Bush Says Iraq War Is Good for Israel

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Bush Says Iraq War Is Good for Israel

Postby robertdreed » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:09 pm

News<br>Bush Says Iraq War Is Good for Israel<br>View Clashes With Opinion Of Israeli Aides<br>By FORWARD STAFF<br>December 16, 2005<br><br>In sharp contrast to the growing consensus of Jerusalem's security and political establishment, President Bush argued this week that Israel's safety depends on democratization of the Arab world.<br><br>"If you're a supporter of Israel, I would strongly urge you to help other countries become democracies," President Bush declared Monday, in a major address defending American policy in Iraq and his wider vision for the region. "Israel's long-term survival depends upon the spread of democracy in the Middle East."<br><br>Israeli security officials argued the opposite view at this month's American-Israeli strategic dialogue, warning that regime change and democratization threatened to destabilize the Middle East. Israel sees its security tied to regimes such as Egypt and Jordan, and fears that democratization could turn those countries against Israel.<br><br>"I am skeptical when it comes to the supposition that democracy is a panacea. Not all democracies are good," said General Shlomo Brom, former chief of the Israeli army's strategic planning division. "What about a democracy in Egypt — let's say — which is governed by the Muslim Brotherhood? Would Egypt then have better relations with Israel than under Mubarak's regime?"<br><br>As the American-Israeli debate quietly heats up, the Bush administration's approach is creating fault lines within the Jewish community. On Tuesday, the Republican Jewish Coalition took out a full-page advertisement attacking the Reform synagogue movement over its recent call for the United States to develop an exit strategy for the war in Iraq.<br><br>Neither the Republican Jewish Coalition ad nor the Reform statement mentioned Israel. But some pro-Israel activists and Israeli observers criticized Bush's comments, saying they could end up fueling claims that Jerusalem and Jewish groups pushed the United States into an unpopular war.<br><br>"American Jews don't want American soldiers to be dying for Israel," said Martin Raffel, <br>associate executive director of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, a public-policy coordinating umbrella group consisting of 13 national organizations and 123 local community-relations councils.<br><br>"Would Israel benefit from democracy in the Middle East? Yes. But so would Europe, and America and the whole international community," Raffel said. "So why would the president select supporters of Israel? Supporters of Western civilization would want to see democratization in the Middle East, along with Israel."<br><br>Israeli experts voiced similar concerns.<br><br>"It could put Israel in a very awkward situation with the American public, if Israel would be the excuse for losing more American soldiers every day," said Danny Rothschild, a retired major general who once served as the Israeli army's top administrator in the West Bank. <br><br>In a speech on Wednesday, Bush criticized anti-war opponents who would suggest that America went to war for Israel. At the same, he and other Republicans defending his foreign policy by linking it to Israel's security needs.<br><br>Senator John Warner of Virginia, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently argued in an interview with MSNBC that a premature American pullout would "put Israel in a very tenuous and vulnerable position." And a GOP activist, Bruce Blakeman, told the Forward that Israel's security has always played a key role in the president's thinking on Iraq.<br><br>"The president realized not only that Saddam Hussein was a danger to America, but that Saddam Hussein had designs on attacking Israel," said Blakeman, whose brother Brad is a former Bush aide. "There was a concern that an attack on Israel would turn into a regional war, with Syria and Iran joining in on Iraq's side."<br><br>While some Israelis and Jewish communal leaders worried about Bush's remarks, Blakeman told the Forward that "concern for the well-being of Israel is not confined to the Jewish community."<br><br>"The vast majority of Americans realize that Israel is a strong democracy in a region where there has been no democracy and an ally that shares our values," Blakeman said.<br><br>But several Israeli experts insisted that any pro-war argument — even a valid one — linked to Israel's security could end up undermining American public support for the American-Israeli relationship. And while most Israeli experts contacted by the Forward predicted that an American withdrawal would unleash a wave of terrorism directed at American allies in the region, several still challenged the premise that the United States should remain in Iraq. <br><br>"I maintain that the U.S. presence there actually causes harm to some of our interests," said Brom, who is currently a guest scholar at the federally funded United States Institute of Peace in Washington. "Take Iran. America's presence in Iraq does not allow an appropriate dealing with the Iranian problem. It also erodes, over time, the powerful image of the United States. That's not good for Israel, as an ally of the U.S."<br><br>Still, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said few dispute that a premature pullout would create instability, threatening several U.S. allies, including Israel, and several Arab states. "That is not to say that we went to war because of Israel or we stayed at war because of Israel," Hoenlein said, "but one of the consequences of making the wrong step of leaving Iraq prematurely would be Israel.... I don't think that there is any division in the Jewish community that I know of on that."<br><br>A very public dispute did erupt this week between Jewish groups over Iraq, with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Republican Jewish Coalition exchanging rhetorical blows. At issue was the Reform union's resolution last month calling for a strategy to end America's presence in Iraq.<br><br>On Tuesday, the Republican group published a full-page ad in The New York Times, addressing the Union for Reform Judaism and stating: "Freedom is worth fighting for." The ad was signed by several prominent Jewish Republican elected officials, former ambassadors, senior military officers, rabbis and former senior officials with Jewish groups. The Republican ad argues that it is "misleading and wrong" for the Reform movement to suggest that "American Jews oppose the president on Iraq."<br><br>By Tuesday evening, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi David Saperstein, had sent a scathing open letter to the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Matt Brooks. The Reform union's president, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, and its chairman of the board, Robert Heller, sent a letter to Bush.<br><br>"Respectfully but firmly, Mr. President, we want our leaders to tell us the truth, the whole of it, and we therefore call on your administration to adopt a policy of transparency," Yoffie and Heller wrote. "With regard to troop withdrawal, we call not only for a clear exit strategy but also for specific goals for troop withdrawal to commence after the completion of parliamentary elections scheduled for later this week and then to be continued in a way that maintains stability in Iraq and empowers Iraqi forces to provide for their national security."<br><br><br>With reporting by Ori Nir in Washington, Guy Leshem in Tel Aviv, and Ami Eden and E.J. Kessler in New York. <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.forward.com/articles/7020">www.forward.com/articles/7020</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br> <br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=robertdreed>robertdreed</A> at: 12/17/05 8:11 pm<br></i>
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Re: Bush Says Iraq War Is Good for Israel

