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Yes to dual loyalty, no to war with Iran

Here is my bi-partisan proposal to opponents of the deal: don’t cut our countries adrift from our allies, and don’t light my region on fire. If this deal falls, I’ll have to suffer the consequences of the war you chose.

Secretary Kerry Speaks With Hossein Fereydoun and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Before Addressing Reporters in Vienna, July 14, 2015. (State Department photo)

Secretary Kerry Speaks With Hossein Fereydoun and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Before Addressing Reporters in Vienna, July 14, 2015. (State Department photo)

Criticize Jewish or Israeli opponents of the Iran deal, and you are an anti-Semite. Not only that; conservative hysterics now say you have de facto accused such opponents of dual loyalty, an antiquated anti-Semitic charge being wielded as precisely as a club.

It’s time to drop that old trope altogether. The very idea that there’s something wrong with dual loyalty is obsolete. It’s a fossilized relic of single-identity patriotism to the patria from centuries past. Nowadays, people migrate, have mixed heritage, multiple citizenships, meta-state communities and even multiple sexualities.

I am proudly loyal to both the U.S. and Israel. I have the tax returns to prove it. And it is a privilege; I am enriched by seeing and feeling the arguments of both sides, and I share in the needs of both. Most of the time these interests are highly aligned. When the needs differ, they often complement each other.

It is good that Israel’s security needs have been so front and center to the negotiations over curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Never mind that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apocalyptic predictions about Iran destroying Israel are fetishized manipulations for his own political image. Even paranoids have enemies and there has been some value in reminding the negotiating countries across the sea or the ocean about the regional concerns right here. A nuclear armed Iran really could upset the balance of power in the Middle East, embolden actors such as Hezbollah and accelerate the existing arms race. The left must know that these factors could affect not only our lives but the possibility for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

With the unrelenting voices of Israeli concerns in their ears, the powers have reached a deal with Iran. Is it good, bad, the best we could so, or disastrous? Mere mortals who are not nuclear scientists (those who are support the deal) must take our cues from figures we trust and choose the arguments we find most credible. It’s hard when political interests merge with substance and regular people don’t know what’s real.

But the overriding argument that trumps all others is what President Obama said in his speech: it’s this or war – there is no third way left.

[O]ur closest allies in Europe, or in Asia — much less China or Russia — certainly are not going to agree to enforce existing sanctions for another 5, 10, 15 years according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress….[T]hose who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy.

Thus, Netanyahu’s speech in Congress this spring was trickery; not because it played into his political campaign but because he shrewdly left out talk about the military option. I mean, did he think nobody would notice? Obama said:

Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option — another war in the Middle East… Does anyone really doubt that the same voices now raised against this deal will be demanding that whoever is President bomb those nuclear facilities?

Of course we can’t doubt that, because “those voices” who are in Israel already did demand to bomb the facilities. Just a few hot summers ago, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and possibly Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon beat the war drums. We need not guess about the future, just look into the very recent past.

Ehud Barak and Binyamin Netanyahu. (photo: Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org)

Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo: Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org)

As an Israeli, what really scares me is another war in the Middle East that directly involves Israel. The moral horror of the current asymmetrical war against Palestinians is bad enough; a state-to-state conflict between Israel, the US and Iran, is inconceivable.

Such a war would leave our two countries totally isolated from other Western allies in the effort. It would push the proxy wars that Iran already supports to a frenzy; Iran would feel justified supporting state and non-state actors alike far beyond the theater of war, if such a term can even still be used. We can expect terror attacks in Argentina and Mumbai, funded and fomented by a regime that will feel no need for restraint. Saudi Arabia might escalate support for its own proxy fighters in response, making this region all but uninhabitable. Israel’s worst nightmares should Iran develop nuclear weapons are most likely to materialize if we wage war putatively to prevent those weapons.

The insane thing (Obama undersold this by calling it “ironic”) is that the military option won’t even work. It is common wisdom – received largely from Israeli security gurus – that a strike can only set back Iran’s nuclear program. A strike will end hope of inspections, instead of institutionalizing them for decades. But then, when have our wars worked lately? After three of them in Gaza, rockets are still being fired into Israel.

War is an automatic weapon in this region. Obama proposed a different vision. He didn’t invent it himself; he drew on bi-partisan American icons:

“Peace is not the absence of conflict,” President Reagan once said. It is “the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means.” President Kennedy warned Americans, ‘not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than the exchange of threats.’”

