrong, but not anti-semitic.

    @Article: Why are we scared of Iran getting a nuclear weapon? The USSR had 40.000 of them and we lived through that. We can do the same with Iran. We should be focused on creating good relations with all countries, not bullying them. It is kindergarten-level diplomatics.

    Other than that, I think it’s been interesting to read this thread, and far more insightful than the article.

  • @Rabbi Yonah: Iran is not threatening to use nuclear weapons, where did you get that from? They are explicitly saying they want to develop nuclear power for civilian use. You rightfully don’t trust them, but they have not threatened to use nuclear weapons.

    The US is, however, threatening and explicitly saying nuclear weapons are on the table, and several prominent politicians have called for a war of aggression against Iran (including the use of nuclear weapons).

    I don’t know how to address the problems of the middle-east. I doubt bullying and machismo is the way forward though. We need a constructive and positive approach.

    A common tactic for an unsuccessful regime is to invent and demonize an outside enemy. We are making it too easy for them to use us like that. Also it seems like we are using Iran in a similar fashion.

  • Cross-posted to:

    http://newcentrist.wordpress.com

    “can’t the jews fight their own wars?”

    “AIPAC has bought and paid most American politicians, and honest politicians like Ron Paul and Kucinich are gonna have to deal with smear tactics of AIPAC, who want America to deal with Iran for Israel.”

    These comments by Ron Paul’s minions are emblematic of a disturbing but predictable political phenomena, the convergence of the far left and far right. Disturbing because both display elements of what historian Richard Hofstadter termed “the paranoid style in American politics” but predictable given the weakness and marginalization of the political extremes in the United States.

    For regular readers, the National Jewish Democratic Council named him Paul one of “the worst of the worst for the Jewish community in the 109th Congress.” This is not only because he is explicitly anti-Israel, saying nonsense like “Israel is not an ally of the United States” but he is also a contributor to anti-Semitic left rags like “Counterpunch” and highly lauded at the most vile anti-Semitic right-wing websites like the fascist “National Vanguard.”

    He’s also a bigot.

    Back in 1992 during the Los Angeles riots, his “Ron Paul Survival Report” newsletter, had an article titled “Los Angeles Racial Terrorism.” In it, Paul described African-Americans as “barbarians” and called the rioters “thugs and revolutionaries who hate Euro-American civilization.”

    In another article he wrote, “I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city [Washington D.C.] are semi- criminal or entirely criminal.” The same article blames “liberals” and “the welfare state for telling African-Americans that they ‘are entitled to something for nothing.’”

    What a guy…

  • Holly,

    Ahmadinejad explicitly states that it is his avowed goal to destroy Israel. He also wants to acquire nuclear weapons. Do the math. Now, this–of course—isn’t a guarantee that he would ever do such a thing. However it does mean that any person of concious (and particularly any Jew) should at the least be wary and ready to protect itself. There’s a reason that states like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are just as afraid of Iran getting the bomb…clearly with its support of Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran has its eyes on a hegemonic, Shiia domination of the Middle East in one way or the other. Nuclear weapons would only make that equation much more possible. You say that we need a constructive and positive approach…but how are you ever going to be constructive and positive with someone who denies the Holocaust? You are right about the USSR, but never, not once did the Soviet Union explicitly state that it was their desired goal to destroy the United States (and, in fact, US and Soviet officials–ambassadors, council members, etc…often had somewhat close working relations).

    I think that military action is the absolute LAST option in any instance. But when it comes to a distinct existential threat to my peoples’ homeland, I do think that all options are on the table.

    Lastly, if what Bret said (that America fights wars for Israel) isn’t anti-semitic, then I suggest you read up a little bit on popular and re-occurring anti-semitic ideas. One popular one is that wars were fought because of Jewish interests.

  • One more small point, something I alluded to earlier in the thread. Again, you call for constructive, positive approaches. Yet Iran has already shown its hand by causing death, destruction and terror in Israel and Lebanon with its support of Hezbollah and Hamas. So, if it does come to war, Iran has already fired the first salvo a long time ago.

  • “For the record, since the Paul supporters who visit us keep referring to American blood being spilled for Israel, American soldiers have never fought for Israel and have never been asked to do so.”

    During the 1991 Gulf War, the Shamir government was pressured by the U.S. to not respond to any attacks against Israel. There was popular pressure to respond after SCUD Missiles started falling down on Israeli cities but George Bush Sr. was worried that the Arab governments in the UN coalition would have pulled out. So here you have an instance of Israel getting attacked, wanting to send troops and/or air-support, and the U.S. refusing that support.

    Anyone who thinks that a nuclear armed Iran is only a threat to Israel is deluding themselves. Once Iran gets the capability, it is only a matter or time before a device gets in the hands of terrorists with transnational aspirations. Their target will be the U.S. not Israel. Doing what the Ron Paul’s of the world want, closing up in our shell and becoming isolationist, is not the answer. We—the democratic world, however you want to slice it—face a global totalitarian ideology and movements in an economically integrated (or globalized) world. We—the democratic world—must be internationalist in our approach to this threat and willing to use both hard and soft power to defeat it. Like the struggle against the Soviet Union this is going to be a long war.

  • @Adam: I perfectly agree that the world is safer if Iran does not have nuclear weapons. In fact, it would be safer if there were no nuclear weapons around period. My understanding is that Iran has not explicitly stated they want nuclear weapons. In fact, I think they’ve said the reverse.

