This papyrus was found on two Palestinians who were seeking to sell it for money. They were caught in a sting operation and this 1900 year old document is now in Israeli hands. It is a contract, apparently, written for a widow who was involved in some transaction. It begins with the words,

“Year 4 to the destruction of Israel.”

According to news reports covering this, archaeologists are reading this to mean either 4 years after the destruction of the Second Temple in 74 CE, or 139 CE when the Bar Kokhba Revolt led to the destruction of many parts of Judea/Judah.

Now here comes the cool segue…

And speaking of destruction of Israel, this was the week when Israel’s new situation with respect to America became clear. We now know that Israel will be pushed into concessions, will not be permitted to attack Iran and in fact is going to find itself a country without that “special relationship” that has kept a bond with the US for decades.

Instead, it seems that Israel, in Obama’s eyes, is a liability in his attempt to forge strong relationships with the Arab and Muslim nations of the world. To neutralize the liability, Obama appears to be planning to use Israel as a foil. He will punish it, push it around, make all types of public assertions and then reap the rewards with friendlier, uh, dictatorships and extremist theocratic regimes/ That’s correct, folks, the democracy has garnered so much bad press in the past couple of years that Obama feels that he will lose nothing by making it look bad and forging new inroads with countries whose politics are about as opposite his liberal politics as one can imagine.

How did we get here?

Well, that’s a function of the settlement movement receiving a very nasty reputation all across the world. It’s a function of the Palestinians’ extraordinary ability and success in conveying their victim status to the rest of the world. It’s a function of the perceived intransigence of the Muslims and the perceived malleability of the Israelis. It is about oil and dollars. It is about the limits placed on the US because of its ongoing two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is because some people’s conclusions after 9/11 placed the blame on Israel’s relationship in the US and while most people reject this thesis, enough support it that’s it’s problematic. It’s about Walt & Mearsheimer’s Protocols clone and what they write about Israel to undermine its legitimate and moral conduct.

The other day I read the transcript of a Doha Sessions debate about Israel. The proposition was “This House believes it’s time for the US to get tough on Israel” and it took place on March 25, 2009 at Georgetown University. On the side supporting Israel’s opposition were Avraham Burg and a former key member of the American intelligence community, Michael Scheuer.

Scheuer appeared to think the proposition did not go far enough. He proceeded to attack Israel and American Jews who support it. Dershowitz was on the two person team supporting Israel and he was shocked and quite indignant by the fifth column accusations. It didn’t matter to Scheuer who simply reasserted his accusations and urged the USA to drop ANY relationship it had with Israel. Check this out:

Clearly, Mr. Dershowitz, the war in Iraq is the responsibility of the American fifth column that supports Israel.
Oh, that is ridiculous. I’m part of that fifth column, right? I opposed the war in Iraq.
You are exactly part of it, sir.
I opposed the war in Iraq.
Well you didn’t do it quite well enough, did you?
More Jews than any other ethnic group in America opposed the war in Iraq. What you’re saying is bigotry. Is bigotry. You’re accused of bigotry. Blaming the Iraq war on the Jews is bigotry.
Please, I don’t want this descending into personal attacks.
Out comes the excaliber of American politics. ‘Bigotry’, ‘anti-Semitism’…

This breathtaking performance by a conspiracy theorist who was a senior member of America’s intelligence community is a reminder that Chas Freeman has enabled more than open criticism of Israel. That, after all, was always found throughout media and political discussions.

Instead, the impact of Chas Freeman, particularly with the groundwork laid by Walt & Mearsheimer, is that open and aggressive criticisms of American Jews who support Israel are now considered common wisdom and fair game among a certain sector of the population and voicing these ideas in public has become perfectly safe. He actually told Dershowitz that Jews were to blame for the Iraq war, that it was their service as fifth columnists who support Israel which led them to drive for the war and that Dershowitz is a fifth columnist. If your jaw isn’t resting on the floor after dropping precipitously because of these outrageous claims, please release it.