Here is my modest bi-partisan proposal to opponents of the deal, as an Israeli and as an American. Don’t cut our countries adrift from our allies. Don’t light my region on fire; if this deal falls, I’ll have to suffer the consequences of the war you chose.

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    1. Ben

      Uri Misgav, Haaretz:

      “It’s hard to overstate Netanyahu’s insolence. In a Web speech given from his office and with the Israeli flag behind him, he called on American Jews to unite against the accord, “regardless of your political affiliation.” It’s even harder to understand how the leaders representing these Jews didn’t recognize the trap Netanyahu was leading them into – regardless of their political affiliation. The apex was the surreal meeting between 20 U.S.-Jewish leaders and President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. I can’t recall a meeting between a U.S. president and vice president with U.S.-German [German-American] leaders in order to discuss American relations with Europe. Or a conversation with U.S.-Japanese [Japanese-American] businessmen prior to the signing of a trade agreement between the United States and Japan.

      It’s unclear who these Jewish leaders were actually representing in the Oval Office…..

      Certainly not me or the half of Israelis who didn’t want Netanyahu as prime minister….

      But thanks to Netanyahu and his irresponsible call, boundaries were again blurred. It’s no longer clear who is representing whom. Are American Jews supposed to be functioning as Israel’s arm in the midst of the world’s greatest superpower? Or is Israel their delegate, the aircraft carrier of the Jewish people, floating in the distant and stormy seas of the Middle East? Both options are obviously bad and distorted ones. This game squarely places U.S. Jews in the twilight zone of dual loyalty….”

      Reply to Comment
    2. Yeah, Right

      I got no problem with people deciding that they have dual loyalties, and good luck to them when it comes to that juggling act.

      But this is a truism: if you do have dual loyalties and you decide that on a particular issue *this* loyalty is more important to you than *that* loyalty then, really, the “latter loyalists” are not going to think much of your tribalism.

      After all, you have taken the conscious decision to work against them.

      So don’t act all surprised because they have noticed that you are now working against them, and don’t complain when they start pushing back against that.

      Because – and let’s be honest here – you ARE attempting to push them into a corner.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “So don’t act all surprised because they have noticed that you are now working against them, and don’t complain when they start pushing back against that.”

        I just LOOOVE the dual loyalty trope…

        Now let’s do a bit of logic 101, shall we?

        There are people. Millions of people, Jews and non Jews, including people who could not give a toss about Israel, who oppose the deal with Iran.

        There are other people. Millions of people, including both Jews and non Jews and many of them pro Israel, who support the deal with Iran.

        Who is right and who is wrong? We don’t really know. It is a debate and only time will tell (maybe) who is right and who is wrong.

        So how does one level a charge of dual loyalty against someone they disagree with? One would not usually hear the charge of dual loyalty against non Jewish Americans who oppose the Iran deal. The charge is usually levelled only against American Jews who oppose the deal.

        At best, therefore, it is a form of blackmail against American Jews. It goes like this: you better support or at least not oppose the bill unless you are prepared to face the charge of dual loyalty. And it does not matter what you believe. The fact that you are Jewish requires you to NOT oppose the deal otherwise you show yourself to be tribal and have dual loyalties. You have no right to believe that the deal is bad for America too. Why? Because we say so. Because we know better than you that the deal is good. But the only thing that they really know is that the guy who opposes them is Jewish. I never heard the charge of dual loyalty levelled against non Jewish people who oppose the Iran deal!

        Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, Right

          Gustav: “I just LOOOVE the dual loyalty trope”

          I’ve already said I don’t mind if people decide that their loyalties are divided between two countries.

          But (did I point this out? I think I did…) if a person decides that their loyalties are going to be divided between the national interests of Country A and Country B then they can hardly pretend to be shocked if the citizens of Country B take a dim view when that person chooses to side with Country A.

          Gustav: “There are people. Millions of people, Jews and non Jews,”….

          Notice the injection of e.t.h.n.i.c.i.t.y. into this argument?

          I didn’t introduce it. Gustav did. Not me.

          What we are dealing with here are the divergence of NATIONAL INTERESTS between Country A (the United States of America) and Country B (the state of Israel).

          A citizen of the USA should place the national interests of the USA above the national interests of Israel.

          A citizen of Israel should place the national interests of Israel above the national interests of the USA.

          I have no problem with either case.