    Concerning the USSR. Nikita Khrushchev did threaten to bury the west. Remarkably, that may have been an ambiguous translation incident. I think the existential threat was worse during the cold war. Threats were both numerous and explicit, and our enemy was far better armed. There was a nuclear arms race, who could point the most numerous and destructive nuclear weapons at the other side.

    I’m sorry. I just don’t believe that Iran is as irrational as people want us to believe. Israel can wipe out Iran. Iran can barely touch Israel. I strongly believe that the only way forward is through trade, friendly diplomacy, and normalized relations. Nothing good comes from preemptive wars and bullying.

  • @WESV1: Ron Paul is not advocating isolationism, but he is advocating non-interventionism. Those are two very different concepts. For instance, Ron Paul is for the war in Afghanistan and he is for hunting Osama Bin Laden. In contrast, he is against preemptive wars (wars of aggression).

  • AIPAC AND THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY

    AIPAC tries to represent itself as though it and its policies represent mainstream American Jewish interests. In reality, the 100,000 members of AIPAC represent a small minority of American Jews; yet their leaders’ voices are shrill, and their influence is grossly out of proportion to their actual numbers. According to a recent Gallop Poll, 70% of American Jews are against both the Iraq war and the belligerent neoconservative policies of the Bush Administration, thus putting to rest the rather nasty accusation in some circles that Jews pushed the Bush Administration toward the war in Iraq.

    In fact, AIPAC speaks neither for American Jews nor for Israelis. Unfortunately, it has evolved into a mouthpiece for the Bush Administration in the US and Israel’s Likud-Kadima right-wing alliance in Israel. In other words, it speaks not for the will of the majority of the citizens in either country, but rather for powerful government officials, neoconservative think tanks, politicized Christian Zionists, and others who wield power in both Israeli and American governmental circles.

    When Yitzhak Rabin became Israel’s prime minister in 1992, he informed leaders of major American Jewish Organizations that he would be speaking, not through them, but directly to the president and to congressional leaders [Bruce S. Ticker, Philadelphia Jewish Voice]. Unfortunately, Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli zealot.

    Today in Israel there is a broad range of political parties and shifting alliances, matched by an equally broad spectrum of opinions by Israelis themselves, who debate openly about the merits of government policy; yet in the United States, debate about Israel has been stifled effectively by cries of anti-Semitism, even against citizens who are practicing Jews.

    Glenn Greenwald points out that “There is a real, and quite disturbing, discrepancy between the range of permissible views on these issues within our mainstream political discourse and the views of a large segment of the American public. The former almost completely excludes the latter.” [From The New York Sun, Enforced orthodoxies and Iran,” (2/03/2007)]

  • Thanks Santos, but your comment has nothing to do with this discussion. AIPAC is not advocating for a war or attack against Iran. AIPAC is advocating diplomatic and political pressure on Iran so as to avoid war.

    Furthermore, and more important, the bullshit about members of the Jewish community or others being stifled in their speech is patently false. The numbers of Jews and non-Jews who attack Israel, Zionism, AIPAC, the mainstream Jewish community, the history of the Jews, Jewish practices, Jewish “influence,” etc. is so fucking endless that I wish somebody would put me on salary to counter these attacks the way some of these attackers are on salary to promulgate these lies (hi Muzzlewatch). Oh, and while sometimes the word “antisemitism” does come up, I’ve usually seen it used judiciously. If anything, what has happened is that far too many people out there attempt to pre-empt any criticism of their writing by crying that they’ll be labeled antisemitic.

  • Holly, it’s the other way around. Iran can destroy Israel and Israel can cause damage to Iran but would not destroy it. Israel’s population of 7 million people, especially the 5.8 million Jewish people, is concentrated in the center of the country. A couple of well aimed nuclear bombs – and the Iranians have sophisticated long range rockets – will not only kill large numbers of Israelis, the radiation will render the area dangerous for the Israeli (and Palestinian) populations for a while.

    Such bombs would devastate the economy, food supplies, etc. Also, imagine having to live in such a place where a sworn enemy has this capability and continues to threaten your home with destruction. Would you live in such a place? Would you build it up? Would you invest in it? Would you leave it and thereby be part of a stream of departures that endangers the place?

    These are existential issues, to be sure.

    On the other hand, Iran has a population of 65 million in a land mass (1.648 million sq km) many times the size of Israel (20,770 sq km). It has numerous population centers so that even if you could launch a number of nuclear bombs at Teheran, you’d still leave untouched the majority of the country and the majority of the population.

    Take a look at the 80:1 size ratio between the two countries and the 10:1 population ratio between Iran and Israel and you’ll begin to understand why Israel is truly afraid.

    As for the Americans, since 1979 Iran has been overtly hostile. One can agree or disagree about the justification for this hostility, but the fact is that the US is considered an enemy by this Islamic theocracy.

    Iran’s strategic position in the Gulf will be dramatically enhanced with nukes and could create a difficult situation for those allies of ours who provide this country and the West in general with much of the fuel that keeps our lives and economies humming. A nuclear Iran is a huge threat to the West and to the US, not just to Israel.

    Now, again, nobody is seeking to attack Iran because everybody is aware that there will be severe consequences. The Iranians are not pushovers.

    The question is whether any solutions exist short of attacking Iran and the answer is that if the world was unified about this issue, the Iranians might be persuaded to change tactics.

