Friday, February 09, 2007

Why everyone should listen to "On The Media"

"On the Media" from WNYC and NPR - but available to us in the rest of the world via podcast - is the best and most consistently interesting current affairs radio programme I have ever listened to - and I listen to a lot of radio (too much if you ask my family). The podcast is available from Friday evenings (Finnish time) onwards and a I normally save it, hoarding it for the perfect moment when Brooke and Bob's dulcet tones and witty skewering of media sillyness (an aside; my browser is prompting me to spell that "silliness" but that really doesn't seem right does it?) will whisk me away into a world of intrigue and intellectual excitement to where we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel of media information overload, and grope towards a better understanding.

Normally I use OTM to distract me from horror of having to actually do physical exercise. Running bores me to tears within 20 minutes, but with OTM carrying me away to the White House briefing room or the control centre of al-Jazeera, suddenly 45 minutes of pounding the pavement doesn't seem so bad. Last week I tried out our local cross country skiing track for the first time and with a bright moon shining down through the 15 degrees of frost, I desperately tried to stay upright on the track's many steep downhills whilst listening to an explanation of the how the media in Venezuela that Chavez is trying to muzzle is just as dubious - just from another angle - as his own pet press. And as my pulse climbed toward 200 bpm as I desperately tried to keep some sort of skiing-style going as I slogged back uphill again I listened to Emily Bazelon (another media voice I've fallen in love with through the Slate Political Gabfest) try to dig herself out of the minor hole that she and her colleague David Plotz found themselves in after gabbing from Israel whilst on an AIPAC junket. From time to time OTM repeats an old story and instantly they transport me back to where I was when I first heard them: there are hills on the Helsinki cycle-path system that will be forever linked in my brain to some minutiae of the Plame affair, or views out across the city that remind me of mil-bloggers blogging from Baghdad - all because of OTM happily whiles away the 20 km cycle-ride home from work.

So this morning, I was standing at my bus stop waiting for the perennially late bus to work, listening to them discuss with Vali Nasr why virtually no Washington decision makers can explain the difference between Sunni and Sh'ia thinking - "I should blog about that". Then as the bus got toward downtown Helsinki there was the fascinating discussion on the history and mythology of spitting on returning soldiers. Or how about how the voracious appetite of 24 hr news turns a silly publicity stunt into yet more background noise promoting a fear of terrorism? By the time I was making the coffee in the office, they were explaining how - counter-intuitively - 9/11 has actually made the representation of Arabs in Hollywood films slightly better (see here for why only 'slightly').

So basically, just listen to the whole thing. You know you want to.


KGS said...

Perhaps you've sold me on OTM for its solid amusement value. :-)

Guano Island said...

hey thanks for linking to me about Bazelon. The whole time I am thinking "how are bazelon and plotz senior editors at Slate or anywhere for that matter?"

I am going to check out "On the Media" per your suggestion.

You have interesting blog. Great photos!

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Hi Guano Island - what a great name for a blog! I quite like Emily - you mention her giggling at inopportune times, but it is very bipartisan giggling. I suspect that if she was told that her family had disappeared in freak yachting accident she'd still giggle. The gabfest they did from Israel was, I thought, actually quite interesting because they did point out in much blunter language than many U.S. journos do, what a mess the Israeli political elites are - most obviously with a President facing multiple rape charges! And at least they were open about partying on AIPAC's dime.

KGS said...

These "journo junkets" wouldn't be necessary if not for the incredible misreporting on anything Israel does by the international media. One only has to review the last 6 years to see just how ignorant, manipulated and biased the media is when it comes to reporting on the conflict. To prove my point, there are still those who fervently believe in the Jenin massacre canard or that Israel bombed a Palestinian family on a Gaza beach.

Perhaps if most people realized the extreme difficulty for the media to report accurately 100% of time from a controlled area, like the Palestinian Authority, or from a Hezbollah controlled S-Lebanon. Part of the problem stems from the very limited number of Western journalists who are fluent in Arabic, making them dependent on local Palestinian stringers who are fluent in all three languages of Hebrew, Arabic and English.

If a journalist wishes to maintain doors open with the Palestinian Authority, one does not report everything as it is, but in a round-about-way without appearing to come down too hard on key principal Palestinian players. The media is a business motivated enterprise and they intend to deliver what the public wants, (I got that straight from YLE's Jorma Mäkinen, who someday envisions the pendulum swinging the other way[though I disagreed with it ever swinging in Israel's favor]), which means that access "to Palestinians with clout" is paramount. These journalists practice a self censorship vis-a-vis the Palestinians in much the same way as Finnish journalism practiced it during the cold war.

