Why does America so Pro-Israel?

rob333March 6, 2012

I am behind supporting loads of places, but this one seems to get lots of positive/negative press. That is, what makes this alignment desirable or shunned? I don't understand what it's about. Might be more democratic than other countries (Their legislature. I love their representation for all of the parties), but I can see how it's also less democratic (they can override laws all by themselves). They don't have oil and they don't give us money, so what's the deal (I can't follow the money and I've never believed in all Middle East turmoil is over oil, but there's someone who always says that!)?

Just figued y'all would have an idea why.

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woodnymph2_gw

For one thing, the pro-Israeli lobbyists are linked up with certain Fundamentalist Evangelical groups who see Israel in the Biblical historical context, in terms of its having a god-given right to its land going back thousands of years. This was partly explained on another thread, but I can't recall which one. And the agenda is connected to Fundamentalist religious beliefs that Israel must remain inviolate because of the " Second Coming", which some evangelicals believe is near. Because they consider it the "Holy Land", some are willing to risk WW III to defend it, rather than reaching a solution through negotiation.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 3:46PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

It's a question one is not supposed to ask in polite company.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:22PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Robb, here's an example: ECI, Dershowitz v MJ Rosenberg.

'New Yorker' defends Rosenberg (and use of term 'Israel firster')

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:46PM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Probably for our guilt for not letting many Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in (just a thought)...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 7:07AM
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esh_ga

My understanding is that it is all about religion.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:02AM
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rob333

Ah, but Nancy, this is the place to ask. It's Hot Topics.

tobr, that's one that is considered urband legend :)

I think I just wondered if there was anything outside of the religion. I still don't think there is any other reason. But why not Latin American, Spain, or France? Those are largely Catholic places. Just the birth place? Really? If so, we should be protecting Rome! Had it not been for His crucifiction, the birth place of grace, there would be no Christianity. Who cares where He was born? It matters not, as He died for all mankind.

Ok. Thanks for taking time to answer!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:40AM
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jillinnj

wood has it right. It's all about the second coming and the end times, blah, blah, blah. Notice that most of the non-Jews that are so militantly pro-Israel are also right wing Christians. I always found that so weird.

By the way, and for the record, I am Jewish (culturally, not big on religion). I support Israel in so much as they have a right to live peacefully. But, I also support the rights of others in the region to also have a place to live peacefully. And I do NOT support the methods Israel uses.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:41AM
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bird_lover6

Because a minority - but significant minority - of Muslims still want to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

After the Holocaust, we aren't going to let that happen again.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:04AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

The denial of entry of Jewish refugees is not an urban legend. There was a boatload of refugees that was denied entry in here as well as other countries and went back to Hamburg and most of these poor souls died in camps. History, not legend...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:08AM
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rob333

No, I meant the "guilt" part. Is urban legend.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:13AM
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haydayhayday

"It's a question one is not supposed to ask in polite company."

The community of Zionist supporters will gather and attack anyone who questions our support of Israel. That's one reason. It's just too dangerous to oppose such a tight knit, determined group of people.

I commented recently on this forum about how I had become so aware that, in politics, because so many people don't get involved, it is pretty easy for a small, determined, tight knit group of people to get legislation passed. I think I see that in the alcohol laws in the state of Connecticut where the small group is the owners of the small independent liquor stores. We've seen it in this country with Prohibition and I think that explains some part of how the anti-abortion people are able to exert so much influence. They're a determined small group of people with a common goal.

I suspect, too, that the strongest support comes from the older Americans--ones my age who grew up just after World War II. "We" saved the Jews from the Germans and I'd expect that to give us a kind of bond that you'd get from saving someone's life. We have a continuing interest in their well being, just as we do with people like Elizabeth Smart and the child, Jessica McClure, who was rescued from the deep well a few years ago.

There are other reasons, too, but those are some that come to mind.

For me, personally, and I bet for many people my age, (old white men who currently make the rules), born just after the War and growing up with the movies about the glory of our involvement in that war, the movie Exodus and the book itself were very significant in our view of the Zionist movement. To this day, I can tell you pretty much exactly where I was sitting in the theater when I saw the movie as an impressionable teen.