The outcome is already visible. Not only is support for Israel weakened, but it actually becomes counter-productive because any active support is viewed with suspicion.

Shameful, but true. And it plays into Obama’s hands as a form of power that frees him to change America’s relationship with Israel.

Israel should evaluate carefully whether the settlements are going to be concrete blocks chained to Israel’s feet as it is thrown into the water, or whether it’s possible to take steps to eliminate the settlements east of the Fence and benefit from the goodwill that will follow. This administration isn’t going to wait or play games. They intend to push Israel into submission and all the while, blame Israel for any steps that are taken.

As this ancient papyrus shows, Israel is vulnerable. It takes great wisdom and creativity, not to mention some measure of luck, to enable this small state to continue to survive against the large numbers and forces arrayed against it. Israel is entering a challenging time, maybe its most challenging since 1948 and even 1973. The one thing Israel can’t do is stand still because the status quo will bring about great danger. Netanyahu is a smart man and he’s surrounded by other smart men. Let’s hope they recognize this moment for what it is and not for what they thought it was going to be all those years in the opposition.


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  • no time for weakness {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:””}”title”:{“value”:”no time for weakness “}”videoUri”:{“value”:””}}}

  • and dont bother deleting my comments, i will return anyway, save your energy

  • themiddle you are complaining about oil, tell me themiddle why didnt your beloved america spend 3 trillion dollars investing in non oil alternatives instead of killing iraqis for no reason?

    i will tell you why, because america is always looking to kill arabs

    the west and israel are a thousand times stronger than the muslims and can probably kill all the muslims, but you wont, not because you have “values” but because you are greedy and vile, it was profitable for american defence companies to invade iraq, now thanks to people like bernard madoff, america’s financial system is on the brink so the wars are not profitable, this is why you people will fail

    you exploit, cheat and steal, and in enjoying your murders and wars you will drown in your own greed.

  • Rosario, are you insane? Chill out and watch your stupid analogies. Really, what bullshit.

    Wait, I just checked who you are. You are one wacky mofo. Really, can’t you spew your bile elsewhere? You can join CTC (currently Prodigal Hero) on some blog elsewhere. Have you heard of Muzzlewatch or Ken Silverstein’s site? Those guys would love to have contributors such as yourselves.

    CTC, it takes so little energy and thought to delete you.

  • Git Shabbos, Middle.

    CTC, two clicks is all it takes to make your comments be gone. Cut down on the anti-Western or anti-Semitic stereotypes; they do not warrant any frugal debate.

  • Middle, you’re probably right about Obama. Naming Mitchell his Mideast envoy was the clearest signal to date of his intentions. However, to play devil’s advocate (we Catholics invented it, after all): Obama’s shown a propensity to abruptly shift course if politics dictate, e.g. his about-face on prosecuting Bush officials for “torture”. And he’s shown unexpected backbone on Iraq and Afghanistan, choosing to defer to Gates and the military. So predictions for his summit with Bibi are a little hazardous.

    But I agree– Obama sees an Israel/Palestine settlement as the lynchpin in his efforts to make America beloved in the Arab and Muslim countries.

    A question for you, however: if, as you write elsewhere, most of the settlements must be dismantled (the status quo being too dangerous) how will this be accomplished? Will a right-wing Israeli government do that on its own? Or is US pressure required? The logic of your stance suggests that Obama will have to ride herd on Bibi if anything as dramatic as a settlement pullback is to happen.

    So while your tone is critical, the likely substance of Obama’s policy meets with your approval, right?

  • Obama is missing the boat on Iran and that’s the critical problem with his approach to Israel right now. Think about what Emanuel Rahm said to AIPAC: the road to Tehran runs through Jerusalem and a resolution between Israel and the Palestinians.

    What the hell is he smoking?