          However, I do think that a US citizen would have a big problem with one of his/her fellow countrymen placing the national interests of Israel over and above the national interests of the Union.

          You know, like so many of the members of Congress appear to be doing….

          Equally, I would expect that an Israeli citizen would have a big problem with one of his/her fellow Israelis insisting that the national interests of the USA is Numero Uno.

          Gustav: “One would not usually hear the charge of dual loyalty against non Jewish Americans who oppose the Iran deal.”

          You. Just. Did.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Whichever way you spin it YR, you are pretending that an Merican Jewish person cannot genuinely oppose the Iran deal NOT because of his Jewishness but because he genuinely believes that the deal is BAD for AMERICA.

            Essentially you seem to believe that only you and people like you know what is good for America and that if an American person who happens to be Jewish disagrees with you, then it has to be because he is tribal and he has dual loalties.

            I am sorry, only people with closed minds think like that. Or worse; moral blackmailers.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            …and you are saying even more than that YR.

            You are saying that an American Jewish person cannot genuinely have opinions which are WRONG through ignorance, lack of logic, not thinking it through, influence by other people etc…

            You are saying that if an American Jewish person opposes the Iran deal, it HAS to be because of his dual loyalty and tribalism. It cannot possibly be because of his correct or even mistaken BELIEFS.

            Of course, I have to say for the record that personally I think the deal is bad for everyone except Iran. But that’s besides the point. That isn’t even what we are arguing about. We are arguing about the implication that according to those who love to level the charge of dual loyalty against Jews, just don’t accept the possibility that Jews can have genuine beliefs that may or may not turn out to be wrong. According to those who level the charge, American Jews are OBLIGED to hold beliefs which contradict Israeli beliefs. Otherwise they are fair game to the charge of dual loyalty.

            UTTER NONSENSE!!! Or worse, MORAL BLACKMAIL!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            There is a very simple reply to Gustav’s nonsense.

            Obama has already mentioned one half of it, which is this: every single country on Planet Earth that has voiced a position regarding this deal has said that they are in favour of it. Except one.

            The single, solitary country that is opposed to this deal is…. Israel.

            Gustav would have us all pretend that the opposition that Obama now faces in the USA **isn’t** related to that singular and utterly indisputable fact.

            Gustav is deluded.

            The other half of this is something that Obama refuses to say, but I’ll pose it to Gustav instead: if Netanyahu *had* come out in favour of this deal would there now be a single American voice – Jewish or otherwise – raised in opposition to this deal?

            Be honest with yourself, Gustav.

            Because you and I both know that if Netanyahu had crowed (e.g. if he had claimed credit for forcing “the West” to strong-arm Iran into this deal) then every single person who is now opposed to it would instead be lauding this deal as a triumph.

            You *know* that is true.

            You know as well as I do that the singular reason why there is such strident opposition to this deal is that Netanyahu had demanded that his minions must stridently oppose this deal.

            Honestly, what next?

            Are you going to be outraged by an observation that the sky is blue and the grass is green?

            Or are you going to continue to insist that we all pretend that we live in uppsy-down-town?

            In uppsy-down-town,
            the sky is in the sea,
            the sea is where the sky should be.
            The rain is falling up,
            instead of falling down.
            Where? In uppsy-down-town!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ok YR, the nonsense is not spoken by me. Let me just expose just two of your and Obama’s bits of nonsense.

            1. He and you say that the alternative to the deal is war. We, those who oppose the deal, say: Nonsense. The alternative to the deal is more sanctions till Iran agrees to better terms.

            2. Obama and you say that the only country which opposes the deal is Israel. That is demonstrable nonsense too. The gulf Arab states too oppose the deal but hey, don’t let us disturb your make belief world.

            In any case, even if I would be dead wrong about my 1) and 2) which I am not, even then, my previous points would stand.

            It is possible for people to hold opinions which turn out to be wrong (in this case of course it hasn’t turned out to be wrong) but I repeat, one’s opinion may be wrong but it does not negate the fact that you form such opinion through genuine concern and motives rather than traitorous motives. Let me list the logical possibilities…

            1. An American jewish person may oppose the deal PURELY because he truly BELIEVES that the deal is BAD for America.

            2. An American jewish person may oppose the deal because he BELIEVES that the deal is bad for BOTH America and Israel.

            3. An American jewish person may oppose the deal PURELY because he only cares about what is good for Israel and he does not care about America.

