Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > Diavlog comments
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Diavlog comments Post comments about particular diavlogs here.
(Users cannot create new threads.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-23-2011, 02:39 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,936
Default Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-23-2011, 03:08 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 504
Default It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

I don't think there are many serious people who say it's the Jews who are running US foreign policy any more than there are serious people who say it's the Muslims. But there has been in the past an influential group of Jews who have been able to sway US policy regardless of what the wider Jewish community might want.

This goes back to the very founding of Israel, when Rabbis where opposed to the new state on theological grounds, but where out maneuvered by Jews lobbying the US president.

In US politics today we see billionaire funders of the democrats who make Israel their top priority and we see an AIPAC and similar groups with strong ties to Israel, that exert enormous influence in Washington and this filters down into the media.

How these views then percolate among the wider non-Jewish community is fascinating. Christian Zionism is one factor, as is support for Israel's liberal values such as LGBT rights among their would be ideological opponents.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-23-2011, 03:18 PM
apple
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
This goes back to the very founding of Israel, when Rabbis where opposed to the new state on theological grounds, but where out maneuvered by Jews lobbying the US president.
When did that happen? Did Jews also lobby Stalin to recognize Israel before the US did, and to allow Czechoslovakia to supply Israel with vital arms?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-23-2011, 03:45 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 504
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple View Post
When did that happen? Did Jews also lobby Stalin to recognize Israel before the US did, and to allow Czechoslovakia to supply Israel with vital arms?
President Truman later noted, "The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders—actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats—disturbed and annoyed me."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...ts_of_pressure
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-23-2011, 05:40 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,364
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
President Truman later noted, "The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders—actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats—disturbed and annoyed me."

Yeah, its crazy that the Jews lobbying for their own state, in the wake of the Holocaust, held a lot of political potency. Sounds like a conspiracy.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-24-2011, 12:32 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 504
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
Yeah, its crazy that the Jews lobbying for their own state, in the wake of the Holocaust, held a lot of political potency. Sounds like a conspiracy.
The whole point was that the Jews weren't lobbying for a state, but some jews where. They managed to wield enormous political influence, which ended up with the creation of Israel.

We see the same with AIPAC today, and many influential Jews within the political and media establishment. AIPAC drafts the talking points that congress parrots, the same AIPAC, which in a previous incarnation, fell foul of FARA, a ruling which was later overturned.

I think it's silly to dismiss both the political and cultural influence of a group of motivated Jews with regards to Israel, which the wider population takes it's ques.

Last edited by opposable_crumbs; 11-24-2011 at 12:43 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-23-2011, 06:50 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
....as is support for Israel's liberal values such as LGBT rights among their would be ideological opponents.
Pinkwashing.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-23-2011, 07:40 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,364
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Ugh. The notion that anti-gay sentiment is in anyway a mis-characterization of the average Islamic community, let alone the ones the Europeans have to deal with, is so ridiculous as to almost suggest you are pretending to believe the things you say.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-23-2011, 07:43 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,364
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

In other words, "Gays need to ally to face the real enemy, the opponents of gay marriage in the United States. The guys who think we're abominations who should be annihilated are natural allies in this quest."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:11 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 811
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
In other words, "Gays need to ally to face the real enemy, the opponents of gay marriage in the United States. The guys who think we're abominations who should be annihilated are natural allies in this quest."
I agree. They should be allying with Republicans instead.
__________________
my blog
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-23-2011, 08:18 PM
apple
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: It's not the Jews, but it is some Jews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
From your article: These depictions of immigrants — usually Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish or African origin — as “homophobic fanatics” opportunistically ignore the existence of Muslim gays and their allies within their communities.

Good point. Let's cite an example of a gay Muslim:

Abu Qussay said he killed his son after discovering he was gay. He said he was now considered a hero by his friends.

"I hanged him in my house in front of his brother to give an example to all of them and prevent them from doing the same," Qussay said proudly.

After the father of two was arrested for the murder, he was charged with the killing and then released a month later when his lawyer explained why his client had committed the crime.

"Killing for honour has been a common practice for years, and a short prison sentence for the killer is common," said Ibraheem Daud, a lawyer specialised in family crimes based in the capital.

Since 1994, Daud has been involved with nearly 65 cases of honour killings involving gay men.


http://www.irinnews.org/fr/reportfre...reportid=26110

Islam is a religion of peace! Islam is wonderful! Islam teaches to respect other people! Islam teaches love and humanity!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-23-2011, 03:14 PM
chainlink chainlink is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 9
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Great to see Mead on bloggingheads. I'm a regular reader of his blog, and don't know anyone who does connect-the-dots, big-picture kind of stuff, foreign and domestic, as well as he. Insightful and sane.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-23-2011, 03:47 PM
mitchquick mitchquick is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

In the Israel conversation, I think the particular phrase "Christian Zionists" (as opposed to the more general idea that many gentiles like Israel) wouldn't have been misplaced.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-23-2011, 04:09 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: near Chattanooga
Posts: 826
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Great to see Walter Russell Mead on Blogginheads. Haven't listened yet, but with Glen Loury on the other side it's bound to be good.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-23-2011, 05:35 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: near Chattanooga
Posts: 826
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Having listened to it now, it was every bit as good as I predicted. One thing you gotta admit about Walter Russell Mead: he makes interesting observation you've heard no one else make before. That's what makes him one of the best journalists around.

Economics is WRM only weak suit, at least in my opinion. He errs, for example, when he blames automation primarily and ignores the effects of our trade relationship with China on the collapse of the middle class. Or when he imagines that teaching skills to the unskilled is the key to solving the problem of automation. (Shorter work weeks are and always have been the only way to share the fruits of rising labor productivity. They don't call it labor saving technology for nothing.)

As for dealing with trade, OWS'ers don't claim to be political economists. Good for them, they are wise. Maybe it's time for the real political economists to come up with some answers for a change -- answers which, hopefully, will be as new and refreshing as a lot of the things Walter Russell Mead says.

Last edited by BornAgainDemocrat; 11-23-2011 at 05:45 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:21 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 811
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
Or when he imagines that teaching skills to the unskilled is the key to solving the problem of automation. (Shorter work weeks are and always have been the only way to share the fruits of rising labor productivity. They don't call it labor saving technology for nothing.)
But how are shortened work weeks sharing the fruits? Certainly not with the employees - they would simply get less hours, likely disqualifying them from medical insurance.

Much of the savings has likely been passed on to the consumer. Yet has this savings made up for the lack of rising wages? I wonder to what extent rising inequality and profits at the top are a direct result of the fruits of increased productivity going into the pockets of the owners of capital, and not "trickling down".

As for policy that attempts to address this, high school graduates need to go into affordable college and training programs, right? The route from high school to the factory is largely gone. This is to say nothing of retraining older workers.
__________________
my blog
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:28 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
But how are shortened work weeks sharing the fruits? Certainly not with the employees - they would simply get less hours, likely disqualifying them from medical insurance.
He's talking about the length of the work week that counts as fulltime.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-23-2011, 06:16 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 666
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Mead protests too much. I don't recall Loury blaming "The Jews" for anything, so Mead's self-righteous finger-wagging was a bit much. Plus, there's something cringe-inducing about Gentiles who feel the urge to prove to us that they really really HATE antisemitism. Now the facts:

1. American Jews would never vote for Bibi says Mead: In favorability ratings among American Jews, Netanyahu beats Obama 61% to 54%. (J-Street 2011). To quote the great Perry, "oops."

2. Americans love Israel so much that 71% of them want the US "not to take sides in the I/P conflict" (WPO 2008). How many Americans think Israel is "doing its part" to resolve the I/P conflict? Answer: 30% .

3. Yes, Americans adore Israel (67%) but somehow they adore Japan even more (77%) and positively worship Germany (80%) -- Gallup 2010. So why isn't our "Germany policy" a serious issue in the presidential campaign? Perhaps because love's got little to do with it, but crass geopolitical interests do.

4. Americans are a bunch of ignoramuses (partly thanks to the propaganda they get from the Mead crowd), so could it be they don't like Palestinians because every mention of them in the news portrays them as monsters? (wait for the perfectly rotten 'apple' to confirm).

5. Christian Zionists love Israel, that's true. And they respect the Jews so much they'll convert all of them to Christianity as soon as they have a chance. I think we've seen this love story before.