As with the admission of CNN's CEO, Eason Jordan, that CNN held back on reporting everything happening inside Iraq (before Saddam was ousted) due to security reasons for its own personnel and Iraqi stringers and their family members, the situation remains the same inside the PA as well as in Hezbollahstan. The only person doing any actual gutsy reporting in S.Lebanon is Michael Totten, but he remains the anomaly.

I personally know Finnish news correspondents who worked for decades in the region (one still does), who back up what I'm saying. A gaggle of western journalists hanging outside Arafat's Muqtada headquarters are suddenly witness to a summary execution of a few "collaborators", they are stood up against the wall, and shot. My friend's colleague who was present, notes the lack of surprise on any of his fellow colleague's faces. This is business as usual, and if one wanted continued access to Arafat, these "every day happenings" go unreported.

It's not by accident that journalists are occasionally kidnapped, those guilty are sending a message to the parent companies. After the lynching of two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah, who accidentally strayed into the wrong area, were murdered, field stripped, with their organs being cut out and put on display, (remember the bloody hands being shown out the police station window?), the Italian film crew that managed to video the murders, ran for their lives. The Italian news agency then APOLOGIZED to the Palestinian Authority for their crews activities.

You and Guano should be a bit more savvy about the "ins and outs" of the media business reporting out of these areas. Israeli "journo junkets" pale in comparison, and perhaps they're more needed than ever.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Of course the Palestinians do what ever they can to spin the story their way - by fair means or foul, but the idea that the "incredible misreporting" is all anti-Israeli is pretty laughable, particularly when Israel has huge organised political backing in the U.S. like AIPAC that has power and influence that the pro-Palestinian groups can only dream of, both on the media organisations and directly on politicians. Plus of course they have a foreign ministry and embassies all round the world to put forward their side of the story.

Your idea of "savvy" would be agreeing with you - but how much coverage has there been of the actually realities of occupation? The Economist's article from a couple of weeks ago was really quite exceptional as it reported the daily realities of the West Bank occupation and settlement that is virtually never heard in the "MSM", particularly not in the U.S. media. You and your fellow pro-Israeli bloggers have all piled on the Carter book for daring to use the word apartheid, but although the security measures in the occupied territories are not racially motivated like South Africa was, the series of checkpoints, closures, passes to move within the West Bank, roads closed to Palestinians etc. are reminiscent of the outcomes of the apartheid policy - see the map attached to the Economist article.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

I would add that of course the best place to go for good coverage of the current situation in the occupied territories, and the often the best debate over the situation, is the Israeli press - particularly Haaretz, which regular publishes stuff that rarely gets heard in the US or UK press.

KGS said...

You point out that AIPAC, (the boogey man of every person who believes that Israel/Jews have an unfair share of power and influence on US foreign policy) tries to influence the media, but fail to mention the money generated from Arab oil sales, and how it influences the media, usually at the expense of the truth. The Israeli government's expenditures for its own PR pales to that of Hezbollah's.

As for Israel and its embassies, the Palestinians are well represented in all states that wield any kind of international clout and influence in the world, as well as being MORE THAN REPRESENTED IN THE UN, having their own refugee organization UNWRA, an UN run office to oversee (just) Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights as well as having an international day of solidarity with their cause, that's nothing more than an international hate fest directed at Israel. Please spare the rhetoric concerning how "disadvantaged "the Palis are at the international level.

Organizations that chart the US/international media for anti-Israel bias and outright falsification of the facts, usually make it a point to express their concern for balance and factual reporting, not the promotion of an exclusive pro-Israel representation of the conflict. Something that you Toby, appear unwilling to acknowledge.

Anyone who is a close follower of US Middle East news stories on the conflict realizes that your claim of US news avoiding the "daily realities of the West Bank occupation", does not stand up to the facts. The LA Times, the NYT's , Boston Globe, NPR and for example, as well as the Minnesota Star Tribune are well known for their reporting on Palestinian troubles ect. No one is stating that the Palis do not face hardships, just that the overwhelming number of these hardships...... ARE SELF INFLICTED. Before the first intifada, there were little or no roadblocks, and definitely NO security fences. Simple formula, terror = security measures.