    Nobody, however, changes their plans because somebody is being nice to them. That’s just not how countries or politicians operate, that’s pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Countries and politicians operate out of self-interest and the only way to stop Iran’s nuclear program without bombing them is to find pressure points that are more damaging to Iran than the benefits they perceive they’d get from nuclear power.

    One area in which the Iranians are currently vulnerable is in the legal definition, according to the international community, of the Convention on Genocide (see Elon’s comment #17). The House has now voted in favor of a non-binding resolution implying that the Iranians have indeed violated this international convention. For some reason, some politicians feel that this is merely a Bush ploy instead of understanding that something like this is more likely to keep us out of war than going to war.

  • There are a lot of errors in the comment by Santos. The most glaring to anyone familiar with Israeli politics is there is no “Likud-Kadima right-wing alliance in Israel.” In fact, Kadima has been running the country with Labor as a partner. And Likud loyalists are still fuming over the disastrous consequences of the Gaza withdrawal.

    I’m not sure if it was intentional, but a reader unfamiliar with the divergent ideological slants of the New York Sun and Mr. Greenwald would come away thinking that the Greenwald quote is from “The Sun”.
    “From The New York Sun, Enforced orthodoxies and Iran,” (2/03/2007)]”
    It is not. This quote came from Greenwald’s blog where he is commenting on article that appeared in “The Sun”. The larger piece by Ann Galloway that this was taken from has even more problems.

    And as TM wrote, what does this have to do with the discussion?

  • Can we also stop the myth that Iran has never attacked Israel? Or the United States for that matter? Just because it has not been, say, the Iranian regular army does not mean that attacks orchestrated by the Mullahs through their proxy terrorist organizations are any less orchestrated by Iran. Again, I am not saying this is absolutely a pre-text for war (though, I’m not absolutely saying it isn’t either).

    To TM’s point, Israel–despite its military prowess–is inately always facing an existential threat because of its size and proximity of its enemies. Given the miniscule population of Jews worldwide, the stakes are even that much higher (read Michael Oren’s account of the Six Day War about Rabin’s near breakdown over the stress that he felt for the potential of losing the war, and possibilty leading to another mass slaughtering of the Jews in the Middle East).

  • The problem is not Kucinich or Paul, who voted against a resolution that moves us closer to war with Iran, but AIPAC….

    Enjoy…

    “This represents a joint effort by ANN GALLOWAY and ROBIN WINICK. The first of two posts about AIPAC, this piece will deal primarily with domestic issues; a subsequent discussion on global impact will follow in a few days.

    It has become dangerous to suggest that AIPAC may be exerting undue influence on both US and Israeli policies. Critics have been accused of anti-Semitism; and politicians who hope to remain in office (as well as those who seek political office) have been silenced by the enormous influence that AIPAC wields – including its ability to direct the use of mega dollars, either to support or defeat those it targets.

    For the record, both authors of this piece are Jewish women, and both have been to Israel; one’s daughter studied at Tel Aviv University; the other has worked for a major American Jewish organization and has taught in two Jewish day schools. Both strongly believe in the importance of the existence of the State of Israel. However, they also believe that just as our country’s founders would turn over in their graves to see what the right wing has done to compromise our democracy, so Israel’s founders would be appalled at the damage its extremists have done to compromise the very existence and safety of Israel’s citizens.
    Ann Galloway :: What is AIPAC and Why Does It Matter?
    “In early March, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its forty-seventh annual conference in Washington. AIPAC’s executive director spent twenty-seven minutes reading the `roll call’ of dignitaries present at the gala dinner, which included a majority of the Senate and a quarter of the House, along with dozens of Administration officials.” [From The Nation online, “AIPAC’s Hold,” by Ari Berman (posted 8/04/2006)]

    “House Minority Leader John Boehner got a standing ovation when he voiced his continued support for the war in Iraq at AIPAC’s annual conference today. When his counterpart, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, dared to criticize the war, she heard boos.” [From The Nation online, “AIPAC Disses Pelosi,” by Ari Berman (posted 3/13/2007)]”

  • Santos, the Galloway piece has tons of errors. I pointed a few out in your other post. There is no “Likud-Kadima” alliance. It does not exist. It is a figment of Galloway’s imagination. Kadima is governing with the Labor Party in Israel, not Likud. Likud is out of government. This is all common knowledge to anyone even remotely familiar with Israeli politics.

    Second, when she attributes something to “The New York Sun” that actually appeared on someone’s blog, I start to question to accuracy of her other citations.

    Again, I brought both of these criticisms up in my previous comment but you had nothing to say in response.

    “The problem is not Kucinich or Paul, who voted against a resolution that moves us closer to war with Iran, but AIPAC.”

    As TM pointed out, AIPAC is on the record as being in favor of increasing sanctions at this point, not attacking Iran. It doesn’t take much to find out what the organization’s policy position actually is:

    http://www.aipac.org/The_Issues/2387.asp

  • Santos, it is soooooo dangerous to tackle AIPAC that it’s done all the time by people in newspapers, blogs, public and private presentations and discussions. In fact, it’s sooooo dangerous that you seem to have no problem finding junky pieces to cut and paste to Jewlicious.

  • From aipac.org:

    Congressional enactment of comprehensive legislation would also increase economic and political pressure on Tehran.

    * The Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, introduced in both houses of Congress, seeks to close loopholes in existing sanctions law, strengthen U.S. tools to cut off funds to Iran’s nuclear program and prohibit U.S. nuclear cooperation with those aiding Iran’s atomic efforts.

