April 17th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Eric Alterman on the Israel Lobby Study--The Nation, May 1, 2006

   I have two disagreements with Alterman's critique. One is his
citation of the NRA and Big Pharma and other lobbies as comparable to
AIPAC. However, they are lobbies working on purely domestic issues,
which is quite legitimate under our system of democracy. What is not
legitimate is a lobby working on behalf of a foreign power to determine
our foreign and security policies in a region of the world, the Middle
East. The second is his mistaken view of how much the American oil
companies try to influence our policies in the same region. They surely
used to, at a time when they in effect "owned" the oil they found and
extracted from the oil producing countries of the region, while they
paid only royalties to the governments (or royal families) of those
countries. But since the time that all of those countries nationalized
their oil resources, our oil companies simply became buyers of a global
product whose price is mostly determined by market forces, and our oil
companies are now really not very interested in who rules those
countries so long as conditions are reasonably stable and the oil
continues to flow out. These companies don't even care much about the
prices charged, as they simply pass them on to their customers (our
consumers) and share in the profits the higher prices produce. The
compare Saudi or Exxon influence on our Middle East policies with
AIPAC's is quite unrealistic.

This article can be found on the web at
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Chris Keeley

Uri Avnery -- "The Trees Went Forth . . .

Uri Avnery

            "The Trees Went Forth…"

TODAY, EHUD Olmert has become the Prime minister of Israel. No longer just a "Deputy Prime Minister", but now a real one. One hundred days after Ariel Sharon sank into a coma, the job and the title were taken away from him, as the law demands. Olmert is now the acting prime minister of the transitional government, and in a few weeks hence, with the establishment of the new coalition, he will become the head of a regular government.

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Chris Keeley

The Challenges Of Ethnic Cleansing In Israel

In response to some of my recent output, Terry Arnold has graciously
invited my attention to this essay of his which was published in
Rense.com on 1-26-04.  I commend it for its helpful insights and reminders.


QUOTED EXCERPT:   The history of the Jewish people denies the Israelis
the luxury of a "final solution" through ethnic cleansing. They thus
have three basic choices: One is to continue on the presently decaying
path of Israel as a hierarchical, Central European based oligarchy
supported by second, third and fourth class citizens (Sephardis,
Palestinian Jews, and Palestinians) who are increasingly dissatisfied
with the arrangement, and surrounded by neighbors who harbor deep-seated
grievances and fight back. The second is to achieve a compromise by
recognizing that all the parties have equal rights and interests. The
third is to recognize that the power of Judaism is always at its best
when based on spirituality and the values that have sustained it and
made major contributions to communities as enclaves and citizens
everywhere for millennia.

Biblical Jewish efforts toward purity and exclusiveness were always
frustrated, either by God or by the human condition. A vocal minority of
Jews suggests it should stay that way. God keeps his own counsel. The
human condition appears no better disposed than it was. Outsiders can
hope that realists among the Israelis will accept ethnic diversity,
already the dominant human condition virtually everywhere else.   END QUOTE