October 6, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts

The Israel Lobby has shown its power over Americans’ perceptions and ability to exercise free speech via its influence in media, entertainment and ability to block university tenure appointments, such as those of Norman Finkelstein and Steven Salaita. Indeed, the power of the Israel Lobby is today so widely recognized and feared that editors, producers, and tenure committees anticipate the lobby’s objections in advance and avoid writers, subjects, and professors judged unacceptable to the lobby.

The latest example is The American Conservative’s firing of former CIA officer Philip Giraldi. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47942.htm Giraldi wrote an article for the Unz Review about Israel’s influence over American foreign policy in the Middle East. http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/americas-jews-are-driving-americas-wars/ The article didn’t say anything that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz hadn’t said already. The editor of The American Conservative, where Giraldi had been a contributor for a decade and a half, was terrified that the magazine was associated with a critic of Israel and quickly terminated the relationship. Such abject cowardice as the editor of The American Conservative showed is a true measure of the power of the Israel Lobby.

Meny seasoned experts believe that without the influence of the Israel Lobby, particularly as exerted by the Jewish Neoconservatives, the United States would not have been at war in the Middle East and North Africa for the last 16 years. These wars have done nothing for the US but harm, and they have cost taxpayers trillions of dollars and caused extensive death and destruction in seven countries and a massive refugee flow into Europe.

For a superpower such as the United States not to be in control of its own foreign policy is a serious matter. Giraldi is correct and patriotic to raise this concern. Giraldi makes sensible recommendations for correcting Washington’s lack of control over its own policy. But instead of analysis and debate of Giraldi’s proposals, the result is Giraldi’s punishment by an editor of a conservative publication anticipating the Israel Lobby’s wishes.

Americans should think about the fact that Israel is the only country on earth that it is impermissible to criticize. Anyone who criticizes Israeli policy, especially toward the Palestinians, or remarks on Israel’s influence, is branded an “anti-semite.” Even mild critics who are trying to steer Israel away from making mistakes, such as former President Jimmy Carter, are branded “anti-semites.”

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