    * To change Iran’s course, the United States and the international community must exhaust every economic, diplomatic and political tool to further isolate the regime and increase the economic pressure to persuade the government to end its nuclear program.

    Sure, the website also states to avoid military action, but again, why is the US front and center in the above statements? Iran is none of the USAs business. Let the middle east work through theie issues.

    WESV1 is too left brained and misses the big picture:

    Israel needs to fight their own battles- the USA have given them the military weapons if they need it;

    The USA is trillions in debt maintaining a costly foreign policy; USA is at the mercy of lenders and nations like China;

    To save America, major reform is needed to end lobbying;

    Sanctions is a form of preemptive war;

    Why hasn’t Iran killed it’s own jews?

    Bottom line: USA can longer police the world- we are in economic ruin but most sheeple are too blind to see it….

  • Might I add…

    Why is it that if politicians agree with a general AIPAC perspective that it is based in coercion or unwieldly power? Rather than, say, a historic and deeply intrinsic connection of similar ideals between the United States and Israel? So perhaps if Lichtenstein had the same connected history and values as the United States, we would see a “powerful” Lichtensteinian lobby as well.

  • Address the facts. You posted a flawed critique of AIPAC (there is no “Kadima-Likud alliance” right-wing or otherwise) and failed to refute that AIPAC’s stated policy is sanctions, not war with Iran. In essence, you claimed that AIPAC was pushing for war on Iran based on very biased and inaccurate information. Next time do a little fact checking.

    As to whether “Iran is none of the USAs business” I would disagree. I think the sort of rhetoric and actions that Tehran is taking are very dangerous. The most recent aggression against the UK Royal Navy should provide ample evidence for anyone who thinks the mullahs are bluffing about their willingness to use force. If you are too young to remember when these same Islamist fascists took U.S. hostages and supported the (Hezbollah) terrorists who killed 220 U.S. Marines and other service members in Beirut I can let your comment slide:

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/05/30/iran.barracks.bombing/

    If not, you should know better. This is not Israel’s war this is the free world’s war. We can’t afford to be children sticking our heads under the covers pretending this scourge will go away like a bad dream.

    The vast majority of the U.S. Congress (99%) agrees that Iran is moving on a dangerous course and so do the majority of European countries. They are pushing for sanctions as well. It is not only the US and Israel. So even if you think the US is controlled by the “Israel lobby,” why are the Europeans largely in agreement with us at this point? Is Europe controlled by AIPAC in your analysis as well?

  • J-Singer
    No, I largely agree with you. (Except for your defense of the notion that the hostility to jews and Israel came from the Shah, not from Khomeini.)

    I don’t believe that hostility towards Israel came from the Shah..I don’t remember ever saying so. In fact, Israeli intelligence TRAINED the dreaded SAVAK secret police of Iran…However, hostility towards Jews in Iran has existed before either the Pahalvis or Khomeini. What’s sort of interesting is that Khomeini often made a distinction between the Jews of Iran and the “Zionists” inhabiting Israel. Anyhow that didn’t stop discrimination against Jews in Iran.

    TM-
    “Nobody, however, changes their plans because somebody is being nice to them. That’s just not how countries or politicians operate, that’s pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking.”

    I just want to play devil’s advocate with you for a sec. Iran sees American policy as a threat to their existence. They invaded Afghanistan to the West, brought Pakistan under their direct influence just south of Afghanistan. Then they invaded and currently occupy Iraq to the East. Across the gulf you have an American ally in Saudi Arabia, you have Israel..you get the point. Combine this with the US’s history in Iran, it’s current “democracy” campaigns inside the country, and the talk coming from the Administration (in one instance from the VP on a warship IN the Gulf on the eve of military exercises), and even Israel and you can probably see why Iran feels this threat. So I think the Iranians are probably thinking the same thing “Nobody changes their plans because someone is being nice to them…”.

    Countries and politicians operate out of self-interest and the only way to stop Iran’s nuclear program without bombing them is to find pressure points that are more damaging to Iran than the benefits they perceive they’d get from nuclear power.

    We don’t have any right to stop their nuclear program, they are signatories to the NPT. This of course means that as a signatory they have a responsibility to comply to its articles.

    We could seriously debate Iran for days on end and I think it’s a healthy debate. We disagree, that’s fine, I enjoy the debate 🙂 If you’re ever in the bay and want to talk about it, let me know. I have a tough time doing the message board thing…i can’t stand sitting at the computer all day responding to numerous points on a complex issue.

  • From the Article, “The entire campaign is “a strong message by Ahmadinejad’s government, security and intelligence forces that they are in control of the domestic situation,” said Hadi Ghaemi, an Iran analyst for Human Rights Watch. “But it’s really a sign of weakness and insecurity.””

    This is precisely correct. However, don’t take this weakness as a sign that American intervention will be welcomed by ANYONE in Iran. In fact if the US gets involved, it will almost certainly backfire and strengthen the regime again. The hard-liners are desperate, not stupid.

    Please also don’t forget that the Regime we supported in Iran had MASSIVE crackdowns on its own population…often, particularly towards the end of the his reign. He also liked him a nuclear program, which we gladly helped him with (along with Germany and France). That’s right, the Shah, cuddly, teddy bear like friend of America and the Jewish people.