            You know what, YR? I am sure there are a few cases of 3. I say, few, not many. And guess where those people are likely to live? Most of them probably moved to Israel. I mean most people don’t want to stay in a country they don’t care about. Conversely, most people who choose to live in a country (like America) do care about America. Generally speaking.

            Of course, there are exceptions. But those exceptions are not just confined to Jews. Unless of course you consider Arab/Muslim home grown terrorists who attacked America, Britain, France and other western countries to be loyal citizens? Ya do know that there have been more of those than Jews, don’t ya, YR? Yet how horified would you be if I said to you with a straight face that all Arab/Muslim Americans are traitors? You would call me an out and out racist. Can you give me one reason why I shouldn’t call you a racist for accusing those American Jews who don’t agree with Obama and you, to be traitors?

            Oh and of course there are the millions of non Jewish Americans who disagree with Obama and you. Are they traitors too? Do they care more about Israel than America? Give it a break. Want nonsense? THAT IS NONSENSE with a capital ‘N’!!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Oh and by the way, YR, do your theories work the other way too?

            Here we have Dahlia, an ex American (I think that’s right?) who lives in Israel. She supports Obama’s deal. Is that because she is a traitor? Or is it because she genuinely believes that the deal is good for both Israel and America? I think it is the latter. But if I would condone your views, why wouldn’t I too be able to call her a traitor?

            Now hear this: both America and Israel are democracies. And in democracies, multiple views exist. Some are dead wrong. But in democracies, people are even allowed to hold wrong opinions and they need not be called traitors for doing so.

            Your world of course, YR, seems to hold onto the totalitarian view of the world. In your world, if people don’t agree with you, then they are traitors.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Gustav: “Oh and by the way, YR, do your theories work the other way too?”

            Well, let’s see, shall we?

            Me: “A citizen of the USA should place the national interests of the USA above the national interests of Israel.
            A citizen of Israel should place the national interests of Israel above the national interests of the USA.”

            So, yes, it works “the other way too”.

            Gustav: “Here we have Dahlia, an ex American (I think that’s right?) who lives in Israel. She supports Obama’s deal. Is that because she is a traitor?”

            Who said anything about “traitor”? Not me.

            But if Dahlia is a dual-citizen who places her loyalty to the USA above her loyalty to Israel then, yes, the ISRAELIS are entitled to take a dim view of that choice.

            That’s what I said in my very first post, and that’s what I’m saying now.

            It’s called “consistency”. You might like to look it up, dude.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Who said anything about “traitor”? Not me.”

            You didn’t have to actually say it. You implied it in no uncertain terms.

            Essentially, you said that millions of American citizens choose to do what is good for Israel and they ignore what is good for America. That is the very definition of what traitors do. So if you believe your own claims, you call millions of Americans traitors!!!

            Of course you are wrong. You are wrong because Americans who oppose the deal, oppose it because they think that the deal is bad for America. That of course just makes them people with different opinions to Obama and you. NOT traitors!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Gustav: “You didn’t have to actually say it. You implied it in no uncertain terms.”

            No, sorry, that’s you and your tribal prejudice showing through, not me.

            I’ve got no problem with people juggling dual-loyalties.
            None whatsoever.

            What I have been pointing out – and am pointing out again – is this: if you do decide to choose Country A over Country B then you can’t complain if the “B’s” decide to criticize you for it.

            After all, in a case where national interests diverge then this is axiomatic: deciding that you are working *for* the national interests of Country A also means that you have decided to work *against* the national interests of Country B.

            And, again, one more time: good luck to you for making that decision. Just don’t expect the “B’s” to be supportive of your decision to work against their national interest.

            Gustav: ….”you said that millions of American citizens choose to do what is good for Israel”…

            Millions, you say? Pig’s Arse it’s “millions”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            GUSTAV:“You didn’t have to actually say it. You implied it in no uncertain terms [that American Jews who oppose the Iran deal are traitors].”

            YR:”No, sorry, that’s you and your tribal prejudice showing through, not me.”

            …then in the very same post you go on to confirm what I said you said…

            YR:”After all, in a case where national interests diverge then this is axiomatic: deciding that you are working *for* the national interests of Country A also means that you have decided to work *against* the national interests of Country B.”

            And you said it too before when you accused those American Jews who oppose the deal to be just sock puppets of Netanyahu.