Last edited by ohreally; 11-23-2011 at 06:19 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-23-2011, 10:19 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: France, Earth
Posts: 1,165
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

ohreally said:

Quote:
Mead protests too much. I don't recall Loury blaming "The Jews" for anything,
I'll have to look at Mead's review of Walt/Mearsheimer in "Foreign Affairs," but it seems to me that Mead's reasoning is seriously flawed.

In the first place, Walt/Mearsheimer did not depict the "Israel lobby" as a monolithically Jewish lobby. All along, there was the acknowledgment that the "Israel lobby" contains, or depends upon important gentile support. But more importantly, one cannot look at the influence of the alleged lobby and then do a polling analysis of the American Jewish community, an analysis based upon one-man/one-vote, with each vote bearing equal weight, and then conclude that the alleged lobby, which represents the "Israel right or wrong" portion of the American Jewish electorate, does not exert outsized and disproportionate influence. One could not conclude this logically, even if one stipulated that every "fact" Mead alleges about the preferences of each Jewish individual in the US is true. In order to think that there is no specifically Jewish lobby that is influencing policy in a pro-Israel direction, one would have to think, for example, that Wonderment and I exert as much influence on American policy towards Israel as William Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. I would contend that such a thought is preposterous on its face. But OK, let's make this a fairer fight. Who exerts more influence on America's policy towards Israel, David Remnick or William Kristol, or Noam Chomsky or Abraham Foxman?

I think Mead has a good point, if his assertion is that no subset of the American Jewish community, no matter how rich and well connected, could, completely by itself, account for American foreign policy towards Israel. If we look at the Iraq war, which was the policy decision that evoked the Walt/Mearsheimer book, there had to be an alliance between the gentiles, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, and the Jewish neocons Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle. At the level of the foreign policy elite, there is, in my opinion, undoubtedly a faction which thinks that Israel’s contributions to US interests in the Middle East in the military/intelligence realm outweigh any liability the US-Israel alliance represents in terms of access to oil or the recruitment of Islamo-terrorists.

If Mead insists upon calling me an anti-Semite because I believe that there is a specifically Jewish lobby, an important subset of the larger “Israel lobby” that would also include the Christian Zionists, that exerts disproportionate influence on American policy towards Israel, I guess I’ll have to live with the accusation. But I think it’s a bit weird to be calling “left-wing” American Jews who desperately want an end to the occupation and whose views are not aligned with those of Kristol-Podhoretz-Perle-Wolfowitz-Feith-Krauthammer anti-Semites.

But just from the point of view of political science, I don’t see how one can look at the politics of the United States and then proceed to do a one-man, one-vote analysis of virtually anything, an analysis in which every vote is given equal weight. So, for example, I think it is widely recognized that the Cuban exile community in Florida exerts a disproportionate influence on US policy towards Cuba, partly because Florida is an important swing state in US presidential politics. For similar reasons, one has to consider the possibility that the particular makeup of the Jewish communities in New York and Florida leads to results that are not consistent with the political outcomes that would be expected from doing a poll of all Jewish voters in New York and Florida and then weighing every straw-poll vote in the poll equally.

If one goes on to youtube, one can see videos of Stephen Walt addressing very enthusiastic crowds of American Jews who would like to see an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and a more even-handed American foreign policy as regards the Israel-Palestinian debate. So let us stipulate that the Jewish community in America is itself divided on this question. How does it follow from this that there cannot be a “neocon” Jewish lobby that exerts disproportionate influence, say by a factor of 3 to 4 to one, or even by 100 to 1, in terms of its sheer numbers on a one-man, one-vote basis, on US policy towards Israel? Are we supposed to ignore the fact that the people pulling the strings at AIPAC, and who are using specific techniques to achieve the 20% drop in overall vote count for the “anti-Israel” candidates they target, are Jewish? I mean, let’s get real. But sure, AIPAC could not achieve the results it does achieve in the absence of factors in the history and sociology of American gentiles that make its propaganda techniques so effective. One also has to look at this from the other point of view. Would America's policy towards Israel be what it is in the absence of AIPAC?

If Loury is going to stand up to Mead in a future discussion of this issue, Loury is clearly going to have to do a lot more reading and thinking about it than he has done. It’s not a fair fight. So I think bhtv needs to persuade Walt or someone like him to do it. Let’s see Mead call Walt an anti-Semite. That could be interesting.
__________________
ledocs

Last edited by ledocs; 11-24-2011 at 12:28 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-23-2011, 11:32 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
If Loury is going to stand up to Mead in a future discussion of this issue, Loury is clearly going to have to do a lot more reading and thinking about it than he has done. It’s not a fair fight. So I think bhtv needs to persuade Walt or someone like him to do it. Let’s see Mead call Walt an anti-Semite. That could be interesting.
First, let me thank you for the good post. I was going to make several of the same points -- particularly about the Cuban analogy -- but I was overwhelmed by how Sissyphean such an endeavor often feels, given the rigidity of opinion often encountered among fellow-commenters here.

I would like to be a little tougher than you were on Mead, however. I thought he was trying to bait Glenn into saying something that could be construed (in the Zionist imagination) as anti-Semitic. Glenn didn't take the bait, but as a result he couldn't really challenge Mead's faulty assumptions.

I am very reluctant to let the anti-Semite policing of the intellectual universe go unanswered. What Zionist activists (Jew and Gentile) have achieved in the USA over the past few decades is to equate criticism of Israel with criticism of Jews, so that it is unforgivably politically incorrect to utter a word of criticism of Israel, lest you be called a Jew hater. Mead seems to be zealously enforcing this political correctness.

Criticism of Zionist Israel -- its occupation, its intransigence, its violence against Palestinians and its political system which has features of both Apartheid and Jim Crow -- is not heresy.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-25-2011, 06:25 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
What Zionist activists (Jew and Gentile) have achieved in the USA over the past few decades is to equate criticism of Israel with criticism of Jews, so that it is unforgivably politically incorrect to utter a word of criticism of Israel, lest you be called a Jew hater. Mead seems to be zealously enforcing this political correctness.
I don't think this is a fair reflection of the diavlog at all. Walter did not call Glenn an anti-semite, and he limited his use of the term to those who insisted that US policy was the reflection of "Jewish" influence, despite knowing better.

According to Walter -- part of his criticism of W&M for having a muddled analysis, which they did -- is that "the Israel Lobby" lumps together a variety of pro Israel and Jewish groups concerned with Israel, including those who are critical of Israel and US policy thereto from the left. Given this, I think the idea that Walter would call anyone who criticizes Israel anti Jewish is clearly false. (And obviously one shouldn't. It's a way of stifling debate. But that's not what was going on in the diavlog and not what I believe would go on if they had a more in-depth discussion that ranged beyond what they got to.)
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-25-2011, 08:47 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
I don't think this is a fair reflection of the diavlog at all. Walter did not call Glenn an anti-semite, and he limited his use of the term to those who insisted that US policy was the reflection of "Jewish" influence, despite knowing better.
I disagree. I thought Walter was intimidating and stifling critics of Zionism by holding the anti-Semite sword over anyone's head (including potentially Glenn's) who might suggest that pro-Zionist Jews disproportionately influence US foreign policy.

I would love to see the numbers on how many JEWS believe we exert disproportionate-to-demographics influence on US Israeli policy. I'm betting it's a majority. If I'm right, a majority of US Jews are anti-Semites, according to Walter.

I think it's indisputable that people who run for Congress and the Presidency are scared of AIPAC and bend over backwards to show how pro-Israel they are. This is similar to what Republicans have to do with religious right anti-abortion groups, gun groups and anti-Castro groups, except in the case of Israel it's bi-partisan. There's a kind of "arms race" between the two parties to out-do each other on allegiance to Israel. That's why both parties end up sounding considerably farther right on Israel than the Israeli Jewish center.

Walter's point -- that it's not ONLY Jewish Zionist groups that exercise this pro-Israel clout -- is of course true, but that doesn't negate AIPAC's excessive influence.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:00 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I would love to see the numbers on how many JEWS believe we exert disproportionate-to-demographics influence on US Israeli policy. I'm betting it's a majority. If I'm right, a majority of US Jews are anti-Semites, according to Walter.
Well, again, we disagree on what Walter said, and I think you are being quite unfair.

If someone said AIPAC, like other PACs, has a disproportionate influence on US policy, I don't think Walter would have objected. Nor would I, although I'd add that focusing on AIPAC alone these days seems to miss bigger factors.