    Iran’s rocket range is much, much farther than Israel and their general philosophy doesn’t have anything to do with Palestinians except that Jews are living on supposedly Muslim land. Israel is a useful foil but a minor one when it comes Iran’s goals. Think of an extreme Islamic theocracy with the ability to send a bomb over to any Arab nation, especially the oil producing ones, not to mention to Paris, Madrid and Zurich. And yes, eventually the US. Unlike the Russians where detente made some sense, here we are dealing with the same extremism that produced the…suicide bomber. Even if most Iranians aren’t Muslim extremists, their leadership which rules that country with an iron fist is definitely extremist.

    All of that is to say that Iran is a great danger to Israel AND the West, but instead of focusing on that danger, we are now going to watch pressure being applied to Israel like resistance to selling necessary arms (bunker busters for example), warnings against attacking Iran, and an emphasis on a particular Arab offer of peace that is actually a trap because it requires that the “right of return” become an actual part of the deal whereas to date that right is not enshrined in any international law or within any agreement related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Furthermore, in the reading of this Arab offer (Saudi peace plan of 2002), east Jerusalem goes to the Palestinians. That’s an impossible outcome unless the Old City is left out of this equation…which is not the case right now.

    The situation is analogous to a parent punishing a child for eating two cookies and leaving none for his brother while ignoring the plaintive cries of that child to notice the child molesting neighbor who has been threatening the kid.

    “Oh, don’t worry, I can talk to our neighbor John and everything will turn out fine. Now give that second cookie to your brother!”

    “No, mommy, John is currently loading up on more child porn and has bought a cage to hold me prisoner so could you please set fire to his house and leave me alone about the fucking cookies until you do? Then I’ll give up one of the cookies, even if it is part of my historic patrimony. Or you know what? Let me set fire to John’s house.”

    “No, son! You have no idea what we should be doing here; a talk with John will make the problem go away. Except that he won’t go away if you keep those two cookies and right now that’s what we’re discussing.”

    “Mommy, you’ll miss me and feel really guilty when I’m gone”

    “Yeah, yeah, don’t give me that tired fifth column line that will undermine me with my neighbors, you manipulative little runt.”


  • I suppose Rahm is trying to shoot down Bibi’s rumored policy approach linking measures against Iran to any concessions on the I/P front. Obama wants the latter to come first.

    An attack on Iran is problematic for a lot of reasons at this point, but if Bibi wants to do it– if he really thinks Iran is an existential threat– he should go ahead and suffer the consequences.

  • Scheuer’s a dick. Scheuer. Scheuer? Is that a German name? WTF is going on? Guys like this with their 5th column bullshit about the Jews would have been run out of town before. Now he’s sitting with prominent academics and politicians and given a stage at Georgetown?

    A two-state solution is all fine and good. Let me know when there’s someone we can negotiate with…

  • No, just expecting more wisdom from the guy.

    And yes, Rahm Emanuel’s talk was all about leverage and signaling to the Israeli leadership.

  • ck, Georgetown has a famous school for diplomacy. What is fascinating in reading the transcript of the Doha debate is that when the floor is opened to questions, many of the people asking are Arab students from abroad.

    Regarding Scheuer, I would say that on the basis of what we’ve seen with Chas Freeman and the arrest and charges against Weissman and Rosen, that there appears to be some negative sentiment in pockets of the security services community that definitely have a fifth column mindset regarding Jewish supporters of Israel. Even people who don’t support Pollard have to admit that the price he has paid is far greater than any other spy, including those who did worse. Oh wait, we don’t know what he did because it’s classified.

  • How did this guy rise in the ranks of the CIA? The war in Iraq was no requested by Israel, did not help Israel – and in fact, in meetings between Israeli and American official prior to March 2002 Israel asked for an attack on Iran and not Iraq. Racism is really blinding.

  • Because the debate was voted on by the audience and the Scheuer/Burg team won with a 63% majority. If you read the debate, there isn’t anything that would indicate they should win. Or lose. Neither side did well and the host was equally tough on everybody. However, once you realize that the audience is skewed in terms of population, the outcome makes more sense.

