Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Questioning the Wisdom of Not Questioning AIPAC

The New York Observer's MondoWeiss: Chris Matthews Should Talk About the Israel Lobby Because It's All He Thinks About

This is finally getting some air. Note: unsubstantsiated accusation of anti-semitism will be the standard response.
"I have a fantasy about Chris Matthews. It's the 1980s and the height of the violent 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland, and Hardball is on. Matthews goes to political turf he knows well, Irish Boston, and gathers a group of American Catholic activists on air. Then he screws these guys to the wall. He asks them what being Irish-Catholic means to them, he grills them about whether they are sending money to the Sinn Fein or the Provisional IRA. He shows us from the inside out why an American interest group feels as passionately as it does, and how it is heating up a hot zone overseas.

But here's the rest of my fantasy: Matthews does the same thing now, for Jews and Israel. Only this time he isn't gathering Catholic corner boys like himself, he is gathering neocons at think tanks and publications and White House offices.

Chris Matthews should do this because as he now demonstrates nearly every night, he believes (as I do) that devotion to Israel on the part of socially- and politically-empowered hawkish Jews helped to distort our leaders' definitions of American interests. He should stop hinting, and put his money down on the counter. Matthews is probably the smartest guy about politics-if not ideas-on air, and if he is holding himself back, it just demonstrates the influence of the Israel lobby. People are afraid to take it on. "

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