Washington Post and the Jews

Ralph Nader versus the ADL and the WP

Ralph Nader, in the course of his 2004 campaign for the presidency,
used the metaphor of puppets/puppeteers
to describe the relation between the governments of Israel and the United States.
Both the ADL and its ditto machine the Washington Post
took strenuous objection to the use of that particular metaphor.

Here are the various parts of that controversy.
To aid in seeing where the objected-to words “puppet” and “puppeteer” appear,
they have been highlighted in red.

Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking
The long-time progressive makes a pitch for the disenfranchised Right.
American Conservative, 2004-06-21

[An interview of Ralph Nader conducted by Patrick Buchanan.]

RN: The subservience of our congressional and White House puppets
to Israeli military policy has been consistent.
Until ’91, any dictator who was anti-Communist was our ally.

PB: You used the term “congressional puppets”.
Did John Kerry show himself to be a congressional puppet
when he voted to give the president a blank check to go to war?

RN: They’re almost all puppets.
There are two sets: Congressional puppets and White House puppets.
When the chief puppeteer comes to Washington, the puppets prance.

[This is really begging for a little Javascript animation.]

PB: Why do both sets of puppets
support the Sharon/Likud policies in the Middle East
rather than the peace movement candidates and leaders in Israel?

Nader calls White House Israel's puppet
by Aaron Klein
WorldNetDaily.com, 2004-07-01

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader yesterday
blasted the U.S.-Israel relationship,
and said
the White House is being manipulated by Israel like a puppet....

“What has been happening over the years
is a predictable routine of foreign visitation
from the head of the Israeli government,” Nader said.
The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington.
The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House,
and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue,
and meets with the puppets in Congress.
And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars.
It is time for the Washington puppet show
to be replaced by the Washington peace show.”


Nader said the U.S. government,
“if it was really interested”
in negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,
should work closely with the Israeli peace movement
[e.g., Peace Now.]

[Now there’s a great idea.
How come the State Department never seems to do that?
During the Cold War and in many, many other cases,
the U.S. has no difficulty maintaining relations with many groups, some dissident, in other countries.
Why can’t the U.S.,
if it were sincerely interested in a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians,
work with the groups in Israel that have similar interests?
Does the U.S. government have to always be such a stooge of
militant, uncompromising, territory-grabbing, UN-resolution-defying Zionists?]

ADL Objects To Ralph Nader’s Characterization of U.S. Government
As ‘Puppet’ to Israel

Anti-Defamation League, 2004-07-02

[The ADL responds to Nader.]

Nader Calls Kerry a “Puppet” For Israel,
Charges Dems With “Mini-Watergate”

Democracy Now! 2004-07-07

[An excerpt from the transcript of this radio interview with Ralph Nader;
emphasis is added.]

We're talking to independent presidential candidate, Ralph Nader....
I wanted to ask you about questions, comments of the head of the anti-defamation league, objecting to what you have said about the white house and congress.
You were speaking to a gathering of Muslim activists Capitol Hill at a hearing entitled, "the Muslim vote -- election in 2004." you said,
"I don't think there's any prospect of the two parties differing in any significant way on the middle east.
The Israeli puppeteer travels so Washington,
meets with the puppet in the white house and
goes down Pennsylvania avenue and meets with the puppets in congress.

The Israeli leader, quote, then, brings back millions of dollars in aid to Israel.
It's time for the united states government to stand up and think for itself.
You said, Abraham Foxman, the ADL National said we write to object to your characterization of the white house and congress as puppets of the Israeli government.
Reasonable people can and do disagree with u.s. policy related to the middle east, specifically U.S. support for Israel,
however there's a line between
thoughtful reason,
constructive disagreements and
offensive hyperbole,"
your response.

I have said that on more than one occasion.
In Washington, it's the old roman saying,
res ipsa loquitur or the thing speaks for itself.
Of course it's offensive.
They passed these because APAC wants them to.
There's no independent thinking there.
In response to Mr. Foxman, I will quote him tom Friedman on the February 5 column in "the new York times" when he said the following -- this is Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer prize winner, author of books on the middle east.
Quote, Mr. Sharon has Yasser Arafat under house arrest in are a Ramallah, and he has had George Bush under arrest in the oval office.
There is a vice president, dick Cheney, who is ready to do whatever Mr. Sharon dictates and by political handlers telling the president not to put any pressure on Israel on the election year, all conspiring to make sure that the president does nothing.
That's end quote, those are the words of Thomas Friedman.
So, maybe Mr. Foxman wants to take it up with Thomas Friedman.
The truth here is that -- there's no balanced determination.
The U.S. government never connects
with the deep and broad Israeli peace movement