    Additionally, as we all know, both George Washington and Georgetown have become centers for strong anti-Israel scholarship and public debate about Israel. This makes more sense if you suddenly realize that their School of Foreign Service has a large foreign, Arab population.

  • that is interesting. Did Scheuer mention the following in front of that audience? be interesting to see the reaction:

    “They [Mearsheimer and Walt] should be credited for the courage they have had to actually present a paper on the subject. I hope they move on and do the Saudi lobby, which is probably more dangerous to the United States than the Israeli lobby.”

    that’s from NPR in 2005.

  • He would have gotten booed off the stage.

    In any case, why is he considered an expert on anything? Have we captured or even come close to capturing Bin Laden? Isn’t that what he was working on for years?

  • he says there were several good chances to get him, but bureaucracy or compunction against political assassinations by the Clinton White House kept it from happening. maybe he’s right; but maybe he’s just a nutbar. leaning towards the latter.

  • Middle, your complaints about Obama are more than just a little disinegnuous. You remind me of Captain Renault in “Casablanca”.

    Or are you just schizophrenic? You and 80% of American Jews voted for him, didn’t you? Shut up and accept a little responsibility.

  • Hmmmm, I didn’t check for spam this morning, so I didn’t see anything, but I believe you. It has happened to me as well, and, as you might recall, the other day two paragraphs from a post of mine were gone.

    I think we’re dealing with some dybbuk here… Something tells me CK better disable the accounts of inactive bloggers..

  • I am with Ephraim. MIddle, you directly tied this “Jews are a fifth column” to the Obama administration. If you indeed voted for him, I think the least you can do is admit it was a mistake, unless you will enjoy being called a traitor in typically mainstream avenues for the next 4 years.

  • Only a fool would have voted Republican this time around. I mean, did you guys really need another four years of the insane fiscal policy that has brought the US to its knees, for example? And that’s just a small part of the damage Bush and his people have caused to the US. Just wait until the truth comes out about all the dirty tricks they used in the justice department or other government bodies to attack Democrats or people they had a problem with like Siegelman who is still sitting in jail for nothing.

  • Of course if you felt that way you could’ve…you know…taken a principled stand and not voted at all.

    Besides, the financial disaster is not only the fault of Bush. You can blame the Iraq War solely on the Bush administration, but not the financial situation. Also, McCain is not Bush.

  • You mean it’s principled to forego voting?

    And anyway, McCain stated openly that he was going to maintain the fiscal policies of the Bush administration. It was only after the banking meltdown began that he began to change his tune.

  • Why did you post that link, x? It would seem to be diametrically opposed to what you seem to believe. I happen to agree with it.

    Recent studies show that the Arab birthrate within Israel, and also among Arabs in Judea and Samaria, is dropping fast, and that within Israel will reach parity with the Jewish birthrate quite soon. So the “demographic time bomb”, at least within the Green Line, is a fiction.

    From a security perspective, Israel must maintain a military presence. We have seen what happens when Israel lets the Arabs alone. Nothing but death and destruction for both Jews and Arabs.

    As for the “moral” argument, I see nothing immoral about preventing people who want to kill you from killing you.

  • “There is no possibility of maintaining the situation.”

    I disagree. Regardless of what anyone wants – odds are nothing will change anytime soon. Status quo is the most likely. Waves of more and less violence, perhaps – but overall, the same. I don’t think change is likely soon at all.

  • “I mean, did you guys really need another four years of the insane fiscal policy that has brought the US to its knees, for example?”

    Absolutely not. Good thing we’ve got a president who’ll tighten out belts and restore balanced budgets to Washington.

    btw, Obama clearly signaled a different approach to Iran during the campaign.

  • Efraim:

    “Why did you post that link, x? It would seem to be diametrically opposed to what you seem to believe. I happen to agree with it.”