  • Um, Elon, the only involvement Israel had according to that article and assuming it is authoritative is that “[A]ccording to recently revealed documents discovered in Tehran after the revolution, in the late 1970s Iran and Israel discussed a plan to modify Israel’s surface-to-surface Jericho missiles for use by Iran—missiles that could be equipped with nuclear weapons.” In other words, a potential buyer of arms approached the Israelis about purchasing missiles, at a time when Iran was nowhere near having the ability to even conceive nuclear weapons. In other words, nothing here is even close to the type of involvement you’re suggesting.

    Second, I’m not well versed in nuclear plant technology but not all plants are able to be modified to produce the materials needed for bombs. Were these?

    Third, the US and Europe support all kinds of nasty countries that are managed by unpleasant types. This can be viewed as a mistake, but it can also be viewed as filling a vacuum that might otherwise be filled by enemies – at the time the USSR, for example.

    Fourth, if there is a lesson to be learned, it is that any one of these Middle Eastern countries that are run undemocratically can be turned into a hostile state in a matter of years. As such, any advanced arms sales should be made with a view to this eventuality.

    Fifth, did you read that article in the NY Times in full? Just because some analysts view it as a sign of weakness and desperation, that doesn’t mean they are right. Also, even if they are right, what happens when their insecurity and weakness take place when they possess nukes?

  • Felony Indictments. The End of AIPAC?

    The indictment of Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen of AIPAC who stand trial, likely in June 2007, accused of passing U.S. national security information to a foreign government agents (Israel) is potentially the story of how aipac will fall. Rosen was not a mere employee, but widely believed to be the man who built AIPAC into the $60 million powerhouse it is today. The greatest fear among AIPAC supporters is that convictions could lead to the requiring aipac to register as foreign agents. aipac closely coordinates policy with the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC and the Israeli government, making it an agent of a foreign government. AIPAC should not be allowed to keep its 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charitable status, but should be required to register as a lobbyist for a foreign agent. This would greatly cripple its role in US politics.

  • Did anyonne find out which Jew hating website linked to this story that brought all the nuts here in the first place?

  • Santos, why do you keep trying to change the subject? In this vote Ron Paul has obviously made a critical error in judgement just like in that Republican debate where Giuliani cleaned his clock. Blaming AIPAC for the foolish choices made by your candidate of choice is fairly simple-minded. Kinda like posting copies of articles about which you obviously have no knowledge.

  • Tori asks:

    “Did anyonne find out which Jew hating website linked to this story that brought all the nuts here in the first place?”

    I don’t know. I suspect it was linked from a website of one of Paul’s supporters. There are more than a few of them on the Internet and if Paul is mentioned in a negative light on a blog post they are quick to spring into action. A few bloggers have experimented by posting entries with titles like “Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul” to see what would happen and, sure enough, the Paulistas came out of the woodwork.

    Paul’s policy proposals and certainly his style, are populist. Most of Paul’s supporters, the people who will vote for him, are populists. In the United States, populism has a long track record of nativism, xenophobia, anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism:

    http://projects.vassar.edu/1896/antisemitism.html

    Today, this sort of explicit anti-Semitism is unacceptable in mainstream political discourse. But, as many readers of this blog recognize, anti-Semitism tends to be displayed in anti-Zionist or anti-Israel rhetoric. So, rather than saying “Jews have dual loyalties,” people like Paul claim American supporters of Israel or so-called “Likudniks” put the interests of Israel ahead of the United States.

    Thankfully Paul’s minions are a very small, if vocal, minority in the Republican Party. A fairly recent Gallup Poll placed his popularity at zero percent and he’s been polling around 2-3 percent since the debates.

  • the middle loves fooliani

    AIPAC is not helping jewish folks, neocon zionists

    No More Iran fear mongering

    Kucinich for Prez

    Shalom my brothers and sisters

  • … so I looked up Kucinich on google. to get some pictures of this turd. And the first thing it says is that we should elect this guy because his wife is attractive. So I look and I see an anorexic woman. Honestly I thought Hitler’s wife was better looking. I think the Israeli embassy got the right idea with the sexy photo spread with Maxim. People just want an attractive first lady. This is so sad.

  • All Santos is saying is that war is old school. The US has been involved in the middle east for decades. Killing and being killed. Its a complex problem based on two big issues- oil interests and our support of Israel.

    I believe that talking and negotiating can solve the conflict between Israel and the palestinians. I also believe that US involvement interferes with a much needed peace treaty, and the overdue solution of a palestinian state.

    We can disagree on the influence of AIPAC, but those in the know realize that AIPAC may do more harm than good. It all goes back to my main point- The US needs to step aside and let the middle east work it out, and we need to reform our political system so that big oil, AIPAC, or any other lobbying group (AARP Anyone?), can take their influence out of US government.

    Our politicians don’t need resolutions to threaten Iran and it’s leaders. It’s unfair to demonize Paul and Kucinich because they disagree with this resolution. It is just as unfair to demonize AIPAC, as I did to expose what I feel is a bias- the US and Israel do no wrong, and Muslims are evil and hate us for our freedoms. It takes more than one to dance.

    Luckily we have the internet to voice our opinions (who knows for how long). Thank you for this forum. I mean to offend no one. Santos loves the USA and is saddened by war. As stated, I pray for Israel and they need to stay strong and resolve the decades long conflicts. But the US needs to pull out and stop financing Israel. Failure to do so imperils both the US and Israel.

  • Santos, you proved nothing. You simply sought to steer the conversation away from Ron Paul. Just as there’s an AIPAC and other advocates for American support for Israel, there are plenty of pressure sources for support of Israel’s enemies.

