Today’s Independent provides a classic example of the anti-Israel lobby thesis morphing seamlessly into the classic antisemitic Jewish power motif.
The article, by Rupert Cornwell, is ostensibly about the resignation of Charles Freeman as head of the National Intelligence Council. It is headlined: “ ‘Israel lobby’ blamed as Obama’s choice for intelligence chief quits”.
The opening paragraph, however, morphs the ‘Israel lobby’ into “the Jewish lobby”. It begins: “Fears over the Jewish lobby’s excess influence on US foreign policy flared anew yesterday…”.
It goes on to quote from Charles Freeman himself: “declaring he had fallen victim to what he [Freeman] called the ‘Israel lobby’ “. Next, Cornwell tells us that Freeman’s thesis “exactly reflect the thesis of” Walt & Mearshemier’s book “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” about the malign impact of “the Jewish state’s supporters”.
Cornwell then quotes Stephen Walt on the Freeman episode and Walt’s words are placed in a highlights sidebar, “For all of you who questioned if there was a powerful ‘Israel lobby’, think again”. The article ends by recalling that, “Pat Buchanan, a right-wing commentator and erstwhile presidential candidate, once described Capitol Hill as ‘Israeli-occupied territory’ “.
So, there we have it then. The Independent’s correspondent Rupert Cornwell knows better than Freeman, Walt and (even) Pat Buchanan. This isn’t all about the “Israel lobby”, its all about “the Jewish lobby”.
I suppose its quite refreshing to have these things out in the open for once, but I’m certainly looking forward to the “its only criticism of Israel” excuses on this one.
(NB – the comments thread underneath the article is quite filthy, but is that any wonder?)
Mark Gardner, Director of Communications, CST
The Independent published the following letter from Mark Gardner on 14 March:
The article on the resignation of Charles Freeman was headlined, “Israel lobby blamed as Obama’s choice for intelligence chief quits”. The opening sentence, however, stated, “Fears over the Jewish lobby’s excess influence on US foreign policy flared anew”.
At root, the failure to distinguish between Israelis, pro-Israelis and Jews is the same analytical meltdown that occurs in the minds of those who physically attack and threaten British Jews every time there is a flare-up in the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The Independent really ought to do better.
Mark Gardner, Community Security Trust