I can still see my friends sitting there reading this enormous tattered book. It was the talk of the time.

We're talking about Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J Cobb, Sal Mineo, Peter Lawford....Who could resist? Directed by Otto Preminger, great music by Ernest Gold, adapted from a book by Leon Uris.

Leon Uris, researching his book:

From Wikipedia: Exodus,

"Widely characterized as a "Zionist epic",[2][3][4][5] the film has been identified by many commentators as having been enormously influential in stimulating Zionism and support for Israel in the United States.[6][7][8] Although the Preminger film softened the anti-British and anti-Arab sentiment of the novel, the film remains controversial for its depiction of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and for what some scholars perceive to be its lasting impact on American conceptions (or misconceptions) of regional turmoil.[9][10]"

By the end of the movie, we impressionable young teens who are controlling the world today wanted to pile on the truck with Paul Newman and Ave Saint Marie:

"At the Jewish burial ceremony, Ari swears on their bodies that someday, Jews and Arabs will live together and share the land in peace. The movie then ends with Ari, Kitty, and a Palmach contingent entering trucks and heading toward battle."

Never underestimate the power of Hollywood.

Hay

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:15AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Agree with WN. The US being a self proclaimed Christian Nation only appears to support Israel on the surface with hidden motives. The main one being that Israel is the appointed custodian overseeing and protecting all the Christian holy sites keeping them out of the hands of a common enemy. Naturally if Islam did not exist then we'd see the Jews as occupiers of Christian holy lands and who do you think would be the enemy then? Ultimately someone has to represent the "evil" to our "good" and deep down Israel suspects our motives and via their own self interest will continue to play us like the same fiddle we play them. So thanks to Islam we will continue to play music together, though it's not all that beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:19AM
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david52_gw

Not yet mentioned is the enormous amount of money that flows to politicians. While there is a whole range of attitudes and opinions on Israel and its actions, this does not manifest itself in Congress, which routinely votes, near unanimously, with any and all pro-Israeli issues. The other side of this coin is that if you don't vote that way, the next election, all that funding will go to an opposing candidate who will.

List of who gets how much money at the link -

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:54AM
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inkognito

Religion may be just a smoke screen, I think it is more likely to be its strategic position, the rest is just propaganda. I can't think of any other reason why Israel is allowed such leeway to ignore the UN and treat the Palestinians so badly. "He may be a bad boy but he is our bad boy."

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 1:17PM
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mylab123(z5NW)

Hay, you forget we didn't want to give the Jews refuge, either.

We turned them away by the boatloads, knowing that some of them would end up back where they started from because other countries didn't want them either. Ewww, who wants Jews??.

How does that fit with your theory?

Although I do agree with you about the HOllywood shaping of opinions in some ways, for sure. Lord knows, John Wayne can be proud of shaping good little boys and girls into great big grown up Republicans!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 1:31PM
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ohiomom

OMG ... March 8, 2012 ... mark you calendars ! I totally agree with Hay Today !!

The problem, as "I" see it, is too many Americans have gotten their "history" through the media whether it is motion pictures and/or TV.

Hay I thought you were a youngster, with your nights of drinking beer and dancing LOL

Now I really have to get out of here and go to work.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 7:18AM
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chase_gw

Canada is as equally pro Israel as the States. Our campaign laws are such that candidates and parties can't receive huge amounts of money. So that's not it here.

That being sad, the Jewish community is very strong, very well organized and very powerful. They have significant influence.

However, I think the real reason Canada is so pro Israel is because "we" created a State for them in a region where they are detested and surrounded by their enemies. "We" feel a need to protect them from what we now view as the common enemy, Islam.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:08AM
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haydayhayday

"Hay I thought you were a youngster, with your nights of drinking beer and dancing LOL"

I've been pacing myself for a long time so I can make it last.

"Religion may be just a smoke screen"

Last night, this time on the way to the dancing, I was listening to some NPR program, a part of which was an interview with an extreme Christian who had come to the contested Jewish settlements in that area doing good for his Christian God. He got all choked up, literally, as he's telling how he handed his young son a set of pruners to work on the vineyards they were tending and then quoted some Biblical reference that mentions some similar act in a prophecy.