Postby slimmouse » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:17 pm

<br><br> Well, thats a major 'pass the ball' to the ADL and their associates for a while, as a large percentage of the anti war brigade follow their favourite bogeyman ( Israel ) into the spiders web.<br><br> Gotta hand it to Bushco. <p></p><i></i>
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comment

Postby ir » Sun Dec 18, 2005 4:05 am

First - the Reformed Union and all other liberals went along with the iraq war plans, and so I don't buy that sudden shift as authentic, rather as a fear resulting from the failure of this great gamble. At least the warmongers (republican jews, whatever that is - the club of "we make money out of wars in the middle east") are showing some spine, and sticking to the position even when it is losing favor with the public opinion.<br><br>--<br>Shlomo Brom curiously published an article a few years ago harshly criticizing the Israeli intel community for providing false intel in iraq and thus harming Israel in the long run. When I read it back then (he was in clear dissent to the general lynching atomphere in Israel during the gulf war, towards out Iraqi adversaries), i thought ..emm, either he is very courageous OR they are already preparing for the post war/partum depression.Kind of having the alibi or the ones who will lead the "we said it was wrong to invade iraq" position, within the military establishment. <br><br>---<br><br>While clearly, it is Bush who went forward with the war plans regardless of whether Israel supported it or not, the general popular sentiment in Israel was "aleyhum" and joy over the destruction of Iraq, or "they are doing our work". This was the case among ALL parties here, except the traditional, narrow and stable radical left which is negligable in terms of electorate.<br><br>--<br><br>While the Israeli response of dancing on the blood of Iraq was tacky and mob=like state of mind (let alone idiotic response, because we are their neighbors after all)<br>it is somewhat excusable in light of the "scare show" that preceded it, especially the 1991 Scud attack on Tel aviv. But the wall to wall support of this war by the Jewish American communities (INCLUDING the liberals, and we didn't see them swarming the streets against the war), is the epitome of stupidity and bad intent, and so if they get some of the Bush spin now, perhaps it will teach these people a lesson for the future. <br><br>However, since Bush is on the way out, I think the spin will be harmless eventually. Also, these people will gladly spin everything against Israel, now that its usefulness as a pretext for war profiteering is comsumed. I have to say that the American Jewish leadership is well adapted to American imperialism.<br><br>(comment - this is dealing with American jewish establishment not individuals and peace groups).<br><br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Israelis are not PATRIOT enough for American republican Jews