    The reason the US has been involved in the Middle East for decades is that strategically it has been important because of oil and because the USSR sought to forge alliances in the region. When we tried to forge the same alliances, we learned that Israel was there for us while the Arab states were not.

    Either way, the US cannot “step aside” because if it “steps aside” there will be a vacuum and the vacuum will be filled by forces that oppose the US in a region that supplies much of the world with its fuel and resources. As for supporting Israel, the US should be lauded for supporting a fellow democratic state.

    As for “financing Israel,” the US also “finances” Egypt and Jordan with aid and half of the other Arab countries with purchases of oil. We also provide a ton of arms to the region and in fact sell more to the Arabs than we do to the Israelis.

    Ultimately, the US is right to reject the development of nukes in Iran for many reasons, not just Israel. It’s not an accident that the Saudis are about to buy advanced missiles from the US as nuclear capability becomes more of a reality in Iran.

    At the same time, the US should also ensure that when an undemocratic enemy theocracy threatens a friendly democracy, that it stands up for the democracy. These are our values that we’re defending.

    And if all it takes is a non-binding resolution to speak up and show the Iranians that unity exists in the US across party lines to deny them the opportunity to attempt to destroy Israel, then the theatrical pretense that somehow this resolution will lead to war as opposed to the people who are openly threatening such a war is not only a terrible mistake from a moral standpoint, but it actually strengthens those forces who wish to destroy Israel or other countries who are allies because they know that there will be dissenting voices in this society that will undermine its unity in opposing these acts.

    It’s a non-binding resolution calling the Iranians on what they’ve expressed openly. There is NOTHING wrong with supporting it.

  • “those in the know realize…”

    Santos, lets be honest. You did not even realize that the “Likud-Kadima alliance” does not exist. You did not realize that Galloway claims she is quoting something that appeared in “The New York Sun” that never appeared in “The Sun”! How many other things are you getting wrong, Santos, if these incredibly basic errors eluded you.

    “Kucinich for Prez”

    Kucinich did a bit better in the Gallup Poll. His numbers were “less than 0.5%” compared to Paul’s 0%.

    But Santos’ foreign policy strategy “let ‘them’ figure it out” and his ideas for fixing elections “get rid of lobbyists” display an astounding amount of naiveté. Isolationism is not the answer for the U.S. Active engagement is.

    And Santos may not be aware that lobbying is Constitutionally protected free speech in the United States. If you want to change that, you need to amend the Constitution. Good luck. Personally, I am not a big fan of lobbyists but I’d rather keep a (bad) situation the way it is than make it worse.

  • the middle talks about a supposed “vacuum”, that would be filled by the opposition…opinion, not fact (sounds like Dubya talking)

    As for “supporting” the arabs by purchasing goods, we buy oil. It’s not freebies. Billions to Israel buys the US blowback.

    Themiddle proves nothing. You only express your desire for the US to babysit Israel, for some reason it seems you think they can’t handle it by themselves. I believe Israel is strong enough to resolve the issues in the region, and if needed their is UN support.

    WEVS1 probably supports Giuliani. Isolationism and non-interventionism are two different things. Is it naive to face the facts that our decades of meddling has made the US broke and hated around the world? Who is being naive?

    “I am not a big fan of lobbyists but I’d rather keep a (bad) situation the way it is than make it worse.”

    That sad statement speaks for itself at so many levels…

  • Kelsey, why in this discussion? It’s too big a topic to add to this mess.

    Santos, you’ve already displayed ignorance and a poor touch with respect to your AIPAC cut and pastes, and now you’re insisting on doing the same with “accusations” that we’re supporters of this politician, that politician or that we’re “Zionist neo-Cons.” It seems the training at Ron Paul headquarters needs to be improved somewhat. Don’t worry, though, I’m sure you’ve lost more votes for your candidate in this conversation than you’ve gained.

  • TM-
    Re: #62, the ‘we’ I was referring to was the United States. It is common knowledge that the US was absolutely instrumental in assuring that Iran would have a nuclear program. The Shah wanted to maximize his oil profits so he could buy more American toys, and we gladly helped him develop a nuclear program to achieve that goal.

    On your second point, it is also pretty well established that while Iran is playing games, they don’t have the required centrifuges to produce enough weapons grade material for a nuclear bomb…and as a signatory they don’t have the right to one. The IAEA will need to do its job, and I think ElBaradei knows this to be the case and understands the implications of a nuclear Iran for the region.

    Thirdly, it can be viewed as a mistake, it can also be viewed as neo-imperialism. I don’t think Iran was ever a real threat to fall under Soviet influence…the Soviets would have had an impossible time installing a friendly ruler like they did in Afghanistan, and military occupation of Iran is right out for obvious reasons. In the case of the Shah’s regime, it wasn’t just that they installed and supported him, they CREATED him and enabled him to commit egregious acts against his people. Carter knew what was going on, but bowed to pressure from folks inside the US who were afraid that the Shah’s oil money would dry up if we put pressure on him to reform his human rights practices.

    Numero quatro, the REAL lesson is that overthrowing legitimate, democratically elections in the Middle East is a poor idea with long lasting ramifications. What’s truly tragic is that, besides the oil situation, the US agreed to overthrow Mossadeq because the Brits convinced us he was a communist collaborator based on nothing more than the fact he enlisted the help of the Tudeh party to stave off the FIRST attempted coup. We were scared of “communism” and acted out of fear, only to catch the blowback.