Your failure to mention terrorism in connection with Carter's laughable farce of a book, does not go unnoticed. That the Economist relies on the findings of B'Tselem as the proof thereof, is telling indeed. Perhaps its figures would be more heavily scrutinized if it became known that B'Tselem does not make it a habit to identify civilians. Toby, you are stepping into some major DOO DOO when you begin believing in these NGO's reports without examining their deeper political motivations.

According to CAMERA, " B'Tselem identifies most (but not all) casualties as follows: "Killed when participating in hostilities" or "Did not participate in hostilities when killed." B'Tselem made a deliberate policy choice to note whether casualties were involved in fighting at the time of their death and to refrain from labeling them as civilians or not. B'Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli confirmed this policy to CAMERA by phone last year. Why, then, does the organization's press release stray from this policy and make statements regarding the number of civilians killed in the Gaza Strip when B'Tselem no longer tallies Palestinian civilians? "

Also worth noting in the disparity in the number of deaths between the two sides (which B'Tselem refuses to address). The number of Israelis NOT KILLED AND INJURED, coincides with the successes of the Israeli security forces in defeating would be terrorist attempts.

The Israeli security fence increases the number of Israeli lives saved from execution by Palestinian terrorists, that much more, especially when considering the number of Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the height of the OSLO peace process. That more Israelis were being murdered as the Arabs were receiving more land from Israel, makes the notion of "IT'S THE OCCUPATION" that more unbelievable. That Carter DARES to use the highly hyperbolic word of apartheid in conjunction with Israel, speaks more of his animosity towards Israel, than being an impassioned voice on the conflict.......something that you're apparently not troubled by. WHY?

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

If you read carefully, the Economist article clearly states that of the 600 or so deaths last year, about half were non-combatants. So clearly they are stating that around 300 were fighters - what's the problem of that? Everyone has "deeper political motivations", be it an HR NGO or a govt. spokesperson. Neither should be taken uncritically.

Of course the Israelis should try to protect their civilians from terrorists, but obviously when you talk to the many Israelis they are very aware of the difficult balance between doing just that and also maintaining the best values of being a democracy. The question isn't whether Israel should protect its citizens, of course it should, it's whether it does so in way that makes life too difficult of Palestinians who want no part in conflict. If you want to say that all the difficulties the Palestinians face are self-inflicted, well that's your position, but there are plenty of Israelis who disagree with you, who don't want to see all Palestinians suffering for the actions of the terrorists, knowing that besides anything else it just further alienates people, as does continuing settlement activities.

Just as a matter of fact, as you follow this closely, do you know why in some areas - as the Economist notes - the Israeli are happy (or at least turn a blind eye) for people to go through the wall/fence without checking them? Is it in certain places Palestinians are still working on other side of the barrier?

KGS said...

The B'tselem figures for Palestinian deaths in 2006 that were examined by CAMERA's Tamara Sternthal, are "factually challenged", her findings prove as much. That the Economist relies on these figures does not improve B'Tselem's shoddy "look though the fingers" intentional guess work. However, Israel stopped 187 potential suicide/homicide bombers in 2006, that would have on an average (3.2) murdered in cold blood 598 Israelis. the average of 3.2 Israelis per homicide bombing is derived from the following:

This doesn't even include the intentional knifings and drive by shootings ect. Clearly there is a mixing of apples and oranges. Of the many Israelis that I know and trust, they hate the fence, pure and simple. They wish it weren't necessary, as do I, but what is not an option, is to put Palestinian convenience ahead of Israelis' right to live. That is non-negotiable, though the route of the fence is, and often contested and adjustments made.

Israel's democracy is indeed being tested by the infantile actions of the Palestinians, which is why it desperately seeks to end the conflict. Since no serious partner is available, the waiting goes on, as with the building of the rest of the fence. It will be moved or eventually taken down when the Israelis are finally convinced that the Arabs are finally convinced that greater Palestine (the whole of Israel) is not an option.

I believe that the overwhelming majority of Israelis do not want to see anyone suffering, Arab or otherwise, but don't try to kid me, THEY HATE TO BE BLOWN UP IN THEIR COFFEE SHOPS MORE. That more than anything else weighs more heavily on their thoughts than an Arab having to take 45mins extra to get to work. If the Arabs are truly pissed off about ambulances being stopped and checked for weapons and fighters ect., they should send their disgust to the right address, the PA and Hamas, not the Israeli gov't, who hates to enforce these check points.