Postby ir » Sun Dec 18, 2005 5:40 am

<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/2240">www.campus-watch.org/article/id/2240</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>Campus Watch Research<br>Academics against Israel<br>by Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky<br>Jerusalem Post<br>October 19, 2005<br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1129540559282&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter">www.jpost.com/servlet/Sat...%2FPrinter</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>The problem of scholars injecting politics into their classroom and published works is an old one. But a powerful new article by Ofira Seliktar demonstrates that Israeli scholars - historians, political scientists, and others - have gone far beyond protesting against their state in these ways. In conjunction with pro-Palestinian and "peace" activists many have actively worked to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the world, and have proposed its destruction. This is being paid for by Jewish support of higher education in Israel, and of organizations such as the US-based Association for Israel Studies.<br><br><br>Seliktar, an Israeli-born former professor of political science at Temple University, is no stranger to controversy. Among her recent books are a study of American Jewish attitudes toward the Arab-Israeli peace process and others detailing American intelligence failures regarding the Soviet Union and Iran.<br><br><br>While researching a new book on the failure of the Oslo Accords Seliktar noted the predominance of Israeli academics among Oslo's promoters, but even more disturbingly, working in conjunction with NGOs and others to discredit Israel. Her article, which will appear in the next issue of the journal Israel Affairs, will generate even more controversy.<br><br><br>It was a small step to go from the "New Historians" of the 1980s to today. The "New Historians," including Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe and Tom Segev, were a small school of revisionists who challenged the dominant and often gauzy stories of Israel's founding. Other Israeli university figures such as linguist Tanya Reinharz, sociologists Baruch Kimmerling and Yehuda Shenhav, philosopher Anat Bilezki and geographer Oren Yiftachel, took the critique in new directions.<br><br>Armed with the latest academic theories, they set out to deconstruct every facet of Israeli history and society. Above all they focused on Israel's treatment of Palestinians, but also decried its treatment of Mizrahim, women and Judaism. All these and more were victims of Zionism and the Israeli state. The rights of Palestinians were trampled, opportunities for peace with Arab neighbors were rebuffed, all non-Ashkenazim were discriminated against and cultures were suppressed.<br><br>Shenhav, of Tel Aviv University, for example, saw the Ashkenazi elite manipulating the Sephardim, who had lived peacefully with their Arab neighbors, into adopting a nationalist belief system that served the Zionist militaristic state. For Idith Zertal (and Norman Finkelstein) the crime has included Israel's use of the Holocaust. There was no end to the litany of evils.<br><br>Many Israeli academics have long been active in, or have even run, local NGOs such as Gush Shalom, B'Tselem, Yesh Gvul, the Committee to Stop Demolition of Houses in Palestine, the Committee to Stop Torture, and Courage to Resist. But the activism of a core group of a few dozen took the message far beyond the constraints of Israeli society. Through determined writing and endless speaking, a stream of petitions, and above all, skillful use of the Internet, their bitterness toward Zionism and Israel has spread far and wide. False accusations, such as the preposterous "Urgent Warning against the War in Iraq and the Support for the Right to Return of Palestinians to Israel," which warned that Israel planned to remove Palestinians should America attack Iraq, have been spread in close conjunction with Palestinian groups such as BADIL.