    I think many, if not most Israelis agree with it too, Efraim, that’s why I posted it. The author, & you too, seem to think that “security” justifies maintaining an apartheid reality in the territories. and that it’s preferable, and doable, to “manage” rather than “solve” the conflict. For the government, this is done by engaging in “peace process” rhetoric to ward off world opprobrium while it continues to confiscate Palestinian land and bantustanizes Palestinians within their population centers, with no real intention of allowing them full rights.

  • “I mean, did you guys really need another four years of the insane fiscal policy that has brought the US to its knees, for example?”

    Absolutely not. Good thing we’ve got a president who’ll tighten out belts and restore balanced budgets to Washington.

    If you read what Paul Krugman has to say about it, Obama has not put enough money into reviving the economy. He calls the amounts spent or allotted so far “half measures.”

  • All of those things you mention, even if they were true (which I do not grant) are far preferable to allowing the Pseudostinians the freedom to murder Jews and shoot rockets at Israeli towns.

    People who elect governments dedicated to genocide and jihad deserve to be oppressed. Is it more “moral” to, let us say, remove the “Apartheid Wall”, the patrols, and the checkpoints? Will you accept responsibility for the Jewish children murdered in their beds that would certainly ruseult? Very “moral” of you, if so.

    I assume your “solution” to the “problem” is to accept the Saudi “peace plan”, more or less, or some version of complete withdrawal. As we have seen, that is a recipe for disaster.

    People like you keep squawking about how we have to “solve” the problem, as though it is all the fault of Israel and the Jews that we are in this situation and there is, indeed some sort of, pardon the phrase “final solution” that will end this conflict once and for all and that it is only due to the lack of vision and bravery on the part of Israel that prevents this from happening.

    This is dangerous nonsense. Every indication, and I mean EVERY indication, is that withdrawal leads to further attacks and that nothing short of complete capitulation by Israel to Arab demands for what amounts to national suicide will bring what the Arabs consider to be “peace”.

    Oppression of the Pseudostinians until the end of time is better than that.

  • Ephraim — *unilateral* withdrawal, i’d agree, leads to more violence. the withdrawal from the Sinai was negotiated. do you believe that has led to further attacks?

  • Aw, come on Middle! And how did I miss this? At no point in the transcript you provide did Scheuer refer to “Jews”. In all likelihood, his separate “column” which supports Israel is comprised largely of the Evangelical wack-jobs who did support Iraq. Further, they were probably among the large numbers of sheeple who bought into the attempts by Cheney’s disinformation campaign to draw a direct tactical link between Iraq and 9/11. Their numbers are much larger than the numbers of American Jews – likely greater than 20% of the population. In other words, they are quite substantial.

    That said, I wouldn’t put it past Scheuer to harbor ill will against American Jews or anyone supporting Israel generally, that impish grin of his notwithstanding. But I’m not going to make an argument based on mind-reading and neither should you. The transcript is right there. Unless you have something that specifically references “Jews” then just admit that you were reading more into Scheuer’s comments than is there – despite Dershowitz’s stroll into a link that is obviously not logically compatible with the group Scheuer had in mind. (Although it is the monkey Scheuer’s responsibility to explicitly name the group in question – i.e. that supports both Israel and the Iraq invasion – which are the Evangelicals. If you think he’s being sneaky with the language in order to plant a seed in people’s minds that points to American Jews – even though Evangelicals are, logically, the only group in question who could fit into the description he provides in his statement, then that’s a different, and plausible argument. However, that’s not what you accused him of saying).

    A little less paranoia and more honesty would be good for everyone, no matter what your position is politically or regarding Israeli policy.

  • Honesty? Wtf? He is specifically talking about Jews and when Dershowitz challenges him on it, he comes back with “you didn’t do a good enough job” and not “I was talking about evangelicals.” This was absolutely and completely straightforward. Dershowitz understood it for what it was and called him on it and Scheuer didn’t deny it for a second.

  • And besides, he’s talking in March. This is after Obama has entered office and the evangelicals have little power because they were mostly in the Republicans’ pocket.

