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Red Lines And Presidential Politics -- An Analysis

By       Message Lawrence Davidson     Permalink
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 I. The Israel Lobby and How it Operates

Much is being made of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's involvement in the on-going American presidential campaign. His public stance has been characterized as an Israeli effort to "openly...topple [President] Obama." The truth is that the only thing unusual about this meddling is its open and advertised nature. In a more discreet fashion, Zionist pressure bordering on blackmail and bribery goes on every day.  

I have written elsewhere about this corrupting process that I call "lobbification." In brief, this is how it operates:  

Step One: A lobbyist, in this case someone from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), approaches Congresspersons or Senators. At some point in time that means every single one of them has been approached: all 435 voting members of Congress and every one of the 100 voting members of the Senate. Party affiliation is not an issue here.   

Step Two: The lobbyist offers to organize financial campaign assistance, positive media coverage, briefings on situations in the Middle East, trips to Israel, etc.   

Step Three: All that is asked in return is that the recipient consistently vote in a pro-Israel way.  In other words, AIPAC wants the politician to surrender a part of his or her mind to the lobby -- that part that might exercise critical and considered judgment on issues pertaining to Israel.    

Step Four: There are several unspoken, but publicly acknowledged, consequences of turning down this offer, or alternatively,  managing to get elected on your own and then voting the wrong way.

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1. If you say no, the same offer will be made to your opponent both at the primary and general election levels.

2. If you are elected and vote against Israel, AIPAC will do all it can, sooner or later, to see you defeated. It has a good record of turning such people out of office.

Step Five:  If you sign up for this Faustian bargain and are elected, the lobby becomes your permanent partner. It is a constant presence. Its agents are always hovering about, rating your performance, letting you know they are there.  Prove yourself reliable and they will underwrite you for life.   

II. The President and Red Lines  

President Obama made this bargain as solidly as have most other politicians in Washington. You can witness him affirming and reaffirming this deal in front of AIPAC conventions, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly, on those rare occasions when he addresses the press, and whenever else he feels it is politically necessary. He was even willing to debase his own national party convention to make a point of his loyalty to the Israel lobby.   

Yet all this has proven insufficient. The issue over which Obama has fallen short is Iran.   

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Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu (the deus ex machina of the Israel lobby) insists that Iran is preparing to build nuclear weapons and, taking that assumption on faith, their nuclear energy program should be stopped or placed under international control. It should be noted that, back in 2002, Netanyahu incorrectly made the same charge against Iraq and that today, just as in 2002, there is no real evidence for his assertion about Iran's aims. 

All U.S. intelligence agencies agree that the Iranians are not presently developing nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, Netanyahu, who appears prone to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to other people's nuclear programs, demands that Washington set "red lines" for Tehran which, if crossed, would trigger U.S. military action. In other words, on the basis of unsupported Zionist fears, the Israeli government is trying to maneuver the United States into yet another Middle East war. To his credit, President Obama has refused to comply with the demand for "red lines."

The standard retribution practiced by the Israel lobby against a recalcitrant American politician is to try to get him or her kicked out of office. Usually this is done in a low-key way and most Americans don't even know it is happening.  But this time the act of revenge, driven by an egocentric and bellicose Israeli Prime Minister, is being carried out in full public view. Here are some of the ways Netanyahu is doing this:

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http://www.tothepointanalyses.com
Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign
Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest
; America's
Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli
Statehood
; and Islamic Fundamentalism. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

His blog To The Point Analyses now has its own Facebook page. Along with the analyses, the Facebook page will also have reviews, pictures, and other analogous material.


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