Mid East paradigms

Israel is a state like all the rest.

AIPAC is just another political group like the National Rifle Association. It is not a religion but one more Washington lobby corrupting the political process and making American voters less powerful.

The policy of the Israeli government is clearly distinguishable from the theology of Judaism to all but a small yet powerful and noisy crowd including neo-conservatives, cable TV anchors and semantic bomb throwers. Israeli policy reflects Judaism about as well as George Bush reflects Christianity.

Our policy towards Palestine, based on polling, is one of the major issues dividing us from the Muslim world. This policy helped lead to the World Trade Center attack and the international disasters that have occurred since. It has also made Israel less safe. We can not solve our current crises nor end our manic fears of the Muslim world without changing our policies towards Palestine and the Middle East.

If what goes on in the synagogue doesn’t stay in the synagogue than it can not be expected to be treated as though it were still there. In other words, if you’re going to ask American taxpayers to subsidize Israel and back its policies, the matter should be handled no differently than building a B2 bomber or putting a federal agency’s office in some congress member’s district. If you want to play by religion’s rules act like a religion. Otherwise, the rules of politics govern. And anyone who calls that anti-Semitic is either a cry baby or a scoundrel.

Just because you’re pro-Israel doesn’t mean you have to be anti-Muslim. The present crisis stems in no small part from conflating the two. American policy has been anti-Muslim or cynically manipulative of Islamic states for decades. No policy of ours has been more wrong-headed.

If there is another disaster such as the World Trade Center, it will also be in no small part due to our policies in the Middle East including that towards those toward Palestine. No issue has done more damage to America and none continues to cause a greater threat.

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