6 thoughts on “Overwhelming Jewish Opposition to Iraq War, Dealbreaker for Clinton? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The survey is indicative of the disparity between the positions taken by the mainline jewish american organizations that support zionisms current policies in israel and, everyday john and jill doe in the american jewish population. aipac will still aim to put in place israel supporting candidates, that support the current zionist israeli eretz israel policy, without any regard for the mainstream jewish american postion on the war, as long as aaipac and the zealous zionist can control the debate. The difference at this time as i see it is that more voice is being given to the illegitimacy of israels treatment of the palestinians and against a greater war in the middle east in iran and a continnued commitment to the war in iraq. This is why they will attack the left american jewish peace movement and try to make its supporters personas non grata (among jews) by calling them anti semitic and self hating plus any other scurrilous ideas that they may come up.

    if the peaceniks can take over the debate ( the mainstream jewish americans will join in as the survey seems to indicate), then maybe there will be hope for peace in the middle east by forcing the haters to stop hating.
    british and australian jews are each forming a solidarity movement, maybe they can join voices and form a more visible stand against hate in the middle east. i believe that the muslims will look upon it favorably and would be more willing to talk about peace, they must be so tired of hating that they ought to be willing to settle under a fair deal for the palestinians.

    now if we can only get christian zionists to join in and to support peace in the middle east, but alas they will be the last to see.
    sml burke is a christian who came out of the christian zionist movement and is free at last.

  2. Brenda: Well, if he’s got my number he sure hasn’t used it. I guess he has bigger fish to fry in burnishing Obama’s pro-Israel credentials before AIPAC audiences. I’m sorry for the snarkiness in my tone. But the reporting of today’s speech both in Jewish Week and Ynetnews really disappointed me. I still haven’t read a transcript but would like to.

  3. Obama “opposes” the war in Iraq but has consistently voted for funding to continue the war. He has never said: this is the last time Mr. President that I give you more money for the war in Iraq. His mantra is always: I must support the troops. Fair enough, but supporting the troops also means “supporting what the troops do” and in Iraq the troops wage war and kill Iraqis. In my book Obama is a typical hypocritical politician for whom career is more important than the American people. He should resign from the Senate and wage his campaign as an outsider like Edwards and Richardson.

  4. Richard, what I meant was — yes, you are a strong supporter of Obama, and yes you are a strong critic of AIPAC. Unfortunately the second yes cancels out the first and even though Shapiro has your number he’s unlikely to use it. Keep on being snarky!

  5. This commentary is in response to a letter from Jonathan Bernstein, San Francisco Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League about a “New Anti-Semitism” from the left, that appeared in the February 22nd edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. As you scroll down below my commentary, you will see Bernstein’s letter. I wrote Bernstein about his letter, my concerns regarding the activities of his organization, and the elitists in the Jewish community, but he failed to reply to me.

    I am an American Jew whose family came to the United States to escape Nazi Germany. I reside in Chico California, but lived in San Francisco for all of my 55 years until I moved here 6 years ago. I am involved in community issues here. I serve on the Human Relations Network of Butte County and I am a member of the Chico Havurah, the progressive Jewish congregation here.

    I speak as someone who is on the left side of the political spectrum. I oppose the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians and the unconditional support that our government gives to Israel. In regards to anti-semitism from the left, I will say that I am disgusted with the organization ANSWER and the signs that their members carry at the anti-war demonstrations. I don’t deny that anti-semitism exists in this country. However, I find that the ADL, AIPAC, and other organizations that make up the Israel Lobby overuse that term. The Israel Lobby condemns anyone as “anti-semitic” who doesn’t go along with our government’s policy in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. It is disgusting that former President Jimmy Carter is being vilified by some people for his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” and he is very accurate in his description, at least as far as the occupied territories are concerned. I don’t believe that the Israel Lobby represents the majority of American Jews, and I fear that events might even encourage the growth of anti-semitism if our policies are not changed. Also, it is a shame that the ADL failed to invite Tikkun and Jewish Voice For Peace to the conference on anti-semitism, that was held on January 28th.

    Another point that I would like to bring up is that I do not believe that Jewish people in the United States are overall victims today, and again this is not to say that anti-semitism doesn’t exist. While of course I don’t believe the line that Jewish people own all the banks etc. in this country, there are many Jews who hold high positions in our corporations and some of them are just as bad as the worst of their non-Jewish Caucasian counterparts. While I had the opportunity to have met many wonderful Jewish professionals, one of my worst employers happened to be Jewish. She was the manager of a high-rise office building in San Francisco, where I was the Assistant Janitorial Foreman in charge during the day hours. It’s a long story, but this manager had me removed from her building in 1994 without a good reason, and even though all of the tenants were very satisfied with my services. The situation is that many of these corporate office building managers work with the janitorial contractors to get the most work out of the fewest janitors to clean their buildings, in order to enrich themselves. Another Jewish person happens to be an attorney who makes his living by representing speculators who buy up apartment buildings in San Francisco and evict tenants, many who are seniors and disabled people, and then turn the properties into TICS or condominiums. These are the types of Jews who help spread the negative stereotype of Jews being greedy, and who promote anti-semitism. If the Anti-Defamation League is really so concerned about anti-semitism, it is these issues that I raised that they should be concerned about. In saying all of this, I fully understand that most Jews are progressive. I know that many Jews were and are currently involved in the labor, civil rights movement, the movement to get us out of Iraq, and other progressive causes.

    Walter Ballin


    Counter hate

    Editor — Recent articles and letters to the editor wrongly downplayed the negative impact of anti-Semitism. According to the FBI, about 70 percent of all religiously based hate crimes in this country are anti-Jewish. These attacks leave scars that last lifetimes.

    Increasingly, we are seeing that anti-Semitism emanates from the extreme left instead of the extreme right. This new variation of an old hatred is more palatable to some because it can be disguised as criticism of Israel. However, when the criticism turns to outright discrimination and defamation of an entire people, it can no longer be excused as a political debate.

    A 2004 State Department study found that there is a “disturbing rise of anti-Semitic intimidation and incidents” connected to virulent demonization of Israel and Zionism.

    Many Jewish anti-war demonstrators, feminists, LGBT activists, labor unionists and other progressives feel ostracized by this bigotry. However, they are part of a burgeoning movement committed to promoting education, dialogue and engagement by all people of goodwill as an antidote to anti-Semitism.

    Instead of excusing anti-Semitism by claiming the term is misapplied, people should be condemning it, as they would any other hatred. When people speak up and counter hate, it can be replaced with peace and respect.

    Regional Director

    Anti-Defamation League

    San Francisco

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