Anti-Semites Believe in Jews’ Disproportionate Power. Why Not Use That Belief against Them?

According to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the U.S. government “is controlled by the wealthy Zionist individuals and corporate owners,” while Khamenei’s supposedly moderate foreign minister Javad Zarif has tweeted that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) “dictates U.S. and Western policy in the Middle East.” Such assertions of nefarious “Zionist” power have had much purchase in the Middle East since the early 20th century, and have long been present in America as well. If anything, Mark Dubowitz writes, they have become more mainstream in recent years:

The idea that the “Israel Lobby” runs Washington was made semi-respectable over a decade ago by Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer, two professors at the summit of U.S. academia. To this day, it is Jewish policymakers such as Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Richard Perle who are widely blamed for drawing the U.S. into the Iraq War, despite their being (respectively) second-, third-, and fourth-tier officials in the Bush administration, while all the principals—George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, et al.—were Christians. The Obama administration did much the same when its chief spin-doctor Ben Rhodes decried Jewish-American opposition to Obama’s nuclear deal. One leading American broadsheet lent a helping hand when it listed the Jewish religion of those Democratic lawmakers who opposed the deal—with graphics to match.

Who can blame Khamenei and his minions for believing in cosmic Jewish powers when so many respectable Washington insiders, in government and the media, seem to believe in them as well?

Yet the malignant perception of overwhelming Jewish power comes with a hidden but potent benefit. . . . If Khamenei, Hamas, and Hizballah prefer to believe that Jews pull all the big levers of American might, it only feeds a mindset of paranoia and illogic that is usually self-defeating. It might even give them more reason to fear us than to fight us.

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More about: AIPAC, Ali Khamenei, Anti-Semitism, Israel Lobby

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship