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The demographics of American Israeli relations

DCblogger's picture

I think there is a big difference of the view of Israel for those of us born before 1967 and those born after. If you grew up in the 50's and 60's, you saw Israel as this brave little country established in the aftermath of the Holocaust, surrounded by hostile countries. Israel was governed by Labor governments who understood how to present themselves to an American audience compared to Arab leaders who went in for bluster (with the exception of King Hussein of Jordan).

If you were born after 1967 you saw Israel as Sparta, an occupying power governed by cranky Likud politicians. The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza inevitably changed Israel and has steadily eaten into its moral fiber.

And there is another force at work. If you were born after 1967, you are less likely to be of European ancestry. Sometime around 1967 the immigration laws were changed to be racially neutral. Before that there was a quota system that guaranteed that the US would remain white. Ted Kennedy authored and LBJ signed legislation that ended the racial quota system. As a result more and more immigrants came from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. These immigrants do not carry the same cultural baggage as those of European descent. Latin America sat out WWII. Africa and much of Asia suffered as a chessboard for imperial rivalries. They may view the Holocaust as something of great importance, but not part of their history.

And of course Arab Americans see this in an entirely different light. The more oppressive conditions become in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, the more Palestinians pour into the US, and they just are not impressed with Israel's PR operation.

Now Arab Spring has changed everything. Just as Prague Spring ended caught the imagination of my generation