<br><br>Neve Gordon and Lev Grinberg have pushed for a war-crimes tribunal against Israeli military officers, and many have been active in the divestment movement. The Anglican Church, among others, has seized on the testimony of these Israelis to support its position that Israel is a violent, colonial aggressor and as a result has decided to divest from firms doing business there. Their voices are amplified by portions of the American Jewish community, including Voices for Peace, Jews for Justice in the Middle East and others. Personal links between US activists and post-Zionists have resulted in divestment drives, such as in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which was partially set up by Tanya Reinharz. In fact, according to Reinharz and two colleagues, activists in the United States invited them to join the Ann Arbor initiative to undermine the much-publicized comment of Harvard president Lawrence H. Sumner that divestment is "anti-Semitic." The recent British effort to boycott Israeli universities was spearheaded by Pappe.<br><br>These professors have also spread their message in the US thanks to groups such as Faculty for Israeli Palestinian Peace and sponsors, including American Jewish philanthropists, such as the Helen Diller Foundation, which helped pay for Yiftachel and Gordon to spend time at the University of California. As Jewish critics of Israel they are protected from accusations of anti-Semitism, and have been endorsed by frequent appearances in publications such as Tikkun magazine.<br><br>Ironically, anti-Israel scholars are cited approvingly by the anti-Zionist American Council on Judaism, as well as by neo-Nazis. But they are also given center stage by the Association for Jewish Studies, and by Middle East scholars and Middle East Studies centers, who frequently host them and provide visiting appointments. Their presence gives the scholars the "legitimacy" they seek, while allowing their hosts to claim fairness in presenting an "Israeli viewpoint."<br><br>Although Seliktar doesn't use the language, it is clear that for some Middle East Studies scholars, anti-Zionists, and even neo-Nazis, activist Israeli scholars are "good Jews." The irony is that Israeli taxpayers still pay their salaries, and that their activities are supported by elements in the US Jewish community.<br><br>As Seliktar's paper points out, the explicitly political activities of activist scholars are given legitimacy and protected by their positions of authority and safety in universities.<br><br>But do politics that go beyond dissent to actively call for the ostracizing, punishment and even the de-facto destruction of Israel warrant the protections of academic freedom? What's academic about this sort of advocacy??<br><br>Seliktar notes the dearth of alternative institutions in Israeli society that might encourage greater intellectual pluralism. Until such an infrastructure is developed, until donors start asking questions about what is being done with their money, and until it is better appreciated how a few tenured professors have gone beyond the bounds of their academic appointments, little will change.<br><br><br>The writers work for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that critiques academic Middle East studies.<br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Bush Says Iraq War Is Good for Israel

Postby AlicetheCurious » Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:50 am

Is it good for Israel? Is it bad for Israel? Such a controversy! So many conflicting points of view! How many people actually stop and ask themselves, what is behind the preoccupation, even obsession, with Israel?<br><br>While they're at it, they could also ask the following questions:<br><br>1) Why are we to celebrate and rejoice at the 'destruction' of the Soviet Union and of South Africa's apartheid system, but the 'destruction' of Israel's racist and expansionist system of oppressing and dispossessing indigenous people is a catastrophe to be avoided at all costs?<br><br>2) How come we say we admire individuals who courageously stand up for what they believe to be right, who speak the truth, who fight against injustice and oppression, but when these individuals are Israelis, their critics can get away with spitting the epithet, "good Jews" at them, and imply that they are in league with, of all things, neo-nazis!!!???<br><br>3) What is so odd, or inconceivable, about demanding that all countries and their citizens comply with basic standards of respect for human rights and international law? Even, imagine (!) the United States and, yes, Israel?<br><br>4) Does anyone know if Palestinians and even Arabs in general, are included in the legal definition of "human", and might therefore aspire to one day have "rights" accordingly?<br><br>That would be so great... <p></p><i></i>
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good points curiousalice