that represents members and former members of the Knesset,
former military people, former intelligence people,
former mayors, existing mayors, professors, rabbis.
They put 120,000 people in the square in Tel Aviv recently.
You would think that the U.S. government was not a puppet.
It would support the deep Israeli peace movement,
which has been in touch with the Palestinian peace advocates and has worked out more than one accord where there could be a two-state solution living in peace with a viable and independent Palestinian state.
So, there should be a debate.
The two candidates Kerry, and Bush, are both pro-Israeli military government.
They do not connect with the Israeli peace movement or peace now
or Jewish voice for peace or Michael Lerner's Tikkun group.
Both Kerry and Bush are pro-war.

Ralph Nader, the "Boston Globe" is reporting senator John Kerry has released a new policy paper on Israel, in which he fully supports Israel's construction of the 425-mile wall through the West Bank. Last year, senator Kerry said that the wall was a barrier to peace. But in the new policy paper, Kerry writes, "The security fence is a legitimate act of self-defense. The tight of the paper is, "strengthening Israel security and bolstering the special u.s.-Israel relationship." in one part of the paper, Kerry concludes that Israel's cause must be America's cause. Your response.

That's an example of a puppet.
A puppet politician who does not think
in the best interests of the American people
and the Israeli and Palestinian people.

The majority of the people in Israel and the majority of Americans of Jewish faith in this country support an independent Palestinian state, as a solution -- peaceful solution to that long-drawn-out conflict. It's really interesting. John Kerry on the wall is now not even up to the Israeli supreme court, which has issued a decision quite critical of the way that the wall is being built to take existing Palestinian land, separate peasants from their farms or children from their schools. So, he ought to read the latest decision by the Israeli supreme court.

Ralph Nader Responds to ADL
Ralph Nader, 2004-08-05

[Nader responds to the ADL.
There is a great amount of interesting ideas and important information
in this letter,
essentially all of which the Washington Post ignores in its editorial below.
Here, though, are the snippets to which it chooses to take offense,
with a little bit of their surrounding context:]

As for the metaphors–puppeteer and puppets
the Romans had a phrase for the obvious–res ipsa loquitur.
The Israelis have a joke for the obvious–
that the United States is the second state of Israel.


Citizen groups are in awe of AIPAC’s ditto machine on Capitol Hill
as are many members of Congress who, against their private judgment,
resign themselves to sign on the dotted line.

Nader vs. the ADL
By Brian Faler
Washington Post, 2004-08-11

[A brief news article summarizing the above argument
and providing the basis for the WP editorial three days hence.]

Nader Urged to Reconsider Comments on Israel
Anti-Defamation League, 2004-08-13

[The ADL responds to Nader.]

Mr. Nader’s Baiting
Washington Post Editorial, 2004-08-14

Saturday, August 14, 2004; Page A20

[Now the Washington Post mysteriously enters the loop.

This 445-word editorial is repeated in full;
some emphasis, paragraph numbers, and comments are added.]

“The days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States
and meets with the puppet in the White House and then proceeds to Capitol Hill,
where he meets with hundreds of other puppets,
should be replaced.”

“Bush also repeated the catch-phrase . . .
‘committed to the security of Israel as a Jewish state,’
which is repeated almost word-for-word again and again
by Israel’s sycophants and Capitol Hill puppets.”

Which of the above quotations is lifted
from the Web site of the white supremacist National Alliance and
which was uttered this summer by
independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader?
It’s a tough one.
After all, both play on
the age-old anti-Semitic stereotype of powerful Jews
dominating politics and
manipulating hapless non-Jewish puppets for their own ends.
Yet if Mr. Nader is at all disquieted
by the company he is keeping by using such metaphors,
he sure isn’t showing it.
In a letter this week to the Anti-Defamation League,
which had complained to him about his rhetoric,
he responded with
breezy indifference and more rhetoric that only compounds concerns.