            The only thing that intrigues me is why are you denying your own accusation? Do you feel shame for levelling those accusations? You oughta!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Gustav: “And you said it too before when you accused those American Jews who oppose the deal to be just sock puppets of Netanyahu.”

            Who mentioned “American Jews”?

            Not me. I’m pointing out that my point is just as valid regardless of the ethnicity of those “Americans”.

            That they are Jewish matters not.
            That they are Goys matters not.

            That they are conflicted in their loyalties TO AMERICA to the point that they place the national interest of Another Country That Isn’t America is what matters here.

            And – once more, again – that matters most to those Americans who do place the national interest of America over the national interest of Another Country That Isn’t America.

            Sorry, Gustav, that you are obsessed with your ethnicity – your tribal affiliation – is something that matters only to you.

            I. Do. Not. Care.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Definitions of treason…

            “A violation of one’s allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.”

            “Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as “…[a]…citizen’s actions to help a foreign government”

            “The betrayal of one’s own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely to aid it’s enemies”

            Recognize your own assertion against American Jews who oppose the deal? Of course it isn’t true. They oppose the deal because they think the deal is bad for America.

            Oh and by the way, if they would have the same mindset as you, they could accuse Obama of betraying America and those who support the deal as traitors. Actually, come to think of it, some opponents of the deal, Jewish and non Jewish, DO make the accusation against your lot. But they too are wrong for the same reason as that your accusations are wrong. Because both the opponents and the supporters of the deal act on their own convictions. Not because of the dictates of foreigners.

            PS
            You are a funny man. You didn’t mention that they are Jews? You don’t have to. Everything you said is a dog whistle. People know that you are talking about those pesky traitorous Jews who according to you take their orders from Netanyahu. Don’t be ashamed of your own accusations. Be a man … Own up.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            YR:”Millions you say? Pigs arse it’s “millions”.

            Pigs arse it’s not millions. Yes, millions of Americans oppose the current deal with Iran. Yes… shock horror… even many democrats oppose the deal. All traitors you say? Sure, YR…. sure…

            http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/10/shock-poll-only-41-of-democrats-want-congress-to-approve-obamas-iran-deal/

            “A new poll released on Monday shows that support for Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran continues to unravel. According to the poll from Monmouth University, only 41 percent of Democrats believe Congress should approve the president’s nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.
            The numbers only get worse among independents and Republicans. Overall, just 27 percent of those polled believe Congress should approve the controversial nuclear deal with Iran. A majority of Republicans (55 percent) and a plurality of independents (33 percent) believe Congress should reject the deal:”

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Gustav (quoting): “The betrayal of one’s own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely to aid it’s enemies”

            Gustav: “Recognize your own assertion against American Jews who oppose the deal?”

            No, I don’t, and I don’t see how you can either.

            Acting on the orders of Netanyahu is neither “waging war” not is it “aiding an enemy” of the United States of America.

            QED: acting as Bibi’s Minion(tm) is not “treason”.

            It is what it is i.e. it is acting as an agent of a foreign power.

            There’s nothing illegal in doing that, it’s just pitiful that an American makes the decision to do that.

            Oh, and speaking of pitiful……
            Gustav: “Recognize your own assertion against American Jews who oppose the deal?”

            *sigh* Again with the tribalism.

            I make no assertion whatsoever “against American Jews”.
            None.
            Zip.
            Zero.
            Nada.

            I only make assertions again those Americans who have made to decision to place the national interests of A Country That Bibi Calls Home above the national interests of The Country That They Call Home.

            They are allowed to do that – it isn’t “treasonous” to make that decision.

            But it is a decision that shouldn’t fit well with those Americans who take the view that America Should Come First, and you are beyond laughable when you express outrage at that logic.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Boring, YR, I gave you three definitions and two of those did not involve the word war.

            You are boring me now because you are just repeating yourself and arguing for arguing sake.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Gustav: “Boring, YR, I gave you three definitions and two of those did not involve the word war.”

            *yawn*

            Excuse me for being massively unimpressed.
            Go argue with your little straw man, dude.

            But if you want to argue with me then give me the USA’s definition of “traitor”.

            It’s there, sunshine, and enshrined in legislation.

            But you knew that, right?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Whatever, sunshine. You do like that word, don’t ya, sunshine?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Again…

            YR quoted Obama who said that the alternative to the Iran deal is WAR. People die in wars.