Saying our Israel policy is the result of the disproportionate influence of Jews, without more, and without acknowledging the diversity of opinion among Jews, the non-Jewish pressure groups and non-Jewish US opinion that is relevant, and -- especially -- that what is being talked about is not something sketchy and questionable, but the normal effect when there's a strong opinion group (Jewish and not) on one side and much less of one on the other, the normal effect with PACs, for example, are the problem. Not saying "AIPAC has influence."

Walter debunked a claim Glenn made carelessly and didn't call him an anti-semite. His initial review of W&M criticized (properly, IMO) the sloppiness with which they defined the "Israel Lobby" (which was not a "Jewish lobby," but lumped too much dissimilar together) and the lack of analysis as to how it worked and led to the results being criticized. That they did not consider the realpolitick and other Cold War related reasons for US policy historically, for example.

And I think the idea that its about Jewish influence suggests that non-Jews who have views on Israel for a variety of reasons are what? just pawns of AIPAC? Trying to describe US policy in terms of Jewish influence alone, as if that could explain the enormous weirdness of certain aspects of US treatment just seems to be insisting upon a bad analysis, at the least. When this framework is insisted upon in a particular way, against the evidence and using certain language, I think there's something more going on. It shouldn't be used to silence legitimate criticism, but that wasn't what Walter was doing (as perhaps a longer discussion would demonstrate). He did not suggest that criticizing Israel was wrong.

Last edited by stephanie; 11-26-2011 at 10:27 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:20 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Well, again, we disagree on what Walter said, and I think you are being quite unfair.
Maybe. How do you account for his making such a big fuss about alleged anti-Semitism? No one disputes that if you say Jewish bankers and filmmakers control the world you're an anti-Semite.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:52 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

I listened to that segment of the diavlog again.

Walter states that it isn't Jews who drive US foreign policy towards Israel. He supports this claim by stating that American Jews are, as a group, to the left of current policy. He states that it is American gentiles who support such policies and that their views are more in tune with Likud than those of American Jews.

Glenn correctly brings up (although he doesn't explain it in so many words), that it may be entities like AIPAC that influence such policy. He obviously means that it doesn't matter so much what American Jews as a group may think, but it is the activist group's opinion that counts in terms of influence.

Walter tries to counter that by saying that AIPAC only points out who is pro-Israel or "anti-Israel", and based on that qualification the American electorate (non-Jewish) decides. This is based on the claim that American gentiles are pro-Israel for "complex reasons".

My interpretation of the above is that Walter gives AIPAC the role of "marking" or labeling candidates only, but he doesn't seem to consider the role of that labeling as influence on policy. Furthermore, when he points out that gentiles support Israel "for complex reasons" he doesn't advance the discussion. It's important to know what those complex reasons are. Let's say, that one of those reasons is heavy pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian propaganda. Then, one could still support the view that those who are responsible for the propaganda are influencing US foreign policy.

Then the antisemitism part starts. Walter states, first, "blaming" Jews for what American gentiles believe isn't antisemitism, but it's wrong and it's immoral. Then he introduces the concept of "latent anti-semitism". Then there's a brief mention about W&M and Walter clearly states that their position is antisemitic. Then they move on and both mention their sympathies for the Palestinian people, and their support of the state of Israel's right to exist. Both seem to agree with no noticeable difference in opinions. Walter had a statement about his own feelings about the issue which, IMO, was very nicely articulated. And then towards the end, it seems that Walter needed to present additional support to the idea that American gentiles have been supportive of a state of Israel for a long time. He mentioned MLK but also mentioned a petition presented in the 1890s calling for the establishment of a state of Israel. Glenn appropriately points out that this is not the issue being discussed. And Walter ends the diavlog reiterating what he seems to present as his central message.

In my opinion, Walter was so focused in making his point that he really wasn't listening to Glenn. Glenn tried to point out how the situation on the ground, as it has developed in recent decades, may change people's sympathies somewhat and make them more receptive to the Palestinian's plea. Walter agrees with the sympathies but doesn't make the connection that it is highly unlikely that the American people have been kept informed in an unbiased fashion about what's happening. Who is responsible for that (alleged) lack of information? Perhaps it will be discussed in a future diavlog.

I think that indeed, in order to give Walter the benefit of the doubt, one has to understand that he's trying to counter some more radical claims coming from possible antisemitic groups.

If one doesn't take that in consideration, his position in this diavlog doesn't stand alone. It doesn't address Glenn's questions, and it has the feeling of an attempt to prevent an open discussion by threat of being called a bigot. This latter is what Walter should be careful not to do if he wants to bring light to the topic.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-26-2011, 03:02 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I listened to that segment of the diavlog again.
I think the whole thing gets started by Glenn's way of phrasing the question which is here. Given that he starts out by referencing a naive viewer (him, he then says) who would look at what goes on and assumes that it's the result of the influence of the American Jewish community on our policy. It's that statement that gets Walter off on the whole argument over whether it's the Jewish community or other factors which are to blame.

And, sure, I agree that the reason this triggers a response as much as it does is because there's a lot of suspicion about why people frame it in that way and in the motives or underlying (even unconscious) assumptions of people who do. I didn't think Walter was suggesting that was the case for Glenn, but simply that that was a mistaken way to look at it and pushed by those who should know better (and those people were the ones Walter was suggesting may be anti-semitic). But I don't think the context that led to Walter's response is a specialized one, although it may well be a cultural one.

Quote:
Glenn correctly brings up (although he doesn't explain it in so many words), that it may be entities like AIPAC that influence such policy.
Yes, and I see this as a better way (though still an incomplete one, as if it were just AIPAC I don't think you'd have the result we do) as framing the issue. And a quite different one, again, than the one Walter objected to more strongly, even though he still disagrees with this one, as you note. When the discussion turns to AIPAC he compares it with other PACs (like the NRA) which is right -- it's different than claiming that American policy is solely due to the Jews or some such, which has much different connotations.

Quote:
My interpretation of the above is that Walter gives AIPAC the role of "marking" or labeling candidates only, but he doesn't seem to consider the role of that labeling as influence on policy. Furthermore, when he points out that gentiles support Israel "for complex reasons" he doesn't advance the discussion.
They are talking about a limited topic at that point. I don't think there's any reason to think Walter couldn't or wouldn't go into more detail about what he sees the complex reasons to be. (That's something I'm interested in and have tried to be open in considering myself.) Indeed, I think that might be something a longer discussion between them would address. (I don't think propaganda attributable to AIPAC is likely to be a strong explanation, although obviously there's been a telling of the story from a multiplicity of sources in the US that inclines non Jewish Americans to identify more with Israel. And in my experience (which is, I suppose, not all that great), Glenn's response that shows an identification with the Palestinians is relatively common in the African-American community these days.)

Quote:
Then the antisemitism part starts. Walter states, first, "blaming" Jews for what American gentiles believe isn't antisemitism, but it's wrong and it's immoral. Then he introduces the concept of "latent anti-semitism". Then there's a brief mention about W&M and Walter clearly states that their position is antisemitic.
I had a slightly different take on this. Walter said what you note above -- basically that the willingness to believe that it's all the Jews, despite the evidence, is a sign of latent anti-semitism. Glenn pushed back saying that he doesn't disagree if it is wrong, but what does Walter think about W&M? Now, there's a simple way that Walter could have responded -- he could have said that contrary to how it was sometimes reported W&M's article (I haven't read the book) did not simply explain things as the influence of "the Jews," as their "Israel Lobby" includes other forces, such as Christian Zionism, and notes that pressure from Jewish groups is not limited to one policy view as represented by AIPAC. (There's still a real problem in their analysis, IMO.) However, it seems that Walter's views have hardened re Mearsheimer, perhaps due to this recent book that was recommended or something more, I don't know. Therefore, he merely evaded the direct question and said the article was silly and referenced his prior review.

I thought Glenn's raising of the question as to why Americans on average interpret the issue and identify differently than he does, so strongly, was the key question (here) and one worth discussion. However, clearly, most Americans don't feel all that strongly about the issue, which is why the smaller number who do tend to drive the debate. That the mild sentiment that exists even among those who don't care much tends to be tilted differently in the US than many other places is relevant, though, and I think giving the power there to AIPAC provides it with rather unrealistic powers.

