GIRALDI : A Tipping Point for Israel

GIRALDI : A Tipping Point for Israel


So we have reached the point where the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Everyone, with the possible exception of the U.S. Congress, has become aware that there is something terribly wrong with Israel


by Philip Giraldi


Criticism of Israel is reaching a tipping point from which we can expect an explosion of public debate in the years ahead

A tipping point is where physical momentum, inclined in one direction, reverses its course, stabilizes, and then begins to move the opposite way.

Those of us who have been arguing for a sane United States foreign policy in the Middle East have well understood that the odds on shifting the prevailing narrative have been heavily against us thanks to the overwhelming resources possessed by a powerful domestic lobby. Ten years ago in America, it was impossible to place even a letter in a mainstream newspaper or magazine that was in any way critical of Israel. Apart from Pat Buchanan, no one on television provided a critique of Israel and its policies. In the U.S. media, Israel was ever the beleaguered little democracy surrounded by savage Arabs.

But then, all of a sudden, the conspiracy of silence began to break down.

It began with the revisionist history of the antecedents of the Iraq War as that conflict continued to drag on. Many began attributing Washington’s initiation of the fighting, at least in part, to Israeli interests. Philip Zelikow, chief counsel for the 9/11 Commission Report, famously noted in March 2004 that the war was “to protect Israel,” surely an exaggeration but containing more than a kernel of truth. Many also began to observe that the agitation for a new war with Iran was following the same pattern, with supporters of Israel leading the charge.

In 2006, former President Jimmy Carter published Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. It provoked considerable outrage and highly publicized resignations from the board of the Carter Foundation together with charges that Carter was supporting Palestinian terrorism. But the big breakthrough came with the publication of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy in the following year. It became a New York Times best-seller, and it suddenly became acceptable to talk about Israel without the usual bromides.

For the first time, people in America were taking notice of the power of the Israel lobby and the inherent downside for U.S. national interests.

Driven by the prospect of unending warfare in an attempt to remake the Muslim world by force, letters and op-eds critical of Israel and its policies began to appear in the mainstream media. There weren’t a lot, mind you, and they were always “balanced” by more numerous contrary commentaries, but there were enough to demonstrate that a shift was taking place. Mainstream Jewish organizations, always vigilant in defense of what they have perceived as Israel’s interest, resorted increasingly to discrediting critics by calling them “anti-Semites.” Indeed, they succeeded in equating any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and even managed to pass legislation in Canada and several European nations that made any criticism of Israel ipso facto a hate crime.

Some American Jews have always been bothered by the dark side of Israel’s story, beginning with the Nakba expulsion of the Palestinians from their homes and including the more recent settlement policy, “security” wall, and the denial of civil and human rights to the Arabs living in Israel and the occupied territories. They were convinced, correctly, that Israel had no intention to permit the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Many began to protest, though their voices were at first confined to the alternative media and they had to work through many progressive groups that were advancing a much broader peace agenda in response to George W. Bush’s horrific “global war on terror.”

But now we Americans have finally reached our tipping point. Recently Peter Beinart, a Zionist and defender of Israel for many years, released The Crisis of Zionism, which explains how Israel has become an armed camp dedicated to repressing and even expelling its Palestinian helots. As a liberal Jew, he rejects the militant values that drive the Israel of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has even gone so far as to support an economic boycott of Israel, similar to the pressure that was put on South African apartheid. The book has predictably provoked a firestorm of criticism from the pro-Israel establishment, but Beinart is not alone. Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman of The New York Times, both Jewish and both longtime friends of Israel, have voiced the same concerns, namely that Israel no longer represents the liberal and humanistic values that they themselves cherish. It has been noted in passing that young American Jews increasingly do not view Israel in positive terms, a sign, if one was needed, that the older generation that believes Israel is always right, no matter what it does, is passing into history.

And it does not end there. Even the mainstream media is now, perhaps reluctantly, on board. On April 22, 60 Minutes, the most watched television news and commentary program in the United States, aired a segment on Israeli persecution of Christians. The program was a real shock for the many fundamentalist Christians who have viewed Israel through rose-tinted glasses. Many evangelicals have promoted the myth that Israel is actually a protector of Christians, which it most emphatically is not; it seeks instead to marginalize them and force them to emigrate, as the 60 Minutes program demonstrated. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, who tried to kill the story and called it a “hatchet job,” was interviewed as part of it. His performance was alternately smug and angry, and it is widely regarded as a public relations disaster. He even said that mainstream Christian churches are “known for their anti-Semitism.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s office supported Oren’s contention that the broadcast was a “threat to Israel.” It was Netanyahu’s second venture into public relations in a short time, having previously denounced German Nobel Prize–winning author Gunter Grass. Netanyahu banned Grass from traveling to Israel and said that his writings had “hurt Israel profoundly.” Netanyahu was responding to Grass’s rather mild declaration in a poem that the Jewish state’s nuclear program is a threat to an “already fragile world peace.”