Mr. Nader complains in his letter that
the debate in Israel over Israeli policies is far more robust than
the American debate over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In an interview last month on the “Democracy Now!” radio show he explained,
“The U.S. government never connects
with the deep and broad Israeli peace movement”—
a claim he elaborates on in the letter.
And Mr. Nader has a point.
Israel’s shriller defenders often cry foul
at even the mildest and most constructive criticism of the state.
The problem with Mr. Nader's words are not that he criticizes
either Israel’s policies or American support for those policies.
The problem, rather, is the language he deploys in doing so.
In the radio interview he called John Kerry
a “puppet politician who does not think
in the best interests of the American people
and the Israeli and Palestinian people.”
And in his letter he writes,
referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,
a pro-Israel lobbying group,
of “AIPAC’s ditto machine on Capitol Hill”
and the awed members of Congress
“who, against their private judgment,
resign themselves to sign on the dotted line.”
[Cf. Paul Findley’s They Dare to Speak Out]

This is poisonous stuff.
And if Mr. Nader doesn’t understand what such words actually mean,
the less savory elements of American society
certainly know how to read such code.
[Well, excuse me, Mr. Washington Post editorial writer,
but why don’t you educate us as to “what such words actually mean”?
And perhaps make available to the general public
the magic decoding ring for such words
that you seem to have at your disposal.]

But Mr. Nader, as always, is not backing down:
“As for the metaphors—puppeteer and puppets
the Romans had a phrase for the obvious—res ipsa loquitor,”
which means the thing speaks for itself.
Indeed it does.

Quiz answer: The first quotation was Mr. Nader’s.

[So the second quotation was from the much-feared National Alliance.
Well, I don’t know much about them,
or whether I would agree with anything else they assert,
but who can deny the validity of the statement attributed to them above?]

Baiting at the Washington Post
Palestine Media Watch, 2004-08-14

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

Anyone who wants to comprehend
the full depth and breadth of the establishment position on Israel
and the extent to which
any serious criticism
of unthinking support for Israeli policies in the United States
will be met with the knee-jerk slander of Anti-Semitism

will do no better than to read
the libelous editorial published this past Saturday
in the Washington Post against Ralph Nader.
Titled—without a hint of irony—“Mr. Nader’s Baiting,”
the editorial crosses all lines of fairness and decency.

Nader Reply to WP Editorial

[Ralph Nader replies to the 2004-08-14 WP editorial.
An excerpt:]

[Y]ou misled readers by not fully quoting Ralph Nader in your editorial today
in order to make your faulty comparison with a racist group possible....
In your editorial,
you left out the punch line in order to make your faulty analogy work.

Your editorial said:
The days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States
and meets with the puppet in the White House
and then proceeds to Capitol Hill,
where he meets with hundreds of other puppets, should be replaced.

However, as you are well aware,
the quotation did not end with “replaced”
and even though you failed to indicate that you cut out part of the paragraph
you left out the punchline which said:
The Washington Puppet Show should be replaced
by the Washington Peace Show.
And then we'll get more peace in the world,
and we will reward all those taxpayer dollars
and all those high energy prices
that have been sacrificed because of
the lack of steadfastness of our federal government under both parties
to address that very resolvable conflict
between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Further, your editorial was unfair, to take a phrase out of context
in order to compare Mr. Nader to a despised group.
No doubt, I could take a phrase out of a pro-war editorial of the Post
and compare it to a statement of Hitler --
but that would not be fair or ethical, neither was your editorial.

A Letter to Abraham Foxman:
Criticizing Israel is Not Anti-Semitism

CounterPunch.org, 2004-10-16

Dear Mr. Foxman:

You started your last letter with the sentence:
“We are not engaged in a dialogue about the issues you raised in your letter.”
That is precisely the point, is it not, Mr. Foxman.
For many years you have eschewed engaging in a dialogue
with those in Israel and the United States who disagree with your views.
Your mode of operation for years has been
to make charges of racism or insinuation of racism
designed to slander and evade.
Because your pattern of making such charges,
carefully calibrated for the occasion but of the same stigmatizing intent,
has served to deter critical freedom of speech,
you have become sloppy with your characterizations
when it comes to attempts to hold you accountable.
Of course citizen groups make charges all the time
but their critics and corporate adversaries do review and rebut
which keeps both sides more alert to accuracy
especially when they desire press coverage.
Few groups get the free ride that has been the case of the ADL
when it ventures beyond its historic mission
into covering the Israeli militaristic regime
and its brutalization and slaughter of far more innocent Palestinians it occupies,
than the reverse casualties inflicted on innocent Israelis.