    Yes I read the entire article and of course I don’t think that just because one guy said it’s a sign of weakness and desperation that it is. My opinion is based on historical trends of this regime. This isn’t the first time they have seen through such widespread crackdowns…for example, when Khatami was at the zenith of his influence, the hard-liners cracked down BIG time because they felt things slipping away.

  • There are no Jews in Iran. There are no Jews in Iran. There are no Jews in Iran. There are no Jews in Iran. There are no Jews in Iran. There are no Jews in Iran.

    Get it through your head. There are no Jews in Iran.

  • Being sarcastic is not my usual thing at all. If you don’t see a huge SARC TAG, I mean what I say, in a plain, literal way.

    I only get sarcastic if I am seriously exasperated, and frustrated that nobody is understanding me. As I write so clearly, and am almost always right, that rarely happens. /

    No, there are no Jews in Iran. There used to be, and they were there for a very long time. They were called Persian Jews.

    TM or CK can explain why they aren’t there any more.

    There are no Jews anywhere in the Muslim world, any more.

    I guess you can use google or wikipedia to figure this out, or you can ask the various Sefardi or Sephardi history societies, or look at their web pages.

  • JM-

    I’m sorry, but the evidence out there disputes your claim..in addition the BBC article, there is this from the ‘Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture”.

    Also the World Jewish Congress disagrees (click on Iran).

    In fact, according to this article from the Forward, many Iranian Jews are choosing to stay in Iran rather than emigrate to Israel.

    Is there something I’m missing?

  • On a topic of this kind I would not consult the BBC or the Forward one little tiny bit.

    As for the highly comprehensive and clear entry from the World Jewish Congress, I have to wonder if you read the whole thing.

    There are 11,000 Jews left in an Iranian population of 69 million, (what percentage is that?) and every possible move has been made against them. There are 3 synagogues left for 11,000 people, and no rabbi in the whole country since 1994, and no Jewish schools allowed, and Jewish students required to go to school on Saturday.

    You are somewhat literal-minded. You won’t agree with me “there are no Jews in Iran” if there are a few stragglers left, who the state does not permit to live as Jews.

    The Sephardic Studies link didn’t link. I refuse to read the Forward on this or any subject. It is the newspaper of the Workmen’s Circle. They are yiddishists, but they are anti-Israel. The heck with them.

    Thank you for your very comprehensive and interesting research just the same! Thanks!

  • JM-

    You’re welcome. I do find it slightly disturbing that you are willing to discount pretty solid reporting, including the BBC piece which has loads of quotes from Iranian Jewish community leaders and was written by a BBC reporter in Tehran.

    I understand I took your comment to be literal, but only because you said “If you don’t see a huge SARC TAG, I mean what I say, in a plain, literal way.”

    Another article i found from the Jewish news of Phoenix also seems to contradict your assumption that Jews can’t be Jews in Iran. A member of the community says “We can now run cultural and religious but not political activities.” Clearly life for Jews in Iran is far from perfect and you brought up some examples of why, but there is a life for Jews in Iran. And some, despite your rejection of the forward article on ideological grounds, do in fact choose to stay in Iran.

    Here is the article that didn’t link:
    http://www.sephardicstudies.org/iran.html

    Best,
    Elon

  • The BBC has a strong viewpoint. Really. And the Jewish leaders it quotes have to live there, and live with the consequences of what they say, long after the reporter has gone home.

    You are nice and you mean well, but you had better be under twenty-five.

    As for the Forward…. do you know how many people are unaware of their anti-Israel bias? They are so good at hiding it. Go on, phone them, and ask. They will hedge every way there is. But insist. Ask. Go to their web site, and do a search with the word “Israel”.

    With their history… it’s a crime.

    Best to you, too.

  • I hear that there have been Jews in Iran / Persia, in an unbroken history, continuously, since the destruction of the Second Temple. It’s not my beat, but that’s what I hear. It is entirely understandable that some of them just feel they have to keep that going. Why should a two thousand year history be broken? they feel. Ok, fine. I can see that.

    It seems to me that you are not reading the articles thoroughly enough. You want to hear that things are all right, or reasonably all right.

    But I appreciate your thoroughness and candor.

  • Being sarcastic is not my usual thing at all. If you don’t see a huge SARC TAG, I mean what I say, in a plain, literal way.”

    “You are somewhat literal-minded.”

    Now THAT is worth the price of admission! I think the One World Order folks are flying over in their black helicopters. Just remember: “We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

  • The vast majority of Iranian Jews have escaped Iran. There are tiny remnants of the original Jewish populations in Arab and Muslim countries including Iran, Egypt, Morocco and Syria but these are tiny fragments of what they used to be and remain under strict government control, often threatened with imprisonment and used as domestic scapegoats.

  • This subject is not my expertise at all, so I cede the discussion to Sultan Knish. Over to you, Sultan.

  • Sultan Knish;

    Yes, that would appear to be consistent with reality as it is understood by the other human occupants of the planet. See, the thing is that even such miniscule totals as 30,000 or 40,000 human beings actually count for something. On the other hand, when we make the adorable claim that thirty thousand people is the same as none, well, then, it doesn’t really matter if we just machine gun the rest and shovel their corpses in a ditch, now does it?

    As for the Forward…. do you know how many people are unaware of their anti-Israel bias?

    Oh God, of course! And do you know how many people are unaware that the New York Times is really a Communist newspaper? Or how many residents of Utah are subjected to anal probes on the alien mothership every night? The numbers are truly staggering!