Similarly, I think the NRA has an influence on US policy, but that there's a decent sized number of Americans who are sympathetic to many of the basic messages on which the gun rights argument relies can't be attributed to NRA's amazing marketing skills. There's something more. If it's just that damned NRA getting Americans to think stupid things (or AIPAC or the Jews forcing the American people to go against their own interests), the analysis is implausible, such that it's hard to see how people could think that's all it is. Add to that the background to the idea of an ethnic group turning US policy against US interests and the history of those kinds of arguments re Jews in particular, and I continue to think Walter's comments were not at all unreasonable and can't be compared with people who respond to any suggestion that Israel is ever imperfect with accusations that one is anti-semitic or wants Israel destroyed.

Last edited by stephanie; 11-26-2011 at 03:25 PM.. Reason: fix quoting
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11-26-2011, 03:23 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
If one doesn't take that in consideration, his position in this diavlog doesn't stand alone. It doesn't address Glenn's questions, and it has the feeling of an attempt to prevent an open discussion by threat of being called a bigot. This latter is what Walter should be careful not to do if he wants to bring light to the topic.
To focus on this specifically--

I don't think it's quite fair to blame Walter for not addressing Glenn's questions. Glenn, unfortunately, started out with the "it's the Jews" explanation, and Walter, IMO understandably, felt compelled to address that claim, however tentatively stated, because of the context. I think the insistence by some -- and this is part of the overarching debate, IMO -- that the US policy must be driven by Jews is sufficiently prominent and problematic that it needs to be addressed. I think this is part of what J-Street is doing with its surveys of Jewish opinion, although another part, of course, is to counter AIPAC's claim to speak for all Jews. So once Glenn brought up that angle, the discussion focused on that, and not the more straightforward question "why are Americans on average pro Israel and not pro Palestinian"? Why does the I/P question seem to have an effect on US politics that is so dramatic -- if 20%, like Walter said (that seems too high to me, but I haven't researched it), a number that has no connection to the Jewish population.

But more generally, I do think that we need to be able to have an open discussion of the issue including pointing out when certain arguments seem to have a connection to historical anti-Jewish arguments in order to understand a policy that seems driven by many things, not simply a disagreement between foreign policy realists on either sides. Similarly, I think it's okay -- even if I often think a misunderstanding -- for people to note that there may be colonialist or "racist" elements to the failure of many Americans to identify as much with the plight of the Palestinians. I do not in fact think this is a compelling explanation, but given that we are talking about emotional reactions and identification issues, I don't think bringing up such concerns or exploring them is an effort to silence.

And on the effort to silence issue, neither Walter nor Glenn is a politician, where these kinds of accusations (or simply being accused of being anti Israel) is a big problem. Both are prominent professors at left-leaning schools. In that environment (I know from having gone to a couple that would be so classed, neither of which is as far left as Brown, where Glenn is, IMO), Glenn's views are not uncommon or dangerous. They are mainstream, whereas admitting sympathy for AIPAC likely would not be. Which is not to say that one is silenced if one does -- the claims by the right to be silenced in such environments also struck me as a gross overstatement. (Indeed, the complaints that it's unfair tactics to note potential anti-semitism strike me as not unlike the overwrought complaints about being called racist in other contexts.)
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:40 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie View Post

I don't think it's quite fair to blame Walter for not addressing Glenn's questions. Glenn, unfortunately, started out with the "it's the Jews" explanation, and Walter, IMO understandably, felt compelled to address that claim, however tentatively stated, because of the context. I think the insistence by some -- and this is part of the overarching debate, IMO -- that the US policy must be driven by Jews is sufficiently prominent and problematic that it needs to be addressed.
My comment is less about blaming and more about making an observation. By now it's clear that we agree that Walter was responding intensely not only to Glenn's questions but to the overarching debate with alleged antisemitic undertones.

I agree that it would be interesting to hear another discussion focusing on this topic only. Perhaps a pro-Palestinian cause Jewish interlocutor would be a good pairing for Walter. Hopefully the implied accusation of antisemitism wouldn't be so easily supported or so potentially threatening.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-27-2011, 10:11 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: France, Earth
Posts: 1,165
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
I agree that it would be interesting to hear another discussion focusing on this topic only. Perhaps a pro-Palestinian cause Jewish interlocutor would be a good pairing for Walter. Hopefully the implied accusation of antisemitism wouldn't be so easily supported or so potentially threatening.
Yes, I agree with this. So Walt does not qualify, he's not Jewish. David Remnick. He would be a coup for bhtv, and he might well be willing to talk to Mead.

There are so many issues here. But, in the end, we have to come back to the analysis in the terms of political science. What are the basic parameters of the "science" within which we can assess the existence of an Israel lobby, its composition, its working, and its influence? One problem is that there is not much legislation that one can examine in order to assess the influence of a lobby in the case of US-Israel policy. In that way, the whole question is different from looking at the NRA or at the banking lobby. Secondly, it is my belief that military strategy and intelligence considerations must be playing a large part in the special relationship between the US and Israel, but many of those considerations are largely secret and rarely talked about with any candor in public. Insofar as they exist, they are largely opaque to the public. So political science is at a disadvantage here, relative to assessing the influence of other lobbies or lobbying organizations.

Mead wants to bring up the entire history of US support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. But that history, whatever it is, cannot explain the current policy under current conditions, simply because the scarcity of oil and supply-demand conditions for oil were utterly different in the 19th century than they are today. Indeed, they were quite different until some date I cannot specify, but let's say until 1975-1980, some time shorty after Israel's victory in the 1967 war. Glenn's question, a perfectly reasonable one, is how can it be that the US appears to put its greatest interest in the Middle East, namely oil, at risk, by pursuing an Israel policy that does not seem consonant with this principle interest? And the next question is, insofar as there is a mystery to be explained here, does the existence of an Israel lobby, in which Jewish organizations play a large role, help to explain the apparent mystery?

I think we would need to get down to cases in order to assess the influence of AIPAC and related organizations in American politics. We would need to learn about cases in which American congresspeople might have been tempted to stray from AIPAC-approved policies, or might have questioned US financial and military aid to Israel, and subsequently decided not to pursue these avenues because of lobbying pressure from the alleged Israel lobby. We would need to ask the question of why, for example, Barbara Boxer has never assumed, to my knowledge, any position that might be characterized as "anti-Israel," and one could extend this line of questioning to every liberal Jewish congressperson in the US who has existed over the past 40 years. This whole discussion is assuming an atmosphere of unreality. That's because this whole issue is a third rail, it's taboo. Every time a Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama says anything that does not exhibit "unconditional support" for Israel, he gets reeled back into line by something, so what is that something? (And if you don't think that is true, just look at the debate I had with bbbeard about the speech Obama gave at the State Department in May, 2011, I think, a speech that was described breathlessly by some as worldshaking in its historical importance and anamolousness in the history of US policy towards Israel, but which was given an entirely anodyne gloss by none other than Walter Russell Mead.)

The point is, one would need to do a detailed analysis of the financial contributions of pro-Israel Jewish donors, both individual and organized, to American politics. Then one would also need to do a qualitative analysis of the fear imposed upon politicians for straying from the AIPAC-approved line. Then one would have to do a detailed analysis of the Israel lobby's effect upon the American media's portrayal of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It's a vast subject, fraught with methodological difficulties, not the least of which is that the main policy implications are shrouded in secrecy, media outlets are not going to admit to bowing to pressure, politicians are not going to admit to bowing to pressure, and so on.

But Mead's whole line is subject to the following reductio ad absurdum, which I already hinted at. There are plenty of left-leaning American Jews who think that organized Jews play a large role in influencing American policy towards Israel. Let us suppose that Mead is right about the amount of influence the more hard-line Jews have (an amount which remains to be specified) and that the left-wing Jews are wrong, that we are laboring under some misapprehension about reality. It is still laughable, in my opinion, to assert that these left-wing Jews are not, perhaps, anti-Semitic, but that they are nevertheless "wrong and immoral." No, we're just wrong in that case.

Clearly, one side of this divide in the American Jewish community has the feeling that it is not listened to but that the other side, the "neocon"/ AIPAC side, has the ear of the entire power apparatus in the US. Now, there are two possibilities here. One is that this feeling is wrong. But Mead's own one-man, one-vote analysis of the American Jewish community tells against this interpretation. So the other possibility is that there is an "innocent" explanation for the feeling, namely that there is something else going on in American politics that explains US policy towards Israel, something that has nothing to do with the American Jewish community. And that is quite probable, but it does not answer the question of what American policy towards Israel would be like in the absence of the Israel lobby, and of the Jewish portion of that lobby, on the assumption that such a lobby exists. Put positively, it does not answer the question of the extent of the power and influence exerted by the alleged lobby. Does Mead think that there is no such lobby? Apparently not, because he brought up the NRA analogy. So there is a lobby, and the question is that of the extent of its power and influence over US policy towards Israel.

