Dec. 14th 2007, we posted, "No Surprise: American Jewish Opinion: Generally Anti-Neocon." After posting that short bit of news coming out about a poll in the U.S. suggesting that many American Jews aren't neocons at heart ("New poll reveals how unrepresentative neocon Jewish groups are," by Glenn Greenwald. Salon.com. December 12, 2007.), we read James Petras's article about it, "American Jews on War and Peace: What Do the Polls Tell Us and Not Tell Us?" The James Petras Website. December 15, 2007.
Petras attempts to make the point that if the American Jews were really as non-neocon as the Greenwald article suggests, then those Jews would stand up against the neocons and put their money where their polls are, so to speak.
Well, as the title of this post suggests, we know that many people believe (lukewarmly) a certain way but don't stand up for it. They are intimidated. Who stood with Jesus in the end? They ran away. They denied they knew him, etc. Why? Well, those who were and remain arrayed against Jesus were and are, among other evils, murderers. The most strident neocons are also killers. That's obvious. They don't just murder everyone (yet) who doesn't agree but rather do things with a cover or pretext or what have you. The American Jews who polled against those neocons have been intimidated by the evil of those neocons. That doesn't explain everything about the poll results versus lobbying and campaign financing, etc., in the U.S., but it goes a long way.
In addition to being cowed, they have all been syncretistically driven together by what historically they have in common that is existential in their eyes, which is blanket persecution and attempted extermination at least in Europe. Even though many American Jews and other Jews around the world have not succumbed to wishing for blanket retaliation also along ethnic lines, they are still afraid that division is weakness that invites more persecution against all Jews regardless of their individual and divergent philosophies, ideologies, and theologies, etc. This is something that, despite James Petras's often insightful analyses, Petras is missing here.
James Petras is so anti-neocon and anti-false Zionist that he refuses to accept that, in addition to the drive by many Jews for Greater Israel, U.S. greed for oil and other raw materials and the desire to block other powers are huge factors in U.S. imperialism and part of the main reasons Bush and Cheney (neither of them Jews) invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and look toward Iran and Venezuela with covetousness in mind.
No doubt though, there is a strong streak that runs within many of the surviving descendants of Jacob for family first and foremost. That same mindset was the most prevalent not too long ago throughout most of the world. American lives are still counted while Iraqis are not for instance. This same value system runs along the lines of wealth, power, and control as well. The rich, famous, powerful, and controlling are counted as being more valuable some how, no matter how deserving or undeserving they may be individually.
James Petras is often a very informative read, but he isn't infallible. We aren't saying here that he thinks he is. We don't know him that well.
Anyway, he's right that people ought to stand up and speak out and back what they really believe rather than hide.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)