  • “As for “supporting” the arabs by purchasing goods, we buy oil. It’s not freebies.”

    Santos, wrong again. Egypt is the #2 recipient of U.S. foreign aid:

    Foreign assistance requests: Egypt, Israel, and the Occupied Territories – statement by Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel C. Kurtzer to House Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East – transcript

    US Department of State Dispatch, March 11, 1991

    “Israel and Egypt – our two major partners in the peace process – remain the largest recipients of assistance in the Administration’s 1992 foreign aid request. We have maintained our 1992 ESF [Economic Support Fund] and FMF [Foreign Military Fund] requests for Israel and Egypt at 1991 levels. For Israel, the Administration is requesting $1.2 billion in economic assistance and $1.8 billion in security assistance. For Egypt, the Administration is requesting $815 million in economic assistance and $1.3 billion in security assistance.”

    I realize those figures are from the 1990s but today Egypt has received more non-military aid from the U.S. than any other country:

    http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/features/egypt/

    “At the 30th anniversary celebration of the U.S. aid program last year, the aid given totaled $28 billion, by far the largest amount of development aid given to any country in the world by the United States.”

    We assist other Arab countries economically as well and were even supporting the PA until it was taken over by Hamas.

    “Isolationism and non-interventionism are two different things. Is it naive to face the facts that our decades of meddling has made the US broke and hated around the world? Who is being naive?”

    Non-interventionism is just another way of saying we won’t involve ourselves in the world’s problems until we are attacked. It is isolationism no matter which way you slice it. And Santos, guess what, we were already attacked! And what is Paul’s solution? What is Kucinich’s? Blame Israel.

    The U.S. is far from broke. The economy is actually doing pretty good right now.

    But good luck with that Kucinich thing.

  • WEVS says, ”Santos, guess what, we were already attacked! And what is Paul’s solution? What is Kucinich’s? Blame Israel.

    What the hell does that mean? How exactly were “we already attacked?” That sounds exactly like the Republican propagandasphere, which, starting a couple of months ago, started simultaneously spewing the neocon bullshit that “We’ve been at war with Iran since 1979.” I mean, is there any limit whatever to how goddamn stupid these people think the American public is?

    Santos is 100% correct about AIPAC’s insidious and destructive role in the American political process, a circumstance the Ann Galloway article outlines superbly and in great detail. Moreover, I haven’t seen a single substantive objection challenging its principal assertions. The closest I’ve seen is WEVS’s claim that there is no “alliance” between Kadima and Likud. Devastating. Just devastating. But how about instead of “alliance,” we just substitute “confluence of ideology,” especially since the article itself doesn’t say a thing about any formal political alliance between the two parties.

    Santos also notes, “The indictment of Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen of AIPAC who stand trial, likely in June 2007, accused of passing U.S. national security information to a foreign government agents (Israel) is potentially the story of how aipac will fall.” From his mouth to God’s ears! If you really give a shit about Israel, American Jewry, and the cause of democracy – not to mention human decency in general – the best thing you can do is write a letter to your Congressional representatives saying, “Please tell every slimy lobbyist affiliated with AIPAC to go fuck himself. We’ve supported Israel our entire lives; we pray about the fate of Israel at the occasional Shabbos service, at our Passover Seders, and on Yom Kippur. And we’re goddamn tired of these rightwing fanatics undermining democracy and claiming to speak on our behalf. They don’t.”

    AIPAC has ultimately done more damage to the cause of Israel’s long-term survival than every murdering Palestinian terrorist ever to live. There was a watershed moment of sorts in the mid-70’s when the U.N. passed its infamous “Zionism is racism” resolution, in response to which there was a kind of collective shudder of disgust among people of conscience in the West Of course, that was when “Zionism” was understood in its hopelessly old-fashioned context, i.e., the notion that the Jews were entitled to a national homeland. But through the propaganda efforts of AIPAC and such allies as the Neocons and witch-hunting thugs like Daniel Pipes, being “pro-Israel” – and, indeed, “Zionism” itself – has been transformed into support for a racist Jewish empire in the West Bank.

  • “already been attacked”

    One

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    Neocon bullshit indeed.

    Um, I don’t know about WEV but I haven’t tackled Santos because he is cutting and pasting without seeming to know what he’s talking about in a conversation about two politicians who don’t think that excoriating Iran over genocidal speech is the right thing to do. This is called “trolling” in some places and “changing the subject” in other places. Neither merits much attention.

    The Weissman and Rosen story is a shameful persecution. What they did, if the stories are true (and we’ll find out in trial) is receive information which they didn’t solicit about the potential death of Israeli soldiers and then share that information with a major US publication, the White House and the Israeli embassy in DC. If that’s a crime, somebody needs their heads examined. It’s simply an excuse to take down AIPAC but it has little to do with justice. Since you are a seeker of justice, David, I’m surprised to see you willing to throw away people – especially Jewish people who were clearly targeted in a sting after two years of attention to AIPAC failed to get any results – to prison to advance your cause.

    With all due respect, the power you attribute to AIPAC is what all those seeking a scapegoat would like to attribute to them. It has little substance however. I could easily counter, if I so chose, that the Oslo process has led Israel to the abyss in which it finds itself. I say that as a supporter of Oslo and someone who has no particular feelings about AIPAC. I don’t think they’re that powerful and I don’t think their impact is that meaningful with important issues. That’s why Saudi Arabia is about to get JDA