Home ACTIVISTS & HEROES The U.S. power structure is blindly dedicated to Israel

The U.S. power structure is blindly dedicated to Israel

The corporate big shots attacking pro-Gaza students may have a lot of money and power, but none of that can erase the fact they are disgusting sociopaths.

by Mondoweiss— Philip Weiss
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The U.S. power structure is blindly dedicated to Israel

When the board of the Columbia Law Review clumsily censored a pro-Palestinian article it revealed the degree to which pro-Israel ideology is enmeshed in the U.S. power structure. Luckily, a generational shift is changing this before our eyes.

Recently there was an important event at Columbia Law School. The school’s law review published a piece on a sweeping legal theory of the Nakba by Harvard law student Rabea Eghbariah — and the board of the law review stepped in in unprecedented fashion to shut down the publication online. After the Intercept reported that the website had been “nuked,” the authoritarian move became an embarrassment; and the piece was restored. Though students obviously feel chilled.

This story reminds us that the U.S. establishment is firmly and blindly pro-Israel. The board that squashed the students included operators of the highest order: professor Gillian Metzger, who also serves in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; Justice Department senior counsel Lewis Yelin; and Ginger Anders, a former assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General.

We used to call people like this the ruling class. These high appointees understand what American values are, and today American values are standing by Israel even as it massacres thousands of children. These values surely have to do with the importance of Zionist donors to Joe Biden and universities, but they go beyond that to the makeup of the U.S. establishment. Pro-Israel voices — including Jewish Zionists — are a significant element of corporate culture. They are a generational force. Young progressives and young Jews are rejecting Israel. But they aren’t in the power structure.

One of the most telling stories about the establishment came and went last November. Two dozen leading law firms sent a letter to the leading law schools, including Harvard and Columbia, saying that they would not hire students from law schools that failed to crack down on antisemitism. And one of those firms, Davis Polk, rescinded job offers to three students who had taken part in pro-Palestinian protests. The letter said:

“We look to you to ensure your students who hope to join our firms after graduation are prepared to be an active part of workplace communities that have zero tolerance policies for any form of discrimination or harassment, much less the kind that has been taking place on some law school campuses.”

A partner at Sullivan & Cromwell told the New York Times that Jewish students feel “actually scared,” “threatened,” and “betrayed.” 

The letter was a shot across the bow of prestige schools well before Congress brought down the boom on the Harvard and Penn presidents in December. After all, the function of these schools — the reason young people clamor to get into them — is to gain employment in prestigious jobs upon graduation.

These highfalutin law firms never heard of the First Amendment, nor of the necessity to retain at least a modicum of decency

Just a week after the letter — shockingly — Columbia suspended the Palestinian solidarity groups Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

The law firms’ letter was “spearheaded,” the firm Paul, Weiss bragged at the time, by two Jewish chairs at two white-shoe firms (Joe Shenker, former chair of Sullivan and Cromwell, and Brad Karp, current chair at Paul, Weiss).

The letter was published at a time when many corporate leaders were issuing condemnations of the Hamas attack on Israel. Paul, Weiss chair Brad Karp explained to the Times that he was disappointed that more leaders weren’t doing so — and that being for Israel was no different than other great progressive causes, civil rights and women’s rights included.

“[H]e channeled his grief into a companywide email and hit send, just as he was moved to do after the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the killing of George Floyd. But as an American business leader condemning Hamas’s attacks, he said, he felt surprisingly lonely. ‘I was disappointed that fewer leaders than I anticipated spoke out emphatically, clearly and with moral clarity on this issue.'”

At about the same time, there were donor revolts by Jewish alumni identifying themselves as such at Ivy schools, threatened the withdrawal of millions in donations, or actually ended such donations because the schools weren’t doing enough to crack down on pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

This is now a familiar story, and one that the mainstream media are beginning to focus on — as when the Washington Post and Responsible Statecraft did stories on the influence of billionaires (mostly Jewish Zionists) on politicians and universities over Middle East policy. Responsible Statecraft said Biden was sticking by Israel and alienating his base because 9 of his top 25 donors were staunch Israel supporters. In the Post story, the billionaires had formed a chat group behind the scenes to help win the “war of public opinion” with politicians, even as Israel carried out a physical war.

What the Columbia story tells us is that pro-Israel ideology is enmeshed in the U.S. corporate/power structure. Both the Paul, Weiss and Sullivan and Cromwell chairs are in their 60s. They are the vanishing boomer generation, but still in power. They combine absolute dedication to the American economy and American interests in the world (as they see them) with devotion to Israel. (Shenker is also an orthodox rabbi.)

Similarly, in Hollywood, a leading marketing executive wrote an email to staff saying that they should stop working with anyone who is “posting against Israel.” She wrote that “anyone saying Israel is committing a ‘genocide’ is someone we will pause on working with, as that is simply not true. While Jews are devastated by the loss of innocent lives in Gaza, we are feeling immense fear over the rising Jew Hatred all over the world.”

Variety reported that her company is “a fixture on red carpets and is at the forefront of brand integration with celebrities” and the leading talent agencies.

I believe this generation of players, many of them Jewish, is on its way out. The establishment is slowly changing to reflect DEI values. Arab-Americans and Palestinian advocates are gaining traction even in the establishment. The Jewish community is changing in significant ways. Democrats are turning against Israel, as NPR lately acknowledged.

 “[F]or a younger generation, Israel is increasingly defined by its treatment of Palestinians, particularly under the last 20 years of right-wing governments led by Netanyahu, and for them, Israel is seen as the top dog.

Overwhelmingly Democrats see Israel as carrying out a genocide in Gaza, even as leaders deny this. Anti-Palestinian bigotry — the acceptance of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and unending massacres — are becoming controversial matters in the Democratic base.

But these are generational issues. The older generation is still dedicated to a country committing war crimes. They have no idea what’s coming.

BEFORE YOU GO – The mainstream media has reached a new low as it uncritically repeats government lies to justify the Israeli assault on Gaza. Mondoweiss has been there from the start, pushing back against this campaign to manufacture consent for genocide.

We are fighting the biased reporting and dehumanizing rhetoric by building a platform for Palestinians to tell their stories in their own words.

We need to do more. All of us. Will you join us in the fight against media bias and help us report the truth about Palestine?

Lili News 029
  • In cynicism and power, the US propaganda machine easily surpasses Orwells Ministry of Truth.
  • Now the fight against anti-semitism is being weaponised as a new sanctimonious McCarthyism.
  • Unless opposed, neither justice nor our Constitutional right to Free Speech will survive this assault.

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G. F. Rochat

Not blindly attached to Israel. It is of major importance as a tactical military outpost to control the Eastern Mediterranean basin and the Suez Canal. Without it the West and the US would lose all footholds in the Middle East. That is why the Houthi resistance was so damaging and why the US did not bomb Yemen out of existence (that was already done by Saudi Arabia backed by the US).

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