Netanyahu knows that the tide is running against him and everything he represents, particularly as the criticism from former senior officials in his own country continues to mount, but he is too obdurate to do what must be done. One of Israel’s darkest secrets is the extent to which young, educated Jews are fleeing the country for greener pastures, most notably the United States. By some guesstimates, one third of university-educated second- and third-generation Israeli Jews have left the country. They are leaving behind the recent Russian immigrants, many of whom are not actually religiously or ethnically Jewish, and the Islamophobic racists who constitute the core of the hard right in Israel. Israel publishes no statistics on the brain drain, which has intensified the country’s demographic problem and lessened its competitiveness.

So we have reached the point where the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Everyone, with the possible exception of the U.S. Congress, has become aware that there is something terribly wrong with Israel. In Israel itself, where there is often ferocious debate over the country’s policies, it is time for a reckoning. Does Israel want to become a normal state with correct relationships with its neighbors, including an independent Palestine, or does it want to continue down the road that it is pursuing, which is folly and will lead to ruin?

The choice is ultimately Israel’s, but, for the first time, Americans are actually beginning to talk and write freely and openly about the problem.



By Anthony Lawson / My Catbird Seat

EDITOR'S NOTE: Timely, logical, rational, long overdue, and damned accurate, telling and effective analysis, particularly the undignified cheerleading of the Members of the US Congress for the Israeli Prime Minister, which has diminished their status in the eyes of the American public and the world and a good summary of the situational crisis as a consequence facing the Middle Eastern people who live under the nuclear zionist Israeli threat.


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Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a former DIA and CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support. Since 1992 he consulted for a number of Fortune 500 corporate clients. Mr. Giraldi was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in European History and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish.


  1. "Does Israel want to become a normal state with correct relationships with its neighbors, including an independent Palestine, or does it want to continue down the road that it is pursuing, which is folly and will lead to ruin? "
    Obviously a rhetorical question. In addition to the ruin and misery that is Israel, we recall that it was Israel that did 9-11, not the fictional 'al Qaeda'.

  2. How can THAT be?? The FAKE state of "israel" was a FICTION to begin with! It was a Real Estate deal!  This FAKE can Brutalize the REAL Citizens of Palestine, the REAL Country and no one, NO ONE, deceides to assassinate netanyahu ala Gaddaffi, no one deceides to SHOCK and AWE it's way in there! No one sends in the Drones, even when IT MURDERS deluded  Europeans who go there fighting for "justice",instead most of you prefer to Pretend that this FAKE "state" is a "civilized" country.

  3. The albeit tame and sparse criticism of israel we see in the msm recently is a reaction to the fact that we have indeed reached a "tipping point" in american public opinion, one only has to read the comments section on any iran/israel issue to see that americans are openly hostile towards AIPAC (Israel Lobby) and american jews who are now universally percieved as "israel firsters" and part of the problem.

    The Iran warmongering is seen as a "jewish drumbeat" in America, without any support in America. MSM knows it is being viewed as not only bias but now "part of the jewish apparatus" and nothing regarding Iran or Israel is taken at face value anymore, the msm sees the mass exodus to alternative "on line" news outlets at a ferocious pace.

  4. There may have been a  tipping point in the academic and public discourse, but the USA and NATO have been completely dominated by Israel as is evident from all the mideast conflic.  We have a seemingly untural coaliton of Israel, USA, NATO and Sunni conducting wars that benefit Israel. Syria is the real tipping point. If it falls, Israel will dominate.

  5. A well done article.   It is long past time when Israel is exposed as the apartheid, brutal, manipulative, psychotic bunch of squatters it is.

    It is time the US sever all ties with this thug government and help restore the land to its rightful owners, the Palestinians, then move to round up the war-criminals for trial and begin the process of structuring reparations. While no amount of money can compensate more than a generation for Zionist crimes, it is the only option available.  

    Perhaps the Zionist occupiers should be compelled to rebuild the land, infrastructure and culture they destroyed before being expelled from the land.

  6. It's unlikely that they can change their policies. If they loosen up and try to extend the hand of friendship, the enemies that have been sorely mistreated will wait for their opportunity to exact revenge.  They will never ever forgive and forget.  Neither side seems capable of living in peace with their neighbors.  Are there any cooler heads to prevail with so much detestation?

    • Thankgod for russia and china. I bet u a million dollars
      That israel wanted to use their nukes but will be neutralised if they do. Russia kicked out thousands of criminals a few years back and they mostly went to israel and england. What does that tell you?

  7. It is a fact, that none of the jewish religious prophetic events relating to the end to the alleged exile from israel, have never happened. It is a state which defrauds the jews as well as the world for other purposes. The zionist (zion-nazis) have fooled most people into thinking the israel they see today is sanctioned by their god, when it does nothing of the sort. Their brutality to others, even peaceful christians visiting the "holy lands" are going too far. What gets a people into such a wicked evil state of mind? I hazard to guess, that old fashioned superiority complex by small minded people is why.

  8. We need to disarm the Zionist Criminal state, charge the dual national Zionists in the US for treason, and set up a world court for their endless crimes. Lets start with 911.
    You all need to remember that Talmudiuc indoctrination creates sociopaths without morality. Look at the all the Zionists that want to START wars, I mean what normal person WANTS war?

  9. Great article Mr. Giraldi with the hope of many more exposing this criminal state.  It's beyond time to identify this bunch of psychopaths and sociopaths as the Hub Of Evil in the Middle East (HOEME).  The world has had enough of their destruction from time immemorial.