            Then he claims that people who oppose the Iran deal, oppose it contrary to the interests of the USA and purely to advance the interests of a foreign country.

            Then he turns around and says that isn’t treason. I beg to differ. If what he claims would be true, then I would call such an act to be treason against my country because people could die as a result of such behavior.

            Of course, the charge is demonstrably not true in the vast majority of cases. Firstly, because it isn’t true that the only alternative to the deal is war.

            Secondly because it is impossible to imagine that millions of Americans who are against the deal are motivated by the idea of helping a foreign country at the detriment of their own country.

            It is much easier to imagine that in rejecting the deal, they are motivated by the thought that the deal would be disasterous for America too.

            PS
            Despite YR’s protestation and attempts to cover his nakedness with a fig leaf, he clearly has been talking primarily about American Jews. Did he say so outright? Nah. He just used snide inuendo to make his point. His protestations to the contrary ring hollow and are cowardly.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            …unless YR wants to pretend that millions of non Jewish Americans who oppose the deal have dual loyalty to America and Israel and that their loyalty to Israel is greater than their loyalty to America?

            Why exactly would they? What an absurd notion.

            On the other hand, it is a well known fact, that those who don’t like Jews, have levelled the charge of dual loyalty against Jews only. They claimed that we are more loyal to each other than to the non Jewish people in the host countries which we live in. They accused us of being tribal. Come to think of it, YR, used the very term against me on this thread.

            Clearly, when he uses the term dual loyalty in the context of the subject on this thread, he is saying that many American Jews have greater loyalty to the Jewish state than to America. And clearly he is wrong on that because if they would be more loyal to Israel than America, then they would move to live in Israel. After all, what is bad for America, would be bad for American Jews too. Why exactly would they want to harm themselves and their families?

            Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      Gustav is refusing to grapple with this fact: “In a Web speech given from his office and with the Israeli flag behind him, he called on American Jews to unite against the accord, “regardless of your political affiliation.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Yes he did. It is one thing to accuse Netanyahu of caring more about Israel than America.

        But it is an entirely different thing to accuse millions of Americans, Jewish and non Jewish ones of saying to themselves, hey, Israel hates this deal, we are therefore against this deal even though we think the deal is good for America.

        The former is called lobbying. Have you heard the term? Virtually all countries try to lobby Americans. You might not like it but it is fact.

        The latter, if true (which it isn’t), would be outright treason. And that’s what you are essentially accusing those millions of Americans of. You are accusing them of treason.

        The trouble with you people is that you are so besotted with yourselves, you are so arrogant, that you don’t even entertain the possibility that you are dead wrong about this deal and that millions of Americans can see that too for themselves.

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        http://freebeacon.com/national-security/white-house-allies-accuse-jewish-lawmakers-of-dual-loyalty-to-israel/

        “Organizations close to the White House, including the pro-Tehran lobbying shop National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the liberal fringe group J Street, and the anti-war organization MoveOn, have come out to question the motivation of Jewish individuals who oppose the nuclear deal, which will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief and lift longstanding restrictions on its ballistic missile program.
        These allegations of dual loyalty to Israel, which many have identified as anti-Semitic, began almost immediately with the White House, which accused its critics of worrying more about Israel’s interests than the United States’.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Thanks. A cruder, more lowbrow, more cheaply insinuating version of the original slanderous Tablet editorial that Duss, Gitlin and Chalev decisively refuted. We’ll have to let readers decide.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You know what, Benny?

            Even you are guilty of invoking the dual loyalty trope. On this very thread, you saw fit to point out Netanyahu’s opposition to this deal.

            Why did you do that? So what if bloody Netanyahu opposes the deal? As your hero, Obama, says, Israel is the only country which openly voiced objections to the deal. So what? Why bring that into the debate? Wouldn’t it be better to just sell the deal on it’s own merit?

            Unless of course you and Obama are trying to say that what Israel says has a lot of sway on the outcome. Why? Because of the Jewish Lobby who have great sway and who are guilty of “dual loyalty”. That’s exactly what you people are saying but are not man enough to admit it when you are confronted with the ugly truth.

            Ya wanna have your cake and eat it too!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Here Benny, this is what you said, word for word…

            “Gustav is refusing to grapple with this fact: “In a Web speech given from his office and with the Israeli flag behind him, he called on American Jews to unite against the accord, “regardless of your political affiliation.”