As I was looking around the internet, I was impressed with just how many of our Presidents and political leaders down through the ages have argued for a strong relationship with the Jewish people and Israel based on their own Christian ties.

I'm not a religious person so it's hard for me to relate, but it looks like many Christians do indeed feel quite religiously tied to the idea of a Jewish state in the Mideast.

"Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."

"Hay, you forget we didn't want to give the Jews refuge, either.
We turned them away by the boatloads, knowing that some of them would end up back where they started from because other countries didn't want them either. Ewww, who wants Jews??.

How does that fit with your theory?"

One way or the other, the United States has ended up being the home of roughly 40 percent of the Jewish population in the world, almost as many as are at home in Israel.

This looks like it could be a a very good article about Jewish immigration to the USA in the years just after the War.

I don't see it as painting the picture that you've just painted.

"Although thousands of Jews had been admitted into the United States under the combined German-Austrian quota from 1938-1941, the U.S. did not pursue an organized and specific rescue policy for Jewish victims of Nazi Germany until early 1944.

...

Palestine was the most favored destination of Jewish Holocaust survivors, followed by the United States. Immigration restrictions were still in effect in the United States after the war, and legislation to expedite the admission of Jewish DPs (DP="Displaced Person"...Hay)was slow in coming.
President Harry S. Truman favored a liberal immigration policy toward DPs. Faced with congressional inaction, he issued an executive order, the "Truman Directive," on December 22, 1945. The directive required that existing immigration quotas be designated for displaced persons. While overall immigration into the United States did not increase, more DPs were admitted than before. About 22,950 DPs, of whom two-thirds were Jewish, entered the United States between December 22, 1945, and 1947 under provisions of the Truman Directive."

Not at all to suggest that we were doing all that we might have done, but hardly a picture of turning away the Jewish people by the boatloads to be sent back to horrendous conditions. We had immigration quotas just like every country and those quotas were changed to allow more, not fewer, of the "Displaced Jews" to come to our country.

Not a theory on my part. More like a conjecture in my trying to understand what got us to where we are today. I don't see it contradicted, though.

Hay

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:43AM
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labrea_gw

When the Irish became an organized vote in the US the idiot Nativists laid off. When The Jewish community in the US organized antisemitism was still present but it took a backseat to pandering for votes by both parties.

The last great wave of Russian Jews settled in Brooklyn after the Jackson Vanick Amendment both Dems are predominantly Republican.

Organize & lobby & pressure.
The Amendment has come up again as it restricted trade with Russia based on immigration of refusnik's & Jews.
So many of the Russian emigre Jews in Brooklyn associate this freedom with Reagan & Ford.

Here is a link that might be useful: Derr

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 11:53AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I don't know why America was so pro-Israel in the past, but I'd guess the present has more to do with geo-politics--all those Muslim countries sitting on all that oil, for instance. Israel gives us a toehold to the region and we can count on them to perform the police actions and maintain the balance of power in the region (as long as we give them lots and lots of money every year). And we do it gladly--in preference to out and out invasion of the US into the Muslim regions--though lately we seem to have been doing a considerable amount of that, and if the Republican candidate wins the presidency, we can probably count on invading Iran--so I guess we won't be needing Israel in the future since we are now taking on the burden of trying to control Muslim states through the direct intervention of the U.S. military.

Kate

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:25PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I'd guess the present has more to do with geo-politics

Strong support for Israel is part of the plan to extend and maintain U.S. hegemony in the region. With the collapse of the Soviet Union there was no country to oppose U.S. dominance. However, with the reemergence of Russia, and the entrance of China in the resource bidding wars, the situation is changing.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:39PM
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jodik_gw

I know zip about the issues, not being Jewish and not particularly informed on this subject, and usually don't participate in these threads, having this particular topic... but my opinion is that this is an issue of both strategic and religious/hate or prejudicial implication.

I am often appalled at how the Palestinians are treated, the seemingly endless support for the Israeli state, regardless... there's more to it than a piece of supposedly holy land.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:55PM
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labrea_gw

I have usually been fairly pro Isreal in thought, I listened to pitch battles between co workers who were Israeli & I realized I hadn't a clue to the internal struggles going on in Isreal.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:57PM
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