April 4th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Daniel Levy: "America: So Pro-Israeli that it hurts"

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Transmitted below is the first balanced analysis of the Mearsheimer/Walt
study which I have in the American (abroad) press.

Not surprisingly, it is written by an Israeli -- and first appeared in

International Herald Tribune <http://www.iht.com>

*America**: So pro-Israel that it hurts *

*Daniel Levy *

*International Herald Tribune *

Monday, April 3, 2006


A recent study entitled "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"
should serve as a wake-up call on both sides of the ocean. It is
authored by two respected academics - John Mearsheimer of the University
of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy
School of Government (it appeared first on the Kennedy's School's Web
site, and was then published in the London Review of Books).

The tone of the report is harsh. It is jarring even for a self-critical
Israeli. It lacks finesse and nuance when it looks at the alphabet soup
of the world of American-Jewish organizations and at how the "Lobby"
interacts with both the Israeli establishment and the wider right-wing
echo chamber.

The study sometimes takes the purported omnipotence of AIPAC (America
Israel Public Affairs Committee) too much at face value, disregarding
key moments when the United States and Israel were at odds. The study
also largely ignores AIPAC's run-ins with more dovish Israeli
administrations, most notably when it undermined Yitzhak Rabin, and how
its excessive hawkishness is often out of step with mainstream American
Jewish opinion.

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Chris Keeley


TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

The International Herald Tribune's publication today of Daniel Levy's
article "America: So Pro-Israeli that it hurts", which I have just
circulated, has inspired me to send you as well an article of mine which
was rather widely published in 2003 (including by the International
Herald Tribune). Like my article "'Master-Blaster" -- A Case for
Liberation", which I recirculated on March 25, it supports the
Mearsheimer/Walt thesis.

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Chris Keeley

DeLay’s wife worked for the lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group which had close ties to the Repub

ExxonMobil Tops Fortune 500 List
In business news, ExxonMobil tops the new Fortune 500 list of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies. Last year Exxon pulled in $340 billion in revenue and a record $36 billion in profits. Wal-Mart came in second on the Fortune 500 list.

Report: Abramoff Attempted to Lobby For Sudan
Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times is reporting that disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff once proposed to sell his services to the Sudanese government to help improve its reputation in the United States. Sudan's ambassador to the United States revealed that Abramoff offered to lobby on Sudan’s behalf in Washington but the multi-million dollar deal never went forward. Last week Abramoff was sentenced to nearly six years in jail.

Former GOP Majority Leader Tom Delay to Resign
Republican Congressman Tom Delay has announced he is resigning and will give up his House seat within the next few months. The former House Majority Leader has been one of the most powerful – and controversial – Republicans on Capitol Hill. DeLay announced his resignation just days after a former top aide, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty in connection to a lobbying scandal involving Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Last November, Delay’s former press secretary Michael Scanlon also plead guilty to related charges. Delay was up for his re-election but polls showed he would likely lose. Last year Delay was forced to give up his position as House Majority Leader after he was indicted on criminal charges of conspiracy to violate Texas election laws. Federal investigators have also probed Delay’s personal dealings with Abramoff. DeLay’s wife worked for the lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group which had close ties to the Republican lobbyist.
Chris Keeley

Living Impulsively

Living on Impulse
Play hooky, disappear for the weekend, have a fling, binge-shop like a Wall Street divorcée. Spontaneity can be a healthy defiance of routine, an expression of starved desire, some psychologists say.

Yet for scientists who study mental illness and addiction, impulsive behavior — the tendency to act or react with little thought — has emerged as an all-purpose plague.Collapse )
Chris Keeley

For Gypsies, it’s a nasty old woman who is paid to penetrate the girl, like a gynecologist but with

Her value, as a virgin, is ascertained not by the young groom on the wedding night but, according to archaic folk custom, by the probing finger of a tribal crone: Eberstadt’s partially renegade Gypsy friend Linda explains, “For Gypsies, it’s a nasty old woman who is paid to penetrate the girl, like a gynecologist but with dirty hands, in front of all the husband’s family

Six years in the South of France.
Issue of 2006-04-10 Posted 2006-04-03

Fernanda Eberstadt, an ambitious, resourceful novelist with a lush style and a Manhattan background, has written, in “Little Money Street: In Search of Gypsies and Their Music in the South of France” (Knopf; $24.95), a piquant nonfictional account of her successful attempt to penetrate the Gypsy enclave of Perpignan. This city, at the eastern end of the Pyrenees, holds five thousand Gypsies in an urban center of around a hundred thousand. Eberstadt and her husband, Alistair Bruton, and their two small children found themselves living in a rented house outside Perpignan because Bruton, we are told a bit abruptly, “was writing a book about the decline of religion in modern Europe, and was looking for somewhere half to hole up in, half to base it on.” Why this obscure, unprosperous, and atypical region of France—the province of Roussillon, ceded by Spain as late as 1659 and still regarded by many of its natives as “northern Catalonia”—should serve his investigative purpose is left mysterious, but its usefulness to his wife is made clear. In the course of a cosmopolitan life, she has always, she tells us, “been drawn to Gypsies”: after a childhood glimpse of a trio begging at an outdoor café in Paris, she has “sought out Gypsies—Gypsies who run travelling circuses in Ireland, or sleep in the ruined Byzantine city walls in Istanbul, or camp on the beach in Palermo, or even live in a brownstone basement on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.” Though her six years of living in Roussillon may have left her with “the same attraction to their intractable difference,” readers of her account, if this reviewer is an example, will be cured of any faint desire they may ever have entertained to live like a Gypsy.

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