A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Which do you serve, America or Israel?

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By Gerald Largen

Gentle reader, public discourse in this great republic may be approaching a crisis point, and if not, a boiling point.

This state of affairs arises from the President’s action in attempting to fill certain cabinet vacancies, especially the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.

He has named long-time C.I.A. operative John Brennan to head that agency, and former Republican Senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.

These two join Massachusetts Senator and 2004 Democratic nominee for President John Kerry, who has been nominated to be Secretary of State.

It is anticipated that Kerry will be confirmed fairly easily, and Brennan will also be confirmed, but only after pressing appearances before the Senatorial committee examining the nominations.

But, the one who would seem to be the most easily approved, Mr. Hagel, will have the toughest row to hoe.

Even though he is a Republican, a former member of the Senate, a Viet Nam war hero, and strongly backed by a large group of veterans, he will be strongly attacked by many of his former colleagues, Republican members of the Senate, such as Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.

Why, you may ask, would his fellow Republicans launch a vicious attack on one of their own?

The answer is brief — he once spoke truth about the influence of the Jewish lobby, and that crowd charged that Hagel was not strongly enough supporting the State of Israel, even though he pretty consistently voted in favour of Israel’s position on numerous issues, which brings us to the nub of what we want to write about today.

It is apparent that most of our politicians have been enmeshed in a net of pro-Jewish, pro-Israeli issues, and anyone in politics or government who so much as examines the pro-Jewish, pro-Israeli positions can expect to be pilloried and charged with being an anti-Semite.

As was written in the ALA Booklist in reviewing former congressman Paul Findley’s revised edition of his book “They Dare to Speak Out — People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby”:
“In Congress and in the White House, in the Pentagon and in the university he (Findley) finds the pro-Israel forces wielding remarkable power to suppress free debate, compromise national secrets and shape American foreign policy...”    

The foregoing was written in 1989, but the intervening years have not abated this Israeli dominance in American politics, but contrariwise has, if anything, strengthened it so that the nomination by an American president of a war hero and American patriot to a cabinet position for which he is unquestionably highly qualified, may well fail for the sole reason that he chooses to serve and promote the interests of the United States of America, rather than to serve and promote the interests of a foreign power — the nation of Israel.

There was a time when every public official in this great republic would have taken this self-same position, that first and foremost his loyalty, his efforts, and his allegiance was devoted solely to his own, his native land, the United States of America.

In a large segment of the populace that is no longer the case.

A large number of Republicans, possibly an even large number of evangelicals, express a devotion, and a loyalty to a foreign state, i.e. Israel, before their devotion and loyalty, if any, that they have toward America.

They may shout and scream “U.S.A.” and sing with great fervency “Born in the USA,” but when push comes to shove, it’s to Israel that they genuflect and whose cause they support, despite what ever defects there may be with that policy.

Let their be no misunderstanding, this is not an exclusively Republican failing, for there are a large number of Democrats who have fallen into this flock of Israelophiles, but at this time, they are neither as virulent or as vocal as the Republicans.

In just a few days, Israel will have a new national election and most likely the forces of the current right-wing leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will be returned to power, although recent polls have shown Netanyahu’s support is bleeding off to a far-right party named “the Jewish Home,” led by a radical right wing newcomer to politics named Naftalie Bennett.
In the current atmosphere, the Jewish lobby to which Hagel referred will be standing by to insure that the Washington power crowd support Israel unstintingly, and unquestioningly, no matter how that support may adversely affect American interests.

For instance, Netanyahu has been pursuing a policy of gradual occupation of the West Bank area of Palestine, and building fences and barriers to cut off the farmers of the West Bank from their groves and fields, even though they have no right to do so, and no American politician dares to question this theft, and certainly no such politician dares — despite decrying the size of our debt — question America borrowing of money which we don’t have, in order to subsidize Israel, meanwhile working to cut aid to American seniors, veterans and students.

We can only hope that the President and Senator Hagel can fight their way through this thicket of disloyalty to American in favour of Israel.

To do so would likely show that the Israeli lobby, like certain other bullying groups, can be overcome, and that those brave enough to choose to support America first, rather than Israel first, can win.

Such a victory might stiffen the spines of those traitorous cowards who would sacrifice their homeland’s interests on the altar of pro-Israel fanaticism.

We can and do live in hope.
The Tennessee General Assembly is now in session, with the Republicans now in complete control.

It will be interesting to see how they exercise this unfettered power.

Heretofore the said Republicans have always been able to distance themselves from unpopular or unworkable laws.

They will no longer have this luxury, for every law, act, resolution, and state action will bear their brand, and carry with it their blame, or their credit.

With such statesmen as Ron Ramsey and Stacy Campfield leading their efforts, it will be well-nigh miraculous if they steer clear of disaster.