Postby ir » Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:35 pm

the writer of this perposterous article above cannot see anything wrong with his brutal interferance in Israeli affairs. The issue is "middle east studies" namely, the region we live in, of which we know first hand, but this person, whose only mandate to interfere is MONEY (made at the expense of israelis' bloodshed in the conflict here) thinks he should go around telling people here how to be really good jews, namely, dead or maimed ones (sacred victims, that's his favorite good israeli Jew, I suppose). I don't see how it is relevant that he is Jewish and why should he even have the right to comment about Israeli academia at all ? <br>---<br>This is just a tiny bit of what is actualy going on between Israel's citizenry and those outrageously overbearing and exploitative american Jews who are all too eager to defend Israel till the last ISRAELI drop of blood. I cannot understand why people in the USA allow this to happen ? I hope you can sense the violence between the lines of this article, violence towards Israelis whose only crime, is that their views are differnet than his, and who do not dance to the dollar song he is playing. I get angry now.<br><br>I cannot speak for the palestinians here, I wish someone who Is one joined this board to speak for them. generally, though, one can be sure that if this is the violence towards Israeli Jews, clearly this writer above, could not care less about the palestinians of Israel or the territories. For him, they are props in his show, much the same as we, his "brethern" are. <br><br>Apparently, which I didn't know, Daniel Pipes, the head of this university watch thought police force is a former state department staff. All the other, save one, are Americans, mostly Jews or Christian arabs, who found a way to get rich.<br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: good points curiousalice

Postby AlicetheCurious » Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:01 am

Maybe I'm some kind of genetic mutation, but I don't relate at all to the primitive tribalism that seems to underlie so much of this (and other) political debates.<br><br>The idea that you can somehow "speak for" the Jews or Israelis, or Palestinians, or Muslims, just because you happen to be one, seems offensive to me, no less racist than the criminal practice of collective punishment. The role of individuals such as you, IR, becomes so much more important, if difficult, when so many claim to speak authoritatively in your name.<br><br>Either you're telling the truth as you know it, and can back it up, and there is some logic to what you're saying, or not. Either you're making a positive contribution to the discussion, or you're not. In any case, you -- and you alone -- are responsible for your own thoughts and how you express them.<br><br>Much of the confusion surrounding the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is deliberate; it's usually presented as two opposing points of view, and since in many ways they are irreconcilable, the "objective" observer is left to throw up his hands in despair that it can ever be resolved.<br><br>Imagine if the same method were used universally to resolve civil or criminal disputes -- I suspect that, whether the case resembled the dispute between Union Carbide and Bhopal, or between a husband who killed his wife and his wife's accusing family, you'd get pretty much the same miserable, long, drawn out, non-result.<br><br>Either it is permissible for countries to acquire territory by military conquest, and forcibly herd its inhabitants into camps, or it is not.<br><br>Either it is permissible for countries to transfer their citizens to settle in those territories, or it is not. <br><br>Either it is legal for one country to grant "rights" exclusively to some people, over other people and their property, based on religious and ethnic criteria, or it is not.<br><br>Either collective "punishment" of civilians, based on their ethnicity or religion, is a crime, or it is a valid practice. <br><br>Either the laws protecting human rights are universal, or they are only applicable to the citizens of countries that are "friends" and "allies".<br><br>Is 'terrorism' defined by the nationality of its victims rather than by its methods? That's the way it looks to me.<br><br>Maybe I'm just not capable of recognizing the fine distinction between the victims of a suicide bomber and those of a phosphorous bomb attack in Fallujah. Or between a plane that hits a building and an Apache helicopter that shoots missiles at a residential building full of families... <p></p><i></i>
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