Dear e-pals: I am delighted that James Kirchick who is a fine and scholarly reporter has exposed the execrable Seymour Hersh…..but it is a tad strange that no attributions are made to Rael Jean Isaac who pioneered the outing of Hersh as a biased soldier of the hard left and an unprincipled enemy of truth. ….so I am recirculating the columns posted by Rael Isaac…..rsk
The Case Against the Israel Lobby [incl. Rashid Khalidi] by Don Casler
With the primary season heating up and a general election looming, America stands at something of a foreign policy crossroads, having just limped out of Iraq but with boots still on the ground in an increasingly hopeless war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, one foreign policy issue that is unlikely to be raised by any candidate or party is U.S. support for Israel. Given the strategic and political implications of any issue related to the Middle East, it is vital for Americans to be able to speak freely and seriously about the influence of Israel over our foreign policy decisions.
As political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt noted in their groundbreaking 2006 essay “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” Israel has received generous and special treatment from the United States, even though it lacks both strategic value and a persuasive moral justification for continued American support. Mearsheimer and Walt conclude that the United States’ policy toward Israel is due to the dominance of the Israel lobby, specifically the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Essentially, the United States’ Israel policy is a case of special interest influence taken to an extreme level. The Israel lobby is a classic example of an attentive public, albeit one that has enjoyed extraordinary success in accomplishing its goals. It is a public relations machine that leverages its access to Congress and the executive branch to gain tacit American support for Israeli actions, like the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, and to stifle any debate about American support for Israel.
Almost two years ago, Peter Beinart wrote an article in New York Review of Books that sent shock waves through the Jewish community. He argued that liberalism was losing out in Israel to a far-right, anti-democratic, and even racist form of Zionism largely rooted in an ultra-Orthodox interpretation of Judaism. Worse still, the organizations of the American Jewish establishment were too reflexively supporting the policies of the Israeli government, and failing to criticize its illiberal behavior. Consequently, young American Jews perceive that there is a conflict between their own liberal values and Israel’s policies, and they are withdrawing their support from Israel and the American Jewish organization that support the Zionist cause.
Beinart has elucidated these ideas in a book, “The Crisis of Zionism,” that’s slated to go on sale in late March. Yet, at least two fawning assessments have already appeared. Jacob Heilbrunn, a senior editor with the National Interest, has a lengthy review essay in the March/April issue of that journal. Roger Cohen devoted one of his New York Times columns to the book. You can expect that the publication of Beinart’s book will spawn many more articles that viciously attack Israel.
Thank you, Judge Heitler. It’s a pleasure to be here with this distinguished group of alumni. I want to start by thanking Fordham Law School for educating generations of public-service-minded attorneys. The school is an incredible resource for this city, whether it’s the 150,000 hours of volunteer service completed by the graduating class of 2011 or the thousands of professionals who’ve gone on to do outstanding legal work, including in the ranks of the Police Department.
In recent years, as the NYPD has taken on the mission of counterterrorism, the legal questions we face have grown in complexity. We’re constantly looking at how to safeguard civil liberties and defend society from acts of terrorism. In some ways, these are issues we could have and should have addressed years earlier.
Nineteen years ago, on February 26th 1993, I was New York City Police Commissioner. It was a Friday afternoon, and I was in my office on the 14th floor of Police Headquarters when a massive explosion rocked the World Trade Center. The blast tore a hole in the building seven stories deep. I remember seeing the smoke rise and the mass of emergency vehicles at the scene when I got there just ten minutes later. The bomb, which was detonated in an underground garage, killed six people and wounded more than 1,000. At the time it was said to be a miracle there weren’t more fatalities.
That attack should have been a wake-up call for the nation and the city. It was not. The suspects—the first of whom was found when he tried to reclaim the deposit on the rental van used in the attack—were dismissed as incompetent.
In fact, their associates were already plotting another attack. The investigation of the World Trade Center bombing focused the attention of authorities on Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an extremist cleric affiliated with a mosque in Brooklyn. He told worshipers it was their religious duty to fight enemies of god. Rahman, also known as the Blind Sheikh, was at the heart of a plan to attack the U.N., the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge, and the FBI’s New York office. That plot was thwarted by an informant who infiltrated the group.
Fisking Obama’s AIPAC Speech Ed Lasky
President Obama delivered a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday. The text can be found here.Barack Obama’s reception was lukewarm when he walked on stage — and for good reason, given the treatment he has meted out to Israel since assuming the presidency. I thought it would be interesting to do a so-called Fisking of his speech to illustrate its inaccuracies. Fisking is named after the British “journalist” Robert Fisk who has been notorious for passing off his biases and errors as facts. A Fisking just reveals and highlights these “errors”. The excerpts are in quotes; my analysis follows after Comment
So a Fisking we go:
“Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every single year. We are investing in new capabilities. We’re providing Israel with more advanced technology – the types of products and systems that only go to our closest friends and allies. And make no mistake: We will do what it takes to preserve Israel’s qualitative military edge – because Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.
This isn’t just about numbers on a balance sheet. As a senator, I spoke to Israeli troops on the Lebanese border. I visited with families who’ve known the terror of rocket fire in Sderot. And that’s why, as president, I have provided critical funding to deploy the Iron Dome system that has intercepted rockets that might have hit homes and hospitals and schools in that town and in others. Now our assistance is expanding Israel’s defensive capabilities, so that more Israelis can live free from the fear of rockets and ballistic missiles.”
Comment: He did not do this; Congress did. Mark Kirk was instrumental in ensuring the Iron Dome system was funded, developed and deployed. This was during the Bush years, not the Obama years. A matter of fact, he trimmed funding in his latest budget proposal for Israel’s missile defense.