            Just tell us, what did you have in mind when you said that to me. Weren’t you invoking the spectre of dual loyalty of Jews who would listen to him? It could not possibly be that those Jews weigh up what they hear from all sources and then they make up their own minds? If they don’t agree with you, it has to be dual loyalty? Huh, Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            How interesting. You’ve reversed the matter 180 degrees. I’m not accusing millions of Americans, Jewish or non-Jewish. I have no beef with any of them except in the context of specific arguments as specific individuals: Adelson, Cruz, Dermer, Huckabee, McConnell, Schumer, etc. I’m accusing one Israeli Jew. Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu did not give marching orders to millions of Americans, Jewish and non Jewish. He, sitting in the Israeli Prime Ministers Office and with the Israeli flag behind him, specifically called on American Jews to unite against the accord, “regardless of your political affiliation.” It was an insulting call to mindless tribalism. To treating people as Jews only and not as individual Americans. The very antithesis of the ethic you profess to agitate for, Gustav. (And what Dahlia says about his trickery–“not because it played into his political campaign but because he shrewdly left out talk about the military option…”–remains eminently true and is being forgotten here in the thick of a self-righteous side show of your manufacture.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            So why exactly is one Israeli Jew not allowed to appeal to anyone and state his case, Benny?

            I ask you again, what difference does it make? Why exactly is his appeal so important in the scheme of things? Tell us Benny? Why are you guys making such a big thing of it? Tell us, don’t be shy!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            …you know exactly why you keep on bringing up what Netanyahu said/says. Because you agree with your bosom buddy and pal, [Yeah Right] who said this on this very thread…

            [Yeah Right]:”You know as well as I do that the singular reason why there is such strident opposition to this deal is that Netanyahu had demanded that his minions must stridently oppose this deal.”

            For once he was honest and came out with it unlike you. He is clearly talking about dual loyalty. Unless “minions” means something else to you, Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            …yet according to polls, a greater percentage of non Jewish Americans oppose the Iran deal than Jewish Americans.

            …conclusion? Netanyahu has more non Jewish minions than Jewish ones. What a joke!!!!

            … and what clowns you lot are. Yes, you Benny who want’s to have it every which way. And your soul mate, [Yeah Right] is a clown too for making Netanyahu more important than he really is.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Here, educate yourself:

            Obama is ‘dog whistling’ about Jews? Ridiculous
            The idea that President Obama is resorting to anti-Jewish ‘dog whistles’ in his defense of the nuclear deal with Iran is absurd.
            http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.671217

            Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        I don’t know what Obama is doing Benny. I am however sure that he is playing the politics to get his way, whatever it takes. Hey, that’s ok, that’s what politicians do.

        As for you and people like YR, clearly you both are dog whistling about Jews and dual loyalty. YR does it openly while as usual, you are trying to have your cake and eat it too. You deny doing the dog whistle while you are actually dog whistling. Of the two of you, I prefer YR because he at least is honest.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          You don’t know what president Obama is doing? Yes you do. But if not, then it’s a curious lacuna in the knowledge of someone who professes to be so interested in the subject. My position is no different than Peter Beinart. Here, I think you should educate yourself still further:

          http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.671930

          Accusing Obama of anti-Semitism enables AIPAC to wield power but escape scrutiny
          Saying that the lobby spends money to convince members of Congress to do things they would otherwise not do is not anti-Semitic: it’s the truth.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Peter Beinart – check. Another one of Benny’s revered gurus.

            As for the rest of us? Not so much Benny dear. I know, I know, Benny, we are therefore heretics.

            As for Obama? Let me put it to you again. He is a politician. He is doing what all politicians do to get his way. That is all I say about him.

            As for the moral blackmail. I’ll say it again. People like you and YR, try to blackmail American Jews by saying that they are guilty of dual loyalty if they oppose the Iran deal.

            Want me to repeat that? Ok, I will, if you post another one of your repetitive posts. Yes, I promise…

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ya think I am being unfair to you Benny?

            …then here is your chance to set the record straight…

            Just come out and say that there is genuine heartfelt opposition to the Iran deal. Opposition which arises out of genuine fear about the damage that the deal might cause to America. Opposition that has nothing to do with what Netanyahu said or says other than the coincidence of independent thinkers arriving at the same conclusion.

            Acknowledge that, Benny, and I will actually apologize to you. I bet ya won’t do that though, Benny, am I right?

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