Thursday, November 6, 2008
Jewish Power Grows in US Congress
While Barack Obama's choice of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago-born son of Israeli Jews, as the White House Chief of Staff has made news in the United States, the bigger news of the growing Jewish strength in US Congress has not received much attention.
Jews make up only about 2% of the US population. However their representation in the US executive, legislatures, the Supreme Court is at least five times at about 10 percent plus. The exclusive club of Nobel laureates is dominated by its Jewish members, a testament to Jewish culture of hard work, commitment and achievement. Their numbers and power in the world of business, finance, media and entertainment, Washington think tanks, academia and top professions of accounting, law and medicine are even greater.
Jerusalem Post reports that the next session of Congress will include 45 Jewish lawmakers, a new record, after Democrats Alan Grayson of Florida and John Adler of New Jersey took two House seats from the Republican column.
Jared Polis, also a Democrat, was widely expected to win his Colorado House seat to match the previous record, set in the 2006 elections.
The House will have 32 Jewish members. Only the class of 1990 had more Jewish members - 34 - but there were fewer Jewish senators at the time.
The next Senate will have 13 Jewish members, the same as the previous session, despite a toss-up race in Minnesota, where both Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and his Democratic challenger, comedian Al Franken, are Jewish.
I admire the Jewish people for their culture of hard work and achievement. We should all emulate that. I also make a distinction between Israel lobby that pushed for Iraq war and the Jewish citizens in America, most of whom opposed the Iraq war. Vast majority of Jewish Congressmen and Senators are elected with AIPAC money and support, making them beholden to the Israel lobby.
I see this excessive power of Israel lobby or any other pressure group whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, NRA or corporations as a threat to US democracy. The corrosive effect of money and influence peddling in politics is adversely affecting our executive, legislature, even judiciary. The powerful have gotten away with a lot lately, on both Wall Street and Main street. Iraq war was ignited by the neo-conservatives, most of whom were supported by the Likud-leaning Israel lobby, people such as Wolfowitz and other PNAC (Project for the New American Century) proponents. The Iraq war, described as the three-trillion dollar war by Nobel laureate economist Joe Stiglitz, has now radicalized the Muslim world, reduced US influence in the world, sunk the Republican party and almost bankrupted the US.
Obama's mandate to negotiate with Iran in the face of the Israeli opposition is likely to be the tested soon. Given the past experience of other US presidents' inability to stand up to the growing power of the Israeli supporters in the US, I am not too sanguine that Obama will succeed.
The recent election results, including Obama's historic win, will probably not change much as far the US Middle East policy is concerned. If anything, these results will likely make it extremely difficult for the US to act independently and play the role of an honest broker in any international issues involving Israeli interests. As the Iraq war has shown, the outcome of potentially aggressive and unilateral US foreign policy dictated by the Israel lobby will not be in the best interest of Israel, Arabs and the rest of the world. Those of us who care for Israel must understand this fact, if they share the goal of moving toward a more peaceful and prosperous world.
Here is a video clip of Obama addressing AIPAC, the powerful Israel lobby in US:
The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy
The Rise of Jewish Power-Nothing Short of Astounding
Jewish Tribal review
Jewish Domination of Mass Media