Miscellaneous Articles


Hawks Bolster Skeptical President
The Right Rages Over Group’s Plan
By Michael Abramowitz and Glenn Kessler
Washington Post, 2006-12-10


Washington Post Shows Its Hand
by Philip Giraldi
Antiwar.com, 2009-03-17


Mullen deserves medal
for Senate testimony backing open military service by gays

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post, 2010-02-03

[An excerpt:]

The next three Republicans were all Southern white men ...

[When have you ever read in the Washington Post a report that
“... the next three were all Jews ...”?
Yes, I know there was the Holocaust, etc. etc. etc.,
but even so I think a little more of treating Jews in the media
just as they treat other ethnic groups (like “Southern white men”)
would be appropriate,
and would in fact do much to reduce resentment of
the privileged treatment that Jews receive in the national discourse.]

Phil Giraldi’s comment on
the 2010-03-14 Washington Post “Topic A” discussion
Are America and Israel drifting apart?”.
Giraldi’s comment was to the 2010-03-16 Patrick Lang column.

Giraldi noted that three of the six participants were American Jews:
Elliot Abrams, Daniel Makovsky, and Danielle Pletka.
He might also have noted that so is the fourth participant:
Aaron David Miller.
Further, the two non-Jewish (i.e, gentile) participants
did not write independent essays, but rather co-authored a single essay.
So in terms of number of essays, the balance is:
Four by Jewish authors, one by non-Jewish authors.

Here is a look at the word-count balance (words counted by Microsoft Word):
Abrams 256
Makovsky 256
Miller 259
Pletka 302
Agha/Malley 210

So the word-count balance is:
1073 words by Jewish authors, 210 by non-Jewish authors.
So much for balance!

All par for the course at the Washington Israelite.

Israel’s Lawyer Returns
by Phil Giraldi
Sic Semper Tyrannis, 2010-03-20

Fred Hiatt, editor of the Washington Post’s editorial page,
is particularly shameless about promoting
both an imperial foreign policy and the Israeli connection.
In today’s edition on page A6, billed as analysis,
appears a Glenn Kessler piece called
Experts question whether US has a real Israel strategy.”
The article is illustrated by a color photo of Palestinian youths throwing stones.

Glenn’s Kessler’s assembled experts turn out to be
Daniel Kurtzer, Aaron David Miller, Elliot Abrams,
and Martin Indyk.

That the Post believes that only Jews can rightfully comment on
the US relationship with Israel

should be disturbing to the 98% of the population that is not Jewish
but which is nevertheless called on to financially support Tel Aviv,
but what really caught my attention
was a small bit towards the beginning of the piece.
Kessler reports that
“…Yitzhak Molcho, a low key private lawyer in Israel
who negotiated the settlement freeze with Mitchell,
worked closely behind the scenes on the Israeli response with Dennis Ross,
a senior official on the National Security Council.”

First of all, the “settlement freeze” should rightly be called
the “unsuccessful settlement freeze”
as the Israelis never complied with the US demands.
And second, there is the disturbing reemergence of Ross.
At Camp David in 2000
when Bill Clinton brought together Yassir Arafat and Ehud Barak,
Ross was a chief negotiator.
He reportedly briefed the Israelis in advance on all US negotiating positions
to obtain their approval,
giving Israel a de facto veto over anything it objected to.
For that yeoman’s work Ross was dubbed “Israel’s lawyer” by his colleagues.
Now it would appear that Ross is doing the same thing for Obama.
If Kessler is correct, the description of Ross’s role suggests that
he is concerned with an acceptable Israeli response,
not in convincing Israel that
it must change its behavior to support US interests in the region.
Which raises the question “Who is he working for and to what end?”

A few days ago I predicted that
the crisis with Netanyahu would quickly be patched over
with Obama conceding on every point
and we would be back to business as usual
with Israel controlling the lopsided bilateral relationship.
While it is possible that the tone of the narrative has somewhat shifted,
the return to the status quo ante has largely come to pass
and just in time for the annual AIPAC Conference
where Hillary Clinton will no doubt speak soothingly,
followed by a long conga line of congressmen
who will deliver their own obeisances.
I would like to think that
international frustration with Israeli intransigence
will finally reach a boiling point,
possibly dragging Washington along kicking and screaming
to actually pressure Israel in some real way to change course.
We shall see, but I wouldn’t be optimistic.
And before that happens
American soldiers might well be drawn willy-nilly into a war with Iran,
a war not of our choosing and one that can only have bad consequences.

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