Yes its true Israelis have peace loving Palestinian friends and need Arab workers as well as wanting normal relations, that's not in question. If the these "peace loving" Arabs truly held the reigns of power, the conflict would have been over ages ago, but they do not, the overwhelming majority of the fellow citizens voted in favor of putting a terrorist group to run things....the rest is history. Don't fall into the trap of believing that it was either Fatah or Hamas, there were many other individual candidates who were moderates, but their messages were rejected in favor of the Islamists. Accountability is the first step toward political maturity, they made their bed, now they gotta lie in it ....for awhile.

Perhaps this will put some backbone into the notion of one gun one rule. Yes

Anonymous said...

KGS, I would encourage you to read the following: Link

with these media junkets, the stakes are higher than information on Palestine - there is a potential war with Iran to consider and the media was crucial in cheerleading for the Iraq war - I don't want to see the same thing happen again.

My problem with AIPAC junket was that Plotz and Bazelon showed no scrutiny of the briefing given to them about Iran or security matters in general. That is reminscient of the media failing to scrutinize the stove-piped intelligence in the run up to the Iraq war.

Dave C said...

I've started listening to OTM now, cheers for the recommendation, it's excellent.

KGS said...

Your link is to a far left pundit who views the exestential threat posed by Iran, as being only a major concern for Israeli right wingers. You will be hard pressed to find any credible Israeli politician (from Left to Right) who has not seriously pondered taking out Iran's nuke facilities. Making it just a Right wing concern is just plain silly....and very American Leftist.

His whole point of Jewish money buying US politicians' votes for a future war with Iran, hangs on the premise that a military option against Iran is never going to be an option. Following his logic, US politicians are sold on the idea of going to war against Iran solely because of the money and a few awards from Jewish pressure groups. Following the muddled logic further, if these same groups did not exist, the US would then be viewing a nuclear Iran in a differnt light. How so?

While it's true that American Jewish concerns for the welfare of Israel is a major worry, Yglesias' implying that "the US moulds and shapes its foreign policies according to these concerns alone" is outright foolish and naive. It also carries the implication that a dual loyalty exists, that Jews will place the welfare of Israelis over that of their fellow US citizens, and that implication is very anti-Semitic, regardless of whether it's coming from a Jew or non-Jew alike.

Does "Jewish money" flow into the US political process, undeniably, but "surprise surprise", the overwheming majority of financial influence and clout comes from non-Jews. In order for Yglesias' point to be valid, (that it's the money, not sound argumentation about a real threat) Jewish money would somehow "magically" have more clout and power than all the money coming from the non-Jewish majority in US society. Those clever Jews, they sure do have a way don't they?

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

"Does "Jewish money" flow into the US political process, undeniably, but "surprise surprise", the overwheming majority of financial influence and clout comes from non-Jews. In order for Yglesias' point to be valid, (that it's the money, not sound argumentation about a real threat) Jewish money would somehow "magically" have more clout and power than all the money coming from the non-Jewish majority in US society."

Logically, it doesn't imply that at all. All it needs to be is targeted and focused to have more clout. There doesn't have to be anything magical about it. The NAACP will focus its lobbying attempts on issues to do with civil rights. The AARP will focus on pension provision or healthcare for the elderly. And AIPAC focuses on Israel-US relations.

His whole point of Jewish money buying US politicians' votes for a future war with Iran, hangs on the premise that a military option against Iran is never going to be an option.
No it doesn't. It relies on the premise that the debate is being limited by people using anti-antisemitism as a way of avoiding debate.

Yglesias' implying that "the US moulds and shapes its foreign policies according to these concerns alone"
If he is implying that - which I don't think he is at all - you shouldn't put it in inverted commas. He didn't say that, so its not a quote. It's just what you think he meant.

You make it difficult to discuss any of these matters without sooner or later saying that people who disagree with you are anti-semitic. It makes it very difficult to have a discussion as sooner or later you expect to get accused of being racist.

I don't see why saying some people have dual loyalties could in anyway be considered as being anti-Semitic. It seems to be a statement of the bloomin' obvious in the modern world, particularly for countries made up of immigrants. Did you read the piece in The New Republic on it?

Anonymous said...

"very anti-Semitic"

oh here we go ...

with the "Israel can do no wrong" crowd is there any way to criticize Israel without being anti-Semetic?

fucking hell ... this gets old

KGS said...