    So please explain to me how he can mean a group that favored the party that lost when he states:

    Today’s question is identical: can America defeat a pro-Israel fifth column of US citizens, neo-copperheads if you will, that corrupt US politics and form policy-making and amount to the most lethal threat to the State of Israel? For renewed post-war ties, Israel must take five actions to help destroy the fifth column that has made Israel the most arrogant, avaricious and treacherous US ally. Americans have always served God in Caesar but a poor fellow citizen serving a foreign Caesar, as some now subordinate US interests to their Jacobin-like assessment of Israel’s. Four public Israeli government actions will focus loyal US citizens on the disloyal. Those who want their taxes spent and soldier children killed and a religious war Israel must lose if the status quo continues.

    The meaning is clearly Jews because there is no other large pro_israel group that would be able to have influence in an adminstration which didn’t receive evangelical votes but did receive Jewish votes.

  • Or this:

    All right, pro-Israeli Americans – what’s your evidence for saying they corrupt US politics?
    Look what they did to Ambassador Freeman in the past couple of weeks.

    Tell us, MUL, how many Evangelicals were accused of bringing down Freeman?

  • You’re muddling again. Scheuer might be doing the same in the context of all these new quotes you piece together (as I acknowledged he might see fit to do – willingly or unwillingly). But that’s not an excuse for missing the first opportunity to make a solid argument.

    First off, let’s agree that there are two primary, solid groups or blocs of people in America with strong, sympathetic attachments to Israel: Jews and Evangelicals. Now, politically, you might be loathe to emphasize that distinction because you see the latter as allies. But transferring such a blatant, but undeclared bias on your part into your posts only makes for a weaker argument in the end. I’ll say flat-out that I make no qualms or excuses when it comes to Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. In fact, I make no qualms or excuses about the fact that a more lukewarm version of this very sentiment resonates throughout America as a whole for some very important historical and cultural reasons. But I am not so fatuous as to deny that the Evangelicals have different reasons for saying as much and that refusing to acknowledge their role in America’s support for Israel is a form of convenient self-deception. And all forms of self-deception are ultimately self-defeating.

    So let’s parse your rebuttals one-by-one. The first one doesn’t matter because Dershowitz himself makes the issue about himself not supporting the Iraq war, and NOT about “the Jews”. Thus, Scheuer is free to respond about how Alan Dershowitz didn’t do enough to prevent the war in Iraq. You want to make Dershowitz some self-appointed representative of American Jewry, ok. But that’s your stretch and not the strongest one in making an argument against Scheuer for merely responding in kind to Dershowitz as Dershowitz, an individual. Not the ambassador of the Jews. Yes, it’s possible that Scheuer made a Freudian slip, depending on how you want to interpret him. But that’s not the most damning argument – it’s quite circumstantial.

    You must have been taken off-guard.

    Your second reply has more merit in making the point I already conceded. If you want to provide context given by parsing Scheuer’s other comments, fine. But they have nothing to do with the Dershowitz interview which you make into your centerpiece for accusing Scheuer of the charge in question.

    Same with the third.

    So basically, if you want to fight Scheuer on his own, muddled terms, which refuse to distinguish between American Jews, Evangelicals, and the broader American public (which is still much more likely to be sympathetic to Israel than not), then feel free to do so. But leaving these distinctions out only lends credibility to the same slapdash, broad-brush bullshit style of argumentation that Scheuer himself uses.

    Don’t fight ill-intentioned idiots on their own terms. Get them on technicalities. Concede their weakest points. And nail them on their most blustering, dunderheaded blunders. That’s what sticks in the public mind. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps I’m nitpicking on a mere stylistic critique. But I’m really of the mind that, at least in the blogosphere, stuff like this makes a difference – and sometimes it makes all the difference. Perhaps you disagree. It is your post, after all, and you are a writer on this website. But I didn’t find your argument, as you originally made it in the post, as convincing as it could have been after going over these additional details.