I should say, by the way, that I liked this dv in its entirety, I agree that it would be good to see and hear more from Mead. I just get the feeling that he's off the deep end on this anti-Semitism thing, for whatever reason.
__________________
ledocs

Last edited by ledocs; 11-27-2011 at 10:40 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11-27-2011, 11:06 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
[...]

Secondly, it is my belief that military strategy and intelligence considerations must be playing a large part in the special relationship between the US and Israel, but many of those considerations are largely secret and rarely talked about with any candor in public. Insofar as they exist, they are largely opaque to the public.

[...]

Glenn's question, a perfectly reasonable one, is how can it be that the US appears to put its greatest interest in the Middle East, namely oil, at risk, by pursuing an Israel policy that does not seem consonant with this principle interest? And the next question is, insofar as there is a mystery to be explained here, does the existence of an Israel lobby, in which Jewish organizations play a large role, help to explain the apparent mystery?
Correct, IMO.

It's always seemed to me that the US-Israel relationship is a marriage of convenience, which at times goes really sour. Each party is trying to get the most out of the deal. Sometimes they manage their mutual interests well, but sometimes they clash. But that's kept behind their bedroom doors.

To make things more difficult, the extended family participates in the dynamics of the marriage quite a bit. There are the pro-Israel hawks Jewish and non-Jewish Americans. There are the pro-Israel but Palestine sensitive Jewish and non-Jewish Americans. There are the lobbying and activist groups. Political figures whose primary interest is to maintain a steady flow of support for their campaigns. Arab countries and their influence. Oil power, inside and outside the US. International community. Leftovers of the Western versus pro-Soviet tensions. And god knows what else.

Even if we don't have access to the secret aspects of the equation, which are mostly quantitative aspects (how much influence is exerted by each of those), at least we could have a discussion about the multiple players and a rough estimate about their influence.


Quote:
[...]

So the other possibility is that there is an "innocent" explanation for the feeling, namely that there is something else going on in American politics that explains US policy towards Israel, something that has nothing to do with the American Jewish community. And that is quite probable, but it does not answer the question of what American policy towards Israel would be like in the absence of the Israel lobby, and of the Jewish portion of that lobby, on the assumption that such a lobby exists. Put positively, it does not answer the question of the extent of the power and influence exerted by the alleged lobby. [...]
Yes, again, the something else that explains what's going on as above.


Quote:
I just get the feeling that he's off the deep end on this anti-Semitism thing, for whatever reason.
Yes, me too.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:56 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
Glenn's question, a perfectly reasonable one, is how can it be that the US appears to put its greatest interest in the Middle East, namely oil, at risk, by pursuing an Israel policy that does not seem consonant with this principle interest? And the next question is, insofar as there is a mystery to be explained here, does the existence of an Israel lobby, in which Jewish organizations play a large role, help to explain the apparent mystery?
I agree that this would be an interesting topic to discuss, but I'm not entirely sure what the best approach would be. Right now I'm thinking of two separate diavlogs.

One would be basically what the W&M book should have been (I've only read the article and discussions of the book, admittedly). Basically, it would be between two people who could both discuss foreign policy from a realist POV and political science relating to PACs, how policy is formed, how public opinion is formed and effects policy and could discuss these kinds of topics more broadly than I/P. For example, talk about other issues in which internal views or PACs influenced policy. A problem with the W&M article was that they didn't seem competent to or at least didn't really get into the mechanics of how the Lobby worked, how it interacted with US opinion more broadly. Also, of course, although you'd need people who could talk about what realism would demand in the way of policy, it's important to consider that reasons other than a Lobby lead to the US not acting that way. For example, the Cold War's effect on policy and theories other than realism and how they affected policy. I am less convinced than Glenn that US policy on the whole (as opposed to current insanities re Congress and Netanyahu and the apparent terror at criticizing Israel which seems new to me) is essentially irrational and can only be explained by something other than US interests. I don't think the oil point is compelling. However, I'd be open to a good discussion.

The second is the more psychological question of US attitudes toward Israel and the Palestinians (and perhaps other world issues/countries), how they've changed over time, and why. What interests me here is Glenn's statement of his own views which show not just a dispassionate consideration of the I/P problem and view that the Palestinians are in the right on various points, but a broad-based identity with them that leads to a much more strongly held position than people often have wrt conflicts in other countries (at least in the US). I think Glenn's position is the reverse of how many people in the US feel about the Israelis, although I think the majority of people don't care that much about either side. I also don't think it's hard to see why this is, in part due to positive propanganda and personal experience with people, but also for many other reasons, mostly relating to the US being a military power and having various experiences with terrorism, although it's also related to the "the Israelis seem like us" thing.

What interests me is simply this identification and how it works. I think that changes how people react away from a "realism" kind of approach and the dynamic of discussions of the issue in a bunch of ways.

Quote:
Every time a Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama says anything that does not exhibit "unconditional support" for Israel, he gets reeled back into line by something, so what is that something? (And if you don't think that is true, just look at the debate I had with bbbeard about the speech Obama gave at the State Department in May, 2011, I think, a speech that was described breathlessly by some as worldshaking in its historical importance and anamolousness in the history of US policy towards Israel, but which was given an entirely anodyne gloss by none other than Walter Russell Mead.)
I could be wrong, but I see the dynamic you are talking about as something new and something different than the general pro-Israel POV of our elected officials. I think the latter can be explained by the fact that there's nothing to be gained on the one side and a lot on the other, and that most people don't care (circumstances in which PACs can be quite powerful and in many cases AIPAC is, IMO). But the insane reaction to Obama's speech (also defended by Israel hawk Jeffrey Goldberg, and that he's usually defined as such is why I brought him up then) seems new. I'd like to understand that aspect of it better, and I don't think assuming it's just AIPAC does that -- it ignores how intensely felt the attitude is among a much broader group. It also ignores how it's now being raised as an issue by the right mainly to court non-Jews. (Some Jews too, sure, but it's given too much play for that to be the reason.) For example, I'm hearing about slights to Israel all the time these days from FOX listeners who never cared at all about Israel in the past. There's something going on beyond AIPAC being the most powerful PAC ever.

(And I feel compelled to note again that given the way Glenn brought up the issue and the way I've heard people on the left talk about the issue, I don't think Walter is so wrong on the anti-semitism thing, which I think he brought up more carefully than he is being given credit for and did not apply to Glenn. I simply didn't interpret him to be saying, as some of you seem to think, that noting the power of AIPAC -- even if it's not actually the most powerful PAC ever -- was wrong and immoral. He was reacting to Glenn's more broadbased comment at the beginning. And one objection to people attributing the weirdo views on Israel to powerful Jews is that it seems to conflate all Jews as having the same views, when obviously many Jews -- as Walter noted -- are to the left of the average American, don't care any more than the average American, or are involved with groups that take much more balanced and criticial of Israel views, from J Street to various peace groups. And another objection -- speaking as a gentile -- is that that explanation seems to assume that non-Jews are just reacting to propaganda and not forming their beliefs with as much reason and cause as Jews do. Simply saying AIPAC is powerful or has a powerful influence on our politicians doesn't contradict that, so I don't think Walter's criticism was meant so broadly. Claiming, however, that the reason the US doesn't act like Glenn would prefer is simply AIPAC or "powerful Jews" or a Jewish lobby (not what W&M said but how many seem to talk about it) does seem to me to be wrong or at least a grossly incomplete explanation.)

Last edited by stephanie; 11-27-2011 at 05:12 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 11-27-2011, 05:24 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,490
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

I think you make an important point, and one that bears repeating. the way I've always thought about it: the israel lobby was a book about domestic united states politics (lobbying, public opinion, etc.) written by 2 international relations scholars. this seems to have led to a lot of problems.
__________________
She said the theme of this party's the Industrial Age, and you came in dressed like a train wreck.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 11-27-2011, 06:11 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: France, Earth
Posts: 1,165
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Stephanie, if oil is not a compelling US interest in the Middle East, what the hell would be?