Toby: "Logically, it doesn't imply that at all. All it needs to be is targeted and focused to have more clout"

Are we to believe that all other groups with vested interests in US foreign policy, lacks the intelligence to target their money as effectively as Jews? Bologna. It's just that Israel is of chief importance to the US's overall strategy in the region, which was decided on careful considerations, not from the pleas of lobbyists. Both you and this "anonymous character" are misreading the US's chief (self interest) concerns when it formulates a policy towards any individual state. If there happened to be another fully democratic liberal society, let's say, in the Arab Gulf region, US strategic interests would be the same towards it, as it is presently towards the Jewish state.

That more than anything else is what drives US policy vis-a-vis Israel, not lobby groups. The lobbyists keep the reasons clear as to why Israel is strategically important, due to the constant changes of those in government, but as US stated policy, Israel, despite all the myths, is a key player in keeping the status quo in the ME from being turned upside down. No major conflagration has occurred between Israel and its neighbors (an all out, knock down drag out war)since the 73' war, when Israel truly became a chief ally for the US in the ME. The Arabs were smart, they would be thankful Israel is indeed joined at the hip of the US, for an Israel left on its own, would be forced to deliver "a much more thorough response" to any act of aggression by the Arabs, and often, never siding with caution before acting, being left with very little room for error.

US policy dictates that an Israel joined at the hip with US foreign policy is a win win formula, bringing stability in a region that is known for its blood letting, which causes instability in the flow of oil ect ect. This policy was put into place long before the advent of the Jewish lobby, and in spite of the lobby, if Israel is seen as being weak, no longer up to the task of being a bulwark of stability, then US policy towards Israel will go through some very fundamental changes.

Do you actually entertain the possibility that some Jews (former and present) in the current Administration would actually put Israel above their loyalty to the US, without any substantial proof otherwise? IMHO that is just catering to the whimsical machinations of those in the anti-Israel block that play on ancient stereotypes of Jews. There is no truth to the charge.

[His whole point of Jewish money buying US politicians' votes for a future war with Iran, hangs on the premise that a military option against Iran is never going to be an option.] Toby: No it doesn't. It relies on the premise that the debate is being limited by people using anti-anti-Semitism as a way of avoiding debate.

I disagree, he approaches the whole issue from a NON WAR position, his beef is with the Jewish community for supposedly "beating the war drum" for action against Iran, while taking a maximalist position against any action being taken against Iran. That's more at issue here than any supposed vote buying by Jews. He refuses to accept that military actions are an option at all, hence the hair pulling and the gnashing of teeth over fellow Jews shirking their traditional progressive political stance. That he laughably excludes Israeli Leftists from the group who have pondered a military strike on Iran, proves he's thinking in radical American Leftist terms, not as an Israeli.

Let me be frank, Yglesias' IS implying that the US moulds and shapes its foreign policies according to Jewish concerns, but the twist here, is that its 'right wing' Jewish lobby that's taken over the traditionally Left wing Jewish groups. His KVETCH is really about Left vs. Right within the Jewish political body. If Jewish money was mostly being spent on lobbying US government officials not to align themselves with Israel, he would not have been writing an op-ed about it, because it would dove tail with his views.

Again, the main issue here is not "the Jewish lobby", but about major Jewish groups supposedly turning their backs on their traditional roots, in favor of Right Wing politics. He's building up straw men just to knock it down.

Toby: You make it difficult to discuss any of these matters without sooner or later saying that people who disagree with you are anti-Semitic. It makes it very difficult to have a discussion as sooner or later you expect to get accused of being racist.

An unfair charge. But getting to the point of anti-Semitism, it can be carelessly wielded by anyone not willing to debate a point, as well as in the reverse, the discussion is too difficult if the mere mention of anti-Semitism is brought up. No, I disagree, in an honest debate, such as we are having, the mention of anti-Semitism is accompanied with an explanation, as I have done. You should well know that the canard of Jewish 'dual loyalty' features heavily in traditional ancient anti-Semitic myths. We are not discussing the simple case of a sole individual, no, we are talking about the cabal of Jewish public servants in the Bush administration who view Israel as a greater source for their loyalty than the country they have sworn their allegiance to, as well as Jewish leaders of major Jewish organizations. That is at the heart of such myth making going around.

John B. Judis writes: "On the one hand, Rosenfeld, Harris, and others want to deny that American Jews and American Jewish organizations like AIPAC suffer from dual loyalty in trying to influence U.S. foreign policy. It's anti-Semitic or contributes to anti-Semitism, they say, to make that charge. On the other hand, they want to demand of American Jewish intellectuals a certain loyalty to Israel, Israeli policies, and to Zionism as part of their being Jewish."