    Just one person’s opinion.

  • So let’s review:

    Dershowitz says to him something along the lines of, you’re referring to Jews; Jews opposed the war; and, this is bigotry. Scheur doesn’t dispute any of the claims being made about him but actually says to Dershowitz that “you” didn’t do a good enough job preventing the war.

    This is after he referred to the “Israeli Lobby” and the “Israel Lobby” a number of times and even listed them as a fifth column.

    Tell me, why would Scheur be so sly that he wouldn’t say to Dershowitz, in what would amount to a clear victory, “I wasn’t talking about Jews, you paranoid fool, I meant Evangelicals.” He seems to want to go at it with Dershowitz, so why not win with the easy victory that would shame Dershowitz?

    Because he meant Jews.

    The Dershowitz back and forth is enough to make the point clearly but once you add in the other two points I raise, you really can’t continue to deny what is clearly there.

    So please tell me, to which point are you referring when you say you didn’t find my “argument” convincing enough? That he meant Jews? There is no other meaning here. Sorry.

    If you’re defending Obama, as you did throughout the campaign, please don’t bother quite yet. Save it for when he needs defending.

  • check out this article by Scheuer from last July, on his fifth column theory:

    He starts out by citing Joe Klein & his denouncement of Jewish neo-cons over supporting the Iraq war. He then goes on to name 12 “Israel-firsters” who supported the war; six of them are Xtian. He blames AIPAC, & tho less so, the Evangelicals. he seems to be covering his bases against bias accusations.

  • Whatever, Middle. You don’t know when to quit. Here’s a hint: When someone agrees with something you say (even if that doesn’t occur until after you supply good evidence for it), consider quitting.

    Or just fight for the sake of fighting.

    But I’m not going to engage in mind-reading here. You can try to read my mind all you want. What you want to accomplish from that, who can tell?

    The “two other points”, as I understand it, were not from the same conversation. If this is not true, let me know. They provide context to Scheuer’s thoughts that the transcript, alone, does not.

    But let’s reprint the conversation in question:

    Clearly, Mr. Dershowitz, the war in Iraq is the responsibility of the American fifth column that supports Israel.
    Oh, that is ridiculous. I’m part of that fifth column, right? I opposed the war in Iraq.
    You are exactly part of it, sir.
    I opposed the war in Iraq.
    Well you didn’t do it quite well enough, did you?
    More Jews than any other ethnic group in America opposed the war in Iraq. What you’re saying is bigotry. Is bigotry. You’re accused of bigotry. Blaming the Iraq war on the Jews is bigotry.

    Do you not see how it is Dershowitz who first raises any reference to Jews, and not Scheuer? I concede the possibility that Scheuer meant specifically Jews – or at least Jews sloppily lumped in with one or more other groups whom he could have accurately been describing (which is eminently more believable, btw). But there is no way to be sure from the transcript in question.

    If you want to engage in mind-reading, go ahead. Don’t assume it will be a way to convince all the silly empiricists, though. People who interpret through a theological or hopelessly ideological lens, maybe. But not empiricists. Maybe you can bring them all out to a seance or palm reader or something first, Middle, and see if that won’t change their minds. At that point we will all agree to your interpretation of what was in Michael Scheuer’s mind – apart from what we know as a result of the other two texts – without having to actually read his words in the text in question. That should be fun. Wheeeee!

    Maybe your next post to me should not include any words at all and just involve telepathic transmission of your thoughts. If you are thinking of the number “319”, and that number pops up in my head sometime in the next few hours while I am asleep, then I will know you are on to something and never again suggest that you actually provide evidence for what someone said – as I will be completely convinced of your extraordinary capacity for clairvoyance.

    Just don’t think of the number “319”, however, because, you know… that would be sort of a giveaway. Don’t try “411” either.

