Creating people's geographies
Mondoweiss, via the Fanonite, is calling it the Walt and Mearsheimer perestroika — some overdue restructuring coming about in tandem with greater glasnost about the flagrantly hawkish role and financial clout wielded by a group of unrepresentative American Jews, as crystallised in key Lobby groups. In this case the “openness” comes from Sy Hersh in a comment made in the last seconds of a Democracy Now interview this week (see video clips below). Philip Weiss writes:
This is a significant moment. Hersh is a wild man, wild and brilliant. Yet in all his anti-Bush and -Cheney interviews about Iraq over the last few years, I’ve heard him talk code on this issue. He’s attacked the neoconservatives as a crazy band of thinkers; but he’s never put the blame fully where it belongs–on a broader segment of the Jewish community that has immunized the neocons from blame for the war, on the Israel lobby, which includes many Democrats too. Now he’s done so (though apparently not in the New Yorker, which regards Walt and Mearsheimer as fueling hysteria).
This is a beautiful moment, too. Hersh is a progressive Jew. Now he is turning on other Jews. “New York Jewish money,” he says. The soulsearching that I have called for within the Jewish community has begun …
This is what the cause for applause is: after being showed a clip of Hillary Clinton being told off by fellow Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel comes Hersh’s admission that her hawkish position on Iran is shaped by New York Jewish money — something Wesley Clark got into trouble last year when he told Arianna Huffington that “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office-seekers.”
AMY GOODMAN: [after short clip] That was Hillary Clinton laughing. Fifteen seconds, Seymour Hersh. Your response?
SEYMOUR HERSH: Money. A lot of the Jewish money from New York. Come on, let’s not kid about it. A significant percentage of Jewish money, and many leading American Jews support the Israeli position that Iran is an existential threat. And I think it’s as simple as that. When you’re from New York and from New York City, you take the view of — right now, when you’re running a campaign, you follow that line. And there’s no other explanation for it, because she’s smart enough to know the downside.
Read in full.
With Walt and Mearsheimer‘s book on the Israel Lobby following former President Carter’s mildly critical but nevertheless breakthrough book last year Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid, the Israeli-first Hasbara machine might well be just at or past its zenith and breaking down. It can also be seen when overdue pieces like this get through to the mainstream press. The machine is not breaking down without releasing at fulcrum point its most odious and toxic emissions on Iran, however, as we hear echoed yet again in the video clips below.
The aforementioned quote appears in the third video clip. The first two are also worth watching, though it is still disturbing to hear how blithely the talk is about how the Bush administration plans on attacking Iran, with a climate so seemingly polluted that a Bush administration official–the Defense Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs–can openly tell visiting British MPs that she “hates all Iranians“. Way to go, Debra Cagan.
On a more positive note, Hersh attests to the “lost in translation” effect President Ahmadinejad’s recent comments about there not being a no gay problem in Iran, rather than there being no gays in Iran.