It’s about a week old, but Ynet reports,
A plurality of Europeans believes Jews are not loyal to their country and that they have too much power in business and finance, a new poll released by the Anti-Defamation League [shows].
Europe, antisemitic? Heh. You don’t say. You needed to waste money on a poll to figure that out?
But this information is made somewhat relevant in light of a another poll to be unveiled by Frank Luntz at The Israel Project’s upcoming seminar in D.C. later this month.
In extensive research conducted for the report, Luntz found that students in America’s most elite graduate programs are misinformed about the Arab-Israeli conflict, hold negative attitudes toward Jews and even justify suicide bombings.
[…] “America 2020” is based on face-to-face group interviews with almost 150 randomly selected students under age 30 attending the top graduate schools in America—including the top business school, the top law school, the top school of government and the top school of journalism. For the report Luntz talked to students in five mind-shaping centers in America: Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. From Harvard, MIT, and Columbia to Georgetown, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins to UCLA, the University of Chicago and Northwestern, the students in the study are already opinion-influencers. Tomorrow they will be opinion leaders, and by 2020 they will be the decision-makers.
“Never in the modern history of the Jewish State has there been more outspoken public opposition on elite college campuses to the basic principles and tenets of Israel,” Luntz wrote in the report. “To be brutally frank, if current attitudes are not reversed, America’s core commitment to—and alliance with—Israel may not survive.”
It doesn’t seem like America’s core commitment to Israel is surviving as it stands. As The Middle writes on Jewlicious, things are gettin’ mad icy over Israel’s improper business practices, not to mention, the Bush administration hasn’t exactly been Israel’s best friend with regards to its policy decisions (“Jesus Landing Pad” notwithstanding).
In his report, Luntz, a frequent pollster for the Republican party and Bush administration, brings frantic attention to the following statement from a Harvard Law student: “I think that what Israel’s doing to the Palestinians is effectively what was done to the Jews in Europe during World War II. I understand they’re living in a regime of terror, but frankly, if I were a Palestinian, I don’t know that I wouldn’t strap on a bomb and go and kill myself.”
Er, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s said the same thing, hasn’t he? That if he were Palestinian, he’d be a terrorist? The same article notes former IDF Intelligence Chief Shlomo Gazit also, “compared the kippot of religious soldiers to the swastikas worn by Nazi soldiers.” So this girl holds the same position as the former Israeli Prime Minister and Intelligence Chief of Staff? Pardon me, but what’s all the freak-out about?
Here’s an idea. Among the conference’s other speakers is Bill Kristol, crown prince of Neoconservative punditry, and editor of Fox NewsCorp’s “esteemed” publication The Weekly Standard. An understanding of Kristol’s ideology, Neoconservativism, may just offer a little insight:
So, where exactly do they derive their ideology? We know Strauss gave birth to this brood, but where did he get his ideas? Well, the Sermon on the Mount reference was no joke. Ditto the Mount Olympus thing. Strauss and acolytes like Alan Bloom and Albert Wohlstetter, ex- of the patient zero of conservative think tanks, the RAND Corporation divined their world view from The Ancients, as they like to call them–The Persians, Greeks and Romans on through to renaissance thinkers, but mostly the Greeks.
The neos’ infatuation with this Nico-Manichaeanism–I guess what you’d call a hybrid of Machiavelli’s power ideas blended with those of Manes of Persia, and then the Greeks–a bright line view of the world as Good or Evil, Light or Dark–is clearly apparent in their domestic and foreign policy beliefs and execution, if, as I said, you know what you’re looking for. It’s explained better than I ever could here:
Manichaeanism holds that principles of Light and God contend with Darkness and Matter for hegemony over the cosmos. Human beings in bondage to Darkness and Matter can free themselves to unite with Light and God through severe ascetic practices and adherence to the teachings of the Manichaean elect, who shall one day be united with the Light. Manichaeanism thrived in the ancient world as a missionary religion. Augustine of Hippo was attracted to the Manichaeans in his youth before becoming a Christian.
Yeah, that Augustine, the big guy: Saint Augustine. Before he sobered up. And yes, “The Manichaean Elect.” That would be first, the Strauss-Kristol-Wohlstetter Axis, then the Cheneys, Perles, Wolfowitzes, and the whole AEI crew. A witches brew of creeds, colors, spotty track records and cranky authoritarianism, here to save us from ourselves and our flabby thinking.
Ah yes. They’re here to rescue us, making comparisons of the estate-tax to the Holocaust as they drop bombs on brown people; all the while Europe, as Foxman’s poll suggests, the liberal masses, and traditional antisemites pronounce the war is for Israel’s sake, inflaming antisemitic sentiment. (Seen what David Duke’s up to lately? First person on the left look familiar, Bill Kristol? Thanks for all your help!) Who could blame ’em with these fools running their mouths off?
The whole Neocon strategy is to use the lexicon of “good” and “evil” in order to play upon people’s emotions and sweep them into action. It doesn’t use rationalle, it uses fear-mongering. And the fear they’re playing up, and the tension they’re directly exacerbating whether intentfully or unwittingly, is antisemitism. Being that Jews are a powerbase, financially and politically, this looks more like an attempt to indoctrinate Jews into supporting the Neocon agenda than in trying to build real support for Israel (which should come on merit, not on agenda and ‘interest’). These folks coopt real concerns about antisemitism to tarnish opposing political groups, associating those groups’ dissenting views with antisemitism.
But while antisemitism is undoubtedly a concern to be addressed, so is Israel’s actions in the Occupied Territories and in its trade practices, selling weaponry to nations with attrocious human rights records (a subject TM doesn’t even breach while justifying Israel’s relationship with China*). Disbelieving in the rhetorical stance of the Right on this subject does not, however, make one an antisemite, nor does having well-educated “future leaders” disbelieving make for a “chilling” trend. It means people aren’t willing to give Israel a free pass, and frankly, as history should teach us, no occupying power ever should be given one.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a black and white issue, it’s an incredibly nuanced one, and the platitudes of “good” and “evil” are entirely insufficient when wading through such murky territory. This makes the Neocon position an incredibly dangerous one, and one, I believe, we’re best off steering clear of.
After all, what’s so bad about being weaned off of America’s teat, anyway? It’s but a rivulet managed by the House of Saud and fed by defense contractors and Jeebus freaks. That doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, but enough of this “client state” idiocy already. Zionism is supposed to be a movement for the Jewish people’s self-determination. I don’t see how that’s embodied in having the U.S. dictate Israel’s policy by Israel’s being economically dependent upon it. It’s not like they’re supporting the Jewish Left’s agenda, or the Jewish Right’s. They’re just pushing their own.
It’s a little too Herodian for my taste.
(*TM—Better we should be linked to an ascending world power like China than America? Oftentimes I’ve heard the reason that Palestinians don’t “fit the category” of a ger is because they sacrifice their children. And the Chinese don’t? The only values the two nations have in common is occupation and repression of dissent.)