  • x, the Pseudostinians, Hamas, and the PA are not Egypt. Egypt decided it no longer wanted to fight to the last Egyptian to liberate Pseudostine. So they gave up because Israel beat them and, more importantly, because the US pays them $2 billion a year to be nice to the Jews. If that subsidy dried up they would tear up the peace treaty in a New York minute, I’m sure.

    Anyway, Egypt agreed on a peace treaty where they waived “claims” to Pseudostine. That is, they agreed, at least on paper, that they weren’t going to try to destroy Israel anymore.

    If and when the Pseudostinians actually really do that, I agree that there might be a chance for a negotiated peace. But there is absolutely no sign of anything like that happening. The Saudi Piece Plan, which even Obama has said could be a starting point for negotiations (way to show your support for Israel, O!), insists not only on complete Israeli withdrawal from all “occupied” territory, it insists that Israel also allow the “return” of whomever they decide they want to call a Pseudostinian “refugee”, guaranteeing that Israel will be swamped with millions of people sworn to its destruction. All Hamas offers is a 10-year truce, or hudna, not peace and recognition. Indeed, they go out of their way at every possible opportunity to say that they never will recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state in any size, shape, or form.

    No negotiations are possible with people like this. Netanyahu was right to insist that whomever Israel talks to must first recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. The fact that even the “moderate” Abu Mazen refuses to do it just shows you how hopeless it is.

  • MUL, I fell asleep about three quarters of the way through your first paragraph and never finished reading your comment. I’ll try again when I wake up nine hours from now.

  • Nine hours…? You lucky dog.

    Maybe my brain’s just fried from all these cursed six hour-long nights.

  • Middle, in hindsight I see your point about Scheuer not denouncing Dershowitz’s accusation forcefully enough once he (Dershowitz) had made it. But at that point the moderator is starting to cut them both off anyway. Scheuer does, however, decry the accusation of bigotry. Whether that means he thinks Jews should not therefore be classed in with the group that supported invading Iraq, is not clear. What is clear is that the accusation of anti-Semitism or bigotry becomes a distraction for him from being able to clarify exactly what he was referring to in the waning seconds before the transition.

    Maybe this was the best way to get him on the ropes. Dershowitz was trying to build a case against Scheuer for lying about the role of American Jews in supporting the war. I don’t see how they fully got to any such conclusion though. The clip is too short and the references (by anyone but Dershowitz) too vague to make that case.

    Scheuer is not to be trusted; I find him sneaky and sloppy. Is it too much to ask that we make more airtight cases against him? I mean, look at all the direct, inflammatory stuff that Pat Buchanan said and he’s still able to maintain a respectable profile in American journalism. So I just don’t see how this wishy washy stuff with Scheuer will cut it.

  • MUL,
    If by airtight you mean that we have to have him say, “Jews” then it’ll never happen. But this is about as close as you’re going to get.

    But I want to show you something. I don’t sleep nine hours a night. If you look at that comment you will find the numbers 319 embedded in it. It was my way of making a joke about your previous comment. You didn’t see it or get it, however, because you weren’t paying close attention to what wasn’t being said and because I wasn’t entirely open. But just because I didn’t write 319, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It is, and it is in fact the sole purpose of that comment.

  • Scheuer’s an equal-opportunity gadfly, who’s made a living at being critical of everyone on Mideast policy: Bill Clinton, Bush, Obama, the Israelis, the Saudis etc. As such, I wouldn’t take him too seriously.

  • That’s not the concern here, Tom. My concern is the openness with which scapegoating the Jewish community, aka “the Israel Lobby” has become the norm in public forums. It was one thing when you had some obscure academic like Juan Cole doing it on his website, but now this is all over the airwaves and you have people with media prominence doing it to such an extent that people like Scheuer feel perfectly comfortable doing it to the face, and on a public stage yet, of people like Dershowitz.

    It’s a little worrying.

  • Part of it is the atmosphere, the nearly worldwide swing to the left. For the next few years, we’ll be tough on our allies while doing our best to placate Chavez, the Castro brothers, Kim, Ahmadinejad, Danny Ortega et al.

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