I really must disagree that there was anything subtle about Mead on anti-Semitism here. To the contrary, he seemed to me to be a very blunt instrument, indeed. Just to repeat, he said that anyone who thinks that American Jews are driving US policy towards Israel is, at a minimum, both wrong and immoral. A lot hinges on what one means by "driving the policy," of course. Mead did not get a chance to say what he thinks the influence and role of the American Jews are here. But it should have been enough for him to say that anyone who thinks that Jews are driving the policy is wrong. He seemed to me to be saying that anyone who thinks that the Jews are decisive is either ignorant or anti-Semitic. Glenn seemed to me to cower in fear when he realized that he was on the precipice of being called an anti-Semite, merely because he entertains the idea that Walt/Mearsheimer are right on the substance, even if their book is badly executed and they can't prove their point. I think step one in the whole debate would be to establish what sort of evidence would constitute a proof here, what a smoking gun in the world of lobbying looks like, whether a smoking gun on this question of the Israel lobby could ever be adduced in the real world, and so on.
__________________
ledocs
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 11-27-2011, 07:40 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
Stephanie, if oil is not a compelling US interest in the Middle East, what the hell would be?
I didn't say it's not a compelling interest. I said it's not a compelling explanation. I don't believe that the US has ever believed that its Israel policy was putting its access to oil at risk. If one wants to claim that the US's policy from '47 to the present (or during portions of that time) was irrational, I think one has a much tougher argument than Glenn acknowledges, and citing oil doesn't cut it.

I also think it's funny (not in a bad way, it's human) that Glenn insists that the policy is weird because it's irrational when it's clear he's driven by something other than strict rationality, but by a view of the rights and wrongs and identification.

But I welcome a real discussion of the topic.

On the other point, I'm almost ready to agree to disagree. I do think Walter overspoke a bit in reaction to a particular type of argument which I have heard and think justifies the reaction (even if I would use different words to avoid the digression) just as I have heard the anti-semite argument used in ways (different than here) that I think are indeed silencing. I didn't think Glenn was cowering and don't think he should have been surprised to the response to his words that seemed chosen to be provocative. Nor do I think Glenn's argument is a dangerous one -- not at Brown, not at Bard, not at the schools I attended.

Quote:
But it should have been enough for him to say that anyone who thinks that Jews are driving the policy is wrong.
I think he wanted to make the stronger point -- that those who continue to attribute the influence solely to "Jews" rather than a PAC without (a) distinguishing between the many different positions represented, and (b) noting the relevance of any non-Jewish opinion (other than the Christian Zionists on occasion) despite the problems with that analysis are being sufficiently pigheaded about their conclusion, no matter what, that one wonders why. It seems strange to make this point so significant. It would seem wrong but not strange (and not immoral) to focus on AIPAC rather than "Jews." Maybe I'm wrong in thinking Walter's reaction would be the same.

It's also important, IMO, to acknowledge that one can hold the extreme pro Israel position without thinking its contrary to the interests of the US. Presumably, however much NRA supporters love guns, they don't actually think that their positions on gun laws are bad for the US. Similarly, AIPAC people may have different views on the relationship between Israel and the US and what Israel should do than I do, but I don't assume it's at the expense of what they think is best for the US. My problem with the "the US acts against its interest in Israel due to the influence of Jews" argument is that it smacks of a disloyalty claim. I don't think that was Glenn's point; I don't think Walter accused him of that. But that's the kind of thing I think Walter was reacting against with the "immoral" point.

For further discussion, I suppose I think the "anti-semite" claim and the "racist" claims should both be dropped. It's possible to explore the underlying issues without using the terms and even though I think the "danger" of being called either is more often than not overstated these days, it always creates a diversion from the main subject. But I'd also ask that those who want to talk about the pressures -- who need not be Jewish, IMO -- try to be more specific, because given the diversity of Jewish opinion and the obvious influence of Christian Zionism (along with other more benign non-Jewish opinion, IMO), it does strike me as weird when people insist upon characterizing it as "due to the support of Jews." And, sure, I admit I read or hear the statement quite differently depending on who it comes from.

Last edited by stephanie; 11-27-2011 at 07:45 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 11-28-2011, 07:42 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: France, Earth
Posts: 1,165
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
I didn't say it's not a compelling interest. I said it's not a compelling explanation. I don't believe that the US has ever believed that its Israel policy was putting its access to oil at risk. If one wants to claim that the US's policy from '47 to the present (or during portions of that time) was irrational, I think one has a much tougher argument than Glenn acknowledges, and citing oil doesn't cut it.
We have to distinguish between what "the US has ever believed" and what some "realists," like Walt/Mearsheimer, think the US ought to believe now. The main point of Walt/Mearsheimer is that US interests and Israel's interests do not entirely converge. The main point over which they do not converge has to be oil. I cannot imagine what else we could be talking about. Secondly, the point of Walt/Mearsheimer is that the US finds itself in a different situation in 2011 than it did in 1947. The goal of the Israel lobby is to portray Israel as a "strategic ally" of the United States. A subsidiary goal is to spread the idea that there is no daylight between the interests of the US's strategic ally and the US itself. The meaning of this strategic alliance, so far as I am concerned, is that Israel will act as a military ally of the US in the case of a major military or terrorist threat to US and Western access to Middle East oil, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Israel would allow US access to its airfields in a catastrophic scenario. What else can it mean for Israel to be a "strategic ally" of the United States?

Has not David Petraeus, among others, called for a reevaluation of US-Israel relations?


http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=171255


What US interests do you think Petraeus has in mind that are not being advanced as they might be, Stephanie, if not oil? Is it dates, worry beads, sand, advancing democracy? What is the point of advancing democracy in the Middle East, of achieving greater stability there? What are the people in Iraq fighting about? Answer: oil revenues.

Quote:
I also think it's funny (not in a bad way, it's human) that Glenn insists that the policy is weird because it's irrational when it's clear he's driven by something other than strict rationality, but by a view of the rights and wrongs and identification.
I don’t agree with this either. I don’t see anything odd or funny here. From Glenn’s point of view, the policy is irrational on two fronts: the strategic one (oil), and the moral/ethical one. But “irrational” is probably the wrong word. We’re not saying that the policy has no rationale whatever and is therefore strictly irrational, but rather that the policy is not optimally rational, which one might say is just another way of saying that we don’t agree with the policy from any point of view. There is a disagreement about what US interests require, and there is a disagreement about what justice requires. It just happens that more justice for the Palestinians would simultaneously advance US interests.

Quote:
I didn't think Glenn was cowering and don't think he should have been surprised to the response to his words that seemed chosen to be provocative. Nor do I think Glenn's argument is a dangerous one -- not at Brown, not at Bard, not at the schools I attended.
First of all, Glenn was not talking to an audience at an Ivy League school, he was on bhtv. What do you think Glenn meant when he said, “[Whoa], I don’t want to be on the wrong side of that argument?” Here, the argument was that American Jews are more left-wing than Americans generally, that if American Jews were the only Israeli citizens and voted in Israeli elections, there would never be a Likud government in Israel. Hence, by nonsequitur, American Jews do not drive US policy towards Israel, because there are Likud governments.

Quote:
I think he wanted to make the stronger point -- that those who continue to attribute the influence solely to "Jews" rather than a PAC without (a) distinguishing between the many different positions represented, and (b) noting the relevance of any non-Jewish opinion (other than the Christian Zionists on occasion) despite the problems with that analysis are being sufficiently pigheaded about their conclusion, no matter what, that one wonders why. It seems strange to make this point so significant. It would seem wrong but not strange (and not immoral) to focus on AIPAC rather than "Jews." Maybe I'm wrong in thinking Walter's reaction would be the same.
But there are no such people. Walt/Mearsheimer never said that US policy towards Israel is attributable solely to Jews. They very explicitly do not say that. The argument is very simple. There is an Israel lobby, which would have us believe that the interests of Israel and the US converge completely. But this is false. Jewish organizations play a very large role in the lobby. The US should reevaluate its policy to Israel and to the Palestinian question in order better to advance its interests.