German Paper: North Korea Tested Nuclear Warhead for Iran
Blogger John Galt picks up this story from the Austrian newspaper Wiener Zietung:
North Korea detonated two secret tests of atomic warheads with highly enriched uranium in 2010, according to a German press report. The newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported with reference to western security circles, as some secret services assumed that the government in P’yongyang at least one of these tests had carried out for the Iranians. This would mean that Teheran, with North Korean aid, has constructed and already tested an atomic warhead. According to the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, this assumption is based on data of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
Nothing but nothing will get Iran’s media and academic apologists to admit that the mullahs are pursuing a nuclear weapon. Their newest semantic trick is to post up on the word “building” and insist that the Iranians aren’t physically constructing a bomb, which is silly inasmuch as of course it’s true. They’re merely building all the parts that go into creating a nuclear weapon – detonators, warheads, highly enriched nuclear material – and when those are finished, then they’ll assemble them all together.
At the end of March, Richard Perle resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, forced out of the leadership role (he remained a member) by a firestorm of publicity concerning supposed ethics violations launched by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in a March 17 New Yorker article and expanded in the New York Times. For Hersh, Perle is a perfect target, embodying attitudes Hersh finds most detestable — friendship for Israel and belief that the United States is a force for good in the world.
On CNN, Richard Perle called Hersh “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist,” a summation of Hersh’s career it is hard to better. The only substantive “fact” Hersh offers in his article is that Perle met with two Saudi businessmen to discuss Iraq. One was Adnan Kashoggi, the longtime arms dealer and middleman, who arranged the meeting at the request of the other, Iraqi-born Harb Saleh al-Zuhair, who claimed to have come from Iraq with a negotiating offer from Saddam. All three agree that the only topic discussed at the meeting was Iraq.
In fact he unraveled a long time ago and the media ignored it. Isaac’s first article on Hersh appeared in Midstream almost twenty years ago (in 1992) called Seymour Hersh’s Obsessions. This column appeared in 2006 in the book The Jewish Divide over Israel published in 2006 by Transaction. (Editor/authors Paul Bogdanor and Edward Alexander. rsk
Character assassination. A simplistic moral universe in which the U.S. is the villain and Israel the only country yet more villainous. Anonymous sources that cannot be checked. Dark charges based on a crazy patchwork of suppositions. Far-out conspiracy theories. Con men as sources. Reputable sources misquoted. These constitute the decades-long modus operandi of Seymour Hersh, the man now serving as star investigative reporter of the New Yorker.
Midstream, February/March 1992 Seymour Hersh’s Obsessions by Rael Jean Isaac
THIS WAS WRITTEN WHEN JAMES KIRCHICK WAS NINE YEARS OLD. THE READER IS ALSO DIRECTED TO :
“The Cult of Seymour Hersh (The American Spectator, July/August 2004) and “Investigating Seymour Hersh” (in Alexander and Bogdanor, eds. The Jewish Divide Over Israel, 2006), also published in Society,(Nov.-Dec. 2005).
SEYMOUR HERSH’S OBSESSIONS:
Had Seymour’s Hersh’s The Samson Option been written by a member of the antisemitic Liberty Lobby, it would come as no surprise. Its inacur-racies are matched only by its malevolence, its superficiality by its absurdities.
(Hersh’s chief source is Ari Ben Menashe, the notorious figure who, among other fantasies too numerous to count, claims to have been with George Bush in Paris in October 1980 arranging for Iran to hold the hostages until after the Presidential elections — this on dates when Secret Service logs show Bush engaged in a large number of appearances in the United States, one of them before the Zionist Organization of America.) Ben-Menashe’s “revelations” are the core of Hersh’s book.
The surprise is that the author is a Jew, a long-time star investigative journalist for the New York Times —although anyone who had followed Hersh’s career as a 1960s style advocacy journalist would have expected him to take up cudgels against Israel sooner or later. His books and articles are permeated by the theme of America-the-enemy; indeed, The Samson Option is his first book without that theme. Here the US is the innocent, deceived victim of Israel and the nefarious Jewish lobby. It took Israel to purify America.
THIS IS A GOOD COLUMN WHICH TAKES A HATCHET TO THE MYTH, LIES, DISTORTION AND BIAS OF SEYMOUR HERSH…..HOWEVER THAT FIRST HATCHET WAS WIELDED BY RAEL JEAN ISAAC WHO WAS THE FIRST…..REPEAT, FIRST WRITER TO EXPOSE HERSH WHILE HE WAS BASKING IN THE PRAISE OF THE IGNORANTI AS A GREAT INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER…..I HAVE INCLUDED HER LINKS AND COLUMNS IN THE NEXT POSTING…..RSK
Last June, the distinguished American journalist Seymour Hersh published an article in the New Yorker entitled “Iran and the Bomb: How Real Is the Nuclear Threat?” His answer: not very. There exists no “irrefutable evidence of an ongoing hidden nuclear-weapons program in Iran,” Hersh asserted, relying upon the words of anonymous “intelligence and diplomatic officials.” Hersh concluded with a quote from Mohamed ElBaradei, who had retired as director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) two years earlier: “During my time at the agency,” ElBaradei said, “we haven’t seen a shred of evidence that Iran has been weaponizing, in terms of building nuclear-weapons facilities and using enriched materials.”
A week before Hersh’s piece hit newsstands, news came of a letter sent by Yukiya Amano, ElBaradei’s successor, to the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. The IAEA had received “further information related to such possible undisclosed nuclear-related activities.” Amano wished to “reiterate the concern about the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.” Iran, as it has always done, dismissed the evidence collected by the IAEA as forgeries.