The Pro-Greater-Israel Lobby

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 19 2011 @ 11:50am

A few years ago, it was not permitted to use the term "the Israel lobby" in establishment media. It was, as Jeffrey Goldberg once thundered, inherently anti-Semitic. This is piffle, of course – even though such piffle was reinforced by relentless smears and diatribes and accusations of anti-Semitism against anyone prepared to report the truth. In that context, you don't get more Washington Establishment than Tom Friedman. A sentence from his excellent column today:

This has also left the U.S. government fed up with Israel’s leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude, because the powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the U.N., even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America’s.

If you live long enough … My only suggestion is that the terms Israel Lobby or pro-Israel Lobby be retired, because they are somewhat dated. The question now is not whether you are pro-Israel or not. It is whether you are pro-Greater Israel or not. Of course, AIPAC will deny any such thing, as will swathes of TNR-style Israel supporters. But since these groups expend every ounce of energy ensuring that settlements continue to be built on the West Bank, while claiming they oppose them, I think it's more accurate. Any Israel supporter who opposes any serious pressure on Netanyahu to stop the settlements is objectively pro-Greater Israel.