Quote:
My problem with the "the US acts against its interest in Israel due to the influence of Jews" argument is that it smacks of a disloyalty claim. I don't think that was Glenn's point; I don't think Walter accused him of that. But that's the kind of thing I think Walter was reacting against with the "immoral" point.
Well, sorry, but there is a dual loyalty problem. But of course, if Israeli and US interests are entirely convergent, the problem goes away, because loyalty to one country is the same thing as loyalty to the other. Why is there a dual loyalty problem? Because, should there ever be resurgent anti-Semitism in the US, American Jews can flee to Israel. If you don’t think that’s an important component of what animates part of the American Jewish community, you don’t know enough about the American Jewish community. I brought this up in another forum a long time ago, and a sympathetic reader, a Jew, pointed out that this motif is the concluding one in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., which I have not visited. American Jews, some of them, are hedging their bets.
__________________
ledocs
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 11-28-2011, 11:13 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
We have to distinguish between what "the US has ever believed" and what some "realists," like Walt/Mearsheimer, think the US ought to believe now.
The realist critique is that US policy is not consistent with what the US ought to do, according to realist views (or the views of some realists, like W&M). And I'm sure that's true. But the question is why not.

As I said before, I think a discussion of this would be interesting, and considering the domestic political aspects is part of that. However, there are lots of reasons unrelated to PACs that policy might be what W&M consider irrational, and if one starts with the idea that it must be rational (and rational in the way you see as rational, when the US does plenty of non-Israel-related stuff that I imagine Glenn would disagree with, as Walter noted), that skews the question. The Cold War caused us to pursue a certain set of policies in the Middle East, for example, that were then hard to pull out of afterwards (supporting dictators who were perceived as on our side). Part of that does end up being related to Israel now, but to see it as always and all about Israel seems to me to miss the big picture. I think if we talk about our policy in the Middle East, ignoring the effect of past policies and actions on what we do now makes little sense.

I also think -- and I know I keep saying this -- that focusing on AIPAC as an explanation for why our policy NOW seems to be more distorted is simply incorrect, a result of blinders. Maybe I'm wrong about this, maybe AIPAC has become a lot more powerful than in the '80s and '90s. But IMO the reason for the change, the reason different things are demanded of Obama than, say, George H.W. Bush is because of 9/11 and its lasting influence on American politics and opinion.

Quote:
I don’t agree with this either.
Okay, then we will have to agree to disagree, as I thought Glenn was quite clear that he was reacting from a position of identification with the Palestinians. Many Americans, especially post-9/11 (whether you think this is rational or not) react from a position of identification with the Israelis. When the debate comes from deep identifications and not simply a consideration of interests or a more external consideration of fairness, I think the approach to the issue changes.

On the other points, probably more later. No time now.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 11-28-2011, 02:50 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Great Moravia
Posts: 1,117
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Because, should there ever be resurgent anti-Semitism in the US, American Jews can flee to Israel. If you don’t think that’s an important component of what animates part of the American Jewish community, you don’t know enough about the American Jewish community. I brought this up in another forum a long time ago, and a sympathetic reader, a Jew, pointed out that this motif is the concluding one in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., which I have not visited. American Jews, some of them, are hedging their bets.
Yeah. What he said. I've heard this from multiple people, including from one friend of a friend who strongly identified as Jewish but whose mother was not Jewish by birth, who was converting to Orthodox Judaism for this very reason -- so she could qualify for Israeli citizenship in case, as she said, things got unsafe for Jews in America. This absolutely floored me. Not because I don't believe there's anti-Semitism in the US -- although I have a seriously hard time imagining a situation in which it becomes so widespread or so politicized that American Jews are in a flee-the-country situation, I get it, historical fatalism runs deep, I don't think it's the best tendency to nurture, but far be it from me to tell Jewish people to forget their history -- but because this strikes me as a seriously unhealthy and weird thing to base your relationship to and opinions about Israel on. There are plenty of reasons to support Israel, but "if our fellow citizens of a multiethnic, pluralistic state start randomly hating us for our religion/ethnicity, we can always retreat to this enclave built to serve as a haven for our group" strikes me as, uh, the wrong attitude to take? Am I allowed to say this?

Last edited by kezboard; 11-28-2011 at 02:55 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 11-28-2011, 02:58 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Yeah. What he said. I've heard this from multiple people, including from one friend of a friend who strongly identified as Jewish but whose mother was not Jewish by birth, who was converting to Orthodox Judaism for this very reason -- so she could qualify for Israeli citizenship in case, as she said, things got unsafe for Jews in America.
I heard this from basically every Jew in the world as I was growing up, including my parents, uncles, aunts, rabbi and entire neighborhood. I doubt very much if I could have found a Jew who did not believe it.

I hope things have changed for the younger generation.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 11-28-2011, 07:46 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
The main point of Walt/Mearsheimer is that US interests and Israel's interests do not entirely converge. The main point over which they do not converge has to be oil. I cannot imagine what else we could be talking about.
I think that's over-simplifying. Clearly, Israel and the US don't have identical interests, because they are different countries in extremely different locations who are currently involved in quite different international roles, and it would be foolish to say otherwise. But W&M talk as much or more (in the article) about the war on terror as oil, and the oil arguments seem to focus mainly on the '70s -- a time during which I think the overall US attitude toward Israel and the reasons for it were quite different from now. (I could be wrong, as I don't actually have recollection of the '70s, but I'm plenty willing to explain my reasons if you don't agree with this.)

As it is, I agree that the US's internal politics re Israel means that we act in a way that is contrary to our own interest (and according to many Israelis, contrary to Israel's), but I don't actually think that has much to do with oil or that our position wrt oil would be improved if we acted in a "realist" way. Of course, part of that question involves a determination of what that "realist" way would be, and I don't think that's so obvious as W&M might (or as Glenn may).

Quote:
The goal of the Israel lobby is to portray Israel as a "strategic ally" of the United States. A subsidiary goal is to spread the idea that there is no daylight between the interests of the US's strategic ally and the US itself.
But again, one of the reasons the W&M argument is not convincing or well-made is that the "Israel Lobby" includes all groups who are vaguely pro-Israel, including the non-hardliners, including those groups who urge the kinds of actions that aren't acceptable currently in mainstream political discourse, but which I'd consider the right move. So apparently W&M think it's not just the "no daylight" position which is contrary to "realism." This is important because, again, there are many reasons to see the US's support for Israel (not the unconditional, no criticism allowed support, but support) as easily explainable by foreign policy considerations, and not just the Lobby.

Now, I am not claiming the Lobby is irrelevant. That's never been my position. But both Glenn and W&M seem to think that the US's position -- again, not just the current form its taken, but the much milder positions advocated by, say J-Street, the position that we took in past decades, so on -- as so inherently irrational that it must be solely the work of a strong lobby, a lobby that seems more magically strong than any other, given the lack of real analysis of how it works. To analyze what the US did to alienate Egypt and Arab states during the Cold War based simply on Israel and not consider whether our problems with other states in the region explain to a certain extent our relationship with Israel seems to be quite strange.

Quote:
The meaning of this strategic alliance, so far as I am concerned, is that Israel will act as a military ally of the US in the case of a major military or terrorist threat to US and Western access to Middle East oil, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Israel would allow US access to its airfields in a catastrophic scenario. What else can it mean for Israel to be a "strategic ally" of the United States?
These are realist reasons for an alliance, so I guess I'm not sure what you are getting at.

Quote:
What is the point of advancing democracy in the Middle East, of achieving greater stability there?
One argument is that the current situation is inherently unstable and thus threatens a disastrous instability and anti-American attitude in the future, if we can't get to a more stable and democratic situation without something akin (or worse) to the Iranian Revolution. A related argument is that over time democracy would lead to attitudes more conducive to a liberalization of society and more normal relationships with the west. The maintenance of authoritatianism means distractions by in some cases encouraging religious fundamentalism and, of course, hatred of external enemies, including the US and Israel, and in other cases encourages the growth of religious fundamentalism as a genuine opposition movement. Both probably lead to more risk of terrorism. One bad effect of a radical overthrow of government would potentially be related to oil, sure, but I don't think moderating our policy on Israel changes that.

Quote:
First of all, Glenn was not talking to an audience at an Ivy League school, he was on bhtv.
To the extent anything said on bhtv is "dangerous," it's due to the personal position of the person saying it. For example, if Romney came on bhtv and said that we ought to be more critical of Israel, Obama is letting them get away with murder, that would be a real risk for him. Glenn, as a professor at Brown, is not in that kind of position. He can say what he would at Brown.

Quote:
What do you think Glenn meant when he said, “[Whoa], I don’t want to be on the wrong side of that argument?”
I think he was saying he didn't want to make an argument that would be perceived as anti-semitic. Not because the accusation is damaging, as because he doesn't want to make such an argument. He later pushed back a little by saying that if it is wrong, it's wrong to make the argument. I think he took seriously Walter's objections to -- not simply the characterization of -- the argument.