The whole point behind the "dual loyalty" charge, is not that a Jew has 'equal' loyalties, but that one loyalty (towards Israel) outweighs the other. Through history, it has always put the Jew wherever s/he has resided on the defensive, not being English enough, or French enough (remember Dreyfus) or even American enough. This is IMHO, old wine in new skins. Anti-Semitism has different varying degrees, let's say from 1 to 10, with one being the "country club" type racism that quietly but nonetheless excludes Jews, and the opposite side of the scale being the Neanderthal anti-Semite willing to do bodily harm.

Judis is missing the trees for the forest, the issue is again, over the pull for the Jewish body political between Left and Right, good policies and bad. Judis makes an example of AIPAC's rejection of Oslo, but in the end they were proven to have been correct. *L* KGS

KGS said...

WSJ's Bret Stephens answers Judis nonsense.

"Finally there is Judis's point about the supposed attempt to "suppress debate." How does joining a debate become an effort to suppress it? I am not aware that Mearsheimer and Walt have been sent from the field to cower behind the bleachers. Indeed, nothing so perfectly gives the lie to their claims about the vast power of the Israel lobby as the fact that they have now been contracted--by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, no less--to turn their article into a book."

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Which contains the bizarre line: "Some small truths serve as vehicles for big lies." So we ignore that truth, Mr Stephens seems to suggest - we "run them out of polite society".

This started as a discussion on journalists being paid by AIPAC to visit Israel and hear Israel's side of a story and whether this constitutes good journalistic practice. That's it. That is a "small truth". Some might use that to spin "big lies" of a Jewish plot for world domination, but I didn't. Stephen's doesn't take issue with the idea that AIPAC is influential whether through very professional lobbying efforts or by cultivating press-links, or that Jewish Americans have dual sympathies (see the letters page of this week's economist for example), I'm sure many Polish-Americans or Congolese-Americans or Mexican-Americans also have such shared sympathies. To say that these discussions reflect "ancient stereotypes" of anti-antisemitism is one of those unprovables, like Marxists saying social democrats laboured under "false consciousness". It is a method of discrediting everything the other person is saying - no matter what they say. You called Palestinians "infantile" - was this a statement of fact or does it really not hark back to inbuilt occidental way of seeing the Eastern other? The rapacious Turk? The mysterious Arab? At its heart is it not simply European racism?

Of course its not. It's your opinion that you can defend, even if others disagree.

KGS said...

I was not the one to drag the "Jewish lobby" into the debate, someone else did and we continued on with it. Of course you believe your TNR article has superior logic than my TNR article, I just happen to disagree with you 100%. Stephens convincingly takes apart Judis's points step by step.

It's not that Jews can exhibit dual loyalties, it's that "they are charged with it" is the rub. No one claiming "Polish-Americans or Congolese-Americans or Mexican-Americans have dual loyalties" are throwing doubt on their being loyal Americans, the "dual loayalist" charge directed at Jews, has darker motives, as is seen in many articles and protests, the evil cabal of Jews directing US foreign policy, American troopps dieing for Israel ect.

As for Infantile Palestinians, when viewing the collective body, and seeing what they have managed to acheive over the last 30 yrs., then yes infantile comes to mind, and is a correct label for a national group unwilling to build a modern state after all the hundreds of billions of dollars pumped into that failed enterprise.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Mexican-Americans regularly get accused of betraying the interests of the US on immigration reform and the like. Many say Cuban-Americans hold at the very least Floridian politics to ransom over their interests in Cuba. Various sections of Eastern European communities, particularly those that had governments in exile, were accused in the Cold War with interfering in US-Soviet relations. So really there is nothing unique about activists pro-Israeli Jewish Americans being accused of this.

KGS said...

You're mixing apples and oranges. None of the groups mentioned have ever been the focus of deep seated suspicion on an international/global level. Jews however, have been subjected to such attention ...for centuries.

The same sentiments of certain American voices upset with the "Jewish Lobby", are being echoed all around the world, from the Jew hating ME to Hugo Chavez's solicialist paradise in Venzuela. From the very far Left to the very Right.

Ironically, I just received a comment from someone on my own blog who believes that Jews 'WISHED' THAT THEY RULED THE WORLD. "r u dum u jews wish u rule the world!!!!" ....Riiiight.

How many Mexicans, Cubans or Poles have been targeted in the same way?