Quote:
Walt/Mearsheimer never said that US policy towards Israel is attributable solely to Jews.
Glenn's initial statement seemed to. He brought up W&M, to defend his initial statement of the issue, but that's actually not a good defense (problematic as the W&M argument is, IMO), precisely because W&M's "Israel Lobby" is not "Jews" but a broader set of non-unified and quite different groups. Walter should have noted this, but he didn't seem interested in doing more than criticizing W&M.

Quote:
There is an Israel lobby, which would have us believe that the interests of Israel and the US converge completely.
They include moderate groups, which do not claim this, or at least claim this only by saying that an Israel who did what it should would be acting in its own best interest, as well as that of the US. To claim these groups as part of the same "Lobby" with AIPAC and the Christian Zionists makes no sense, even if the latter can reasonably be said to be part of one Lobby. But in any case, the statement Glenn made that provoked Walter's digression was much more simple.

Quote:
The US should reevaluate its policy to Israel and to the Palestinian question in order better to advance its interests.
Again, this is one argument, one I happen to agree with, even if we wouldn't end up precisely at the same place. The other issue, however, is why does the US act differently than you or I or Glenn or probably even Walter would prefer? The answer to that is more complicated than "powerful Jews" or W&M's "Israel Lobby." Again, do PACs play a role? I'm certain they do. Is my opinion on these questions defined by AIPAC? No, it is not. Getting into the complexities of American opinion and how it plays out in politics on these questions could be interesting. W&M's article is not.

Quote:
Well, sorry, but there is a dual loyalty problem. But of course, if Israeli and US interests are entirely convergent, the problem goes away, because loyalty to one country is the same thing as loyalty to the other.
Actually, there's no problem if the interests aren't divergent. The US and France don't always agree, and don't always share the same views of their national interests, but so long as they don't actually go beyond that, there's no conflict.

Quote:
Why is there a dual loyalty problem? Because, should there ever be resurgent anti-Semitism in the US, American Jews can flee to Israel. If you don’t think that’s an important component of what animates part of the American Jewish community, you don’t know enough about the American Jewish community.
I don't see this as dual loyalty. It doesn't suggest selling out the US for Israel, being willing to do what is against the best interests of the US, which is the ugly claim.

(And yes I've heard this idea, although I think it's only part of the American Jewish community, as you said.)
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 11-29-2011, 05:42 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: France, Earth
Posts: 1,165
Default Re: Values Added: The Whirligig of Time (Glenn Loury & Walter Russell Mead)

Stephanie said:

Quote:
As it is, I agree that the US's internal politics re Israel means that we act in a way that is contrary to our own interest (and according to many Israelis, contrary to Israel's), but I don't actually think that has much to do with oil or that our position wrt oil would be improved if we acted in a "realist" way.
Let’s forget the labels. The argument is that if the Palestinian problem were mitigated to some great extent, there would be less anti-Western Islamo-terrorism and there would be less anti-Western, anti-US sentiment on the “Arab street,” and that Arab and Persian regimes, whatever form they take, would, ceteris paribus, have reason to be more friendly and accommodating to US interests.

One cannot know what the effects of moderating US policy on Israel would be. But it seems safe to say that a “moderation” could not hurt in the “war against terror” on the one hand, or in general in making whatever Arab and Persian regimes exist more friendly to the US. So there was a “realist” camp that was saying, prior to the Iraq war, that the war on terror should proceed first through Jerusalem. I associate this primarily with Z. Brzezinski.

Stephanie said:

Quote:
One argument is that the current situation is inherently unstable and thus threatens a disastrous instability and anti-American attitude in the future, if we can't get to a more stable and democratic situation without something akin (or worse) to the Iranian Revolution. A related argument is that over time democracy would lead to attitudes more conducive to a liberalization of society and more normal relationships with the west. The maintenance of authoritatianism means distractions by in some cases encouraging religious fundamentalism and, of course, hatred of external enemies, including the US and Israel, and in other cases encourages the growth of religious fundamentalism as a genuine opposition movement. Both probably lead to more risk of terrorism. One bad effect of a radical overthrow of government would potentially be related to oil, sure, but I don't think moderating our policy on Israel changes that.
I think this is mostly gobbledygook. That is why I asked, “What is the point of advancing democracy in the Middle East?” Do you really think that the US undertook the war in Iraq in order to “advance democracy” and “promote stability” and to “defeat terror?” The US has three interests in the Middle East. The first is oil. To the appetite for oil must presumably be added the appetite for petrodollars. The second is supporting Israel, for ideological reasons not having to do with oil. The third is combating anti-Western terrorism, which can be traced back to oil and to Western military presence in the region. After all, Bin Laden’s main complaint was that there were Western forces in Saudi Arabia. The “realist” argument is that the Israel-Palestinian dispute is distracting the US from its real strategic interests in the region. But that formulation can be reasonably translated into, “The Israel-Palestinian dispute is distracting the US from its real strategic interest in the region, which is in maintaining a steady flow of oil.”

The Middle East is not important, apart from oil. It just isn’t. When people talk about promoting democracy in the Middle East, you have to look behind the curtain. (I don't know what to think about Wolfowitz on this point, but it doesn't matter too much, because I do know what to think about Cheney.) When people talk about US “strategic interests” in the Middle East, e.g. when Petraeus talks about that, he is really talking about oil. It’s just code. Walt and Mearsheimer use this code. It’s understood. Why can’t we just say what we mean? Because the great US is demeaned by acknowledging in a diplomatic context that it has become so dependent upon this single resource. To this demeaning dependence is now added the fact that the US is, and has been the principal villain in destroying the planet’s ecology due to the incredibly profligate way in which its land use patterns developed and to its generally profligate habits.

Stephanie said:

Quote:
To the extent anything said on bhtv is "dangerous," it's due to the personal position of the person saying it. For example, if Romney came on bhtv and said that we ought to be more critical of Israel, Obama is letting them get away with murder, that would be a real risk for him. Glenn, as a professor at Brown, is not in that kind of position. He can say what he would at Brown… I think he was saying he didn't want to make an argument that would be perceived as anti-semitic. Not because the accusation is damaging, as because he doesn't want to make such an argument. He later pushed back a little by saying that if it is wrong, it's wrong to make the argument. I think he took seriously Walter's objections to -- not simply the characterization of -- the argument”
This is all not very important. You’re saying that Glenn feels no additional constraint upon what he would say on bhtv vis-à-vis what he would say at Brown. I say that he might feel that he could say one kind of a thing as an aside in a graduate seminar, say, and another kind of thing to undergrads in the classroom, and another kind of thing to an undergrad in his office, and another kind of thing to a grad student in his office, and another kind of thing to a public conference about US-Israel relations held on the Brown campus. A constraint that he might feel, speaking hypothetically, on bhtv is that he brought Ross Levine onto bhtv, for example. So, again hypothetically, there are, in fact, “personal things” that might race through his mind on bhtv in particular when deciding whether and how to venture into contested territory having to do with possible accusations of anti-Semitism. My general point would be that, in the terms of social science, Glenn has social roles in addition to that of university professor at Brown. Some of those other roles are relevant to constraints, or to the lack thereof, that he might feel in different settings when it comes to discussing American Jews and US-Israel relations.

But I am not persuaded, in this context, by the following distinction you make:
Quote:
Not because the accusation [sc. of anti-Semitism] is damaging, as because he doesn't want to make such an argument.
The reason I said that he cowered in fear is that the argument Mead makes at this point, the one about polls of US Jews, is not a good argument, for the reasons I have given, and probably for other reasons that I have not given. So one might think that Loury got distracted by the potential damage caused by the mere possibility of an accusation of anti-Semitism being made against him. And this fear and attendant distraction would perhaps be heightened by the facts that Glenn is black and that, as we know, there is a lot of tension between Jews and blacks surrounding accusations of black anti-Semitism. And we can infer that Glenn may be on bhtv in the first place because of his connection with “The New Republic.” And Glenn recently told us that he resigned his position as contributing editor to “The New Republic” because of an op-ed about Israel that Martin Peretz wrote. I don’t think Glenn wants to be accused of being an anti-Semite, and I don’t think he wants to be an anti-Semite either, I’ll agree with that. Mead had reviewed the Walt-Mearsheimer book. Glenn may not even have read it. Mead is a specialist here, Glenn is not (pace ohreally).
__________________
ledocs

Last edited by ledocs; 11-29-2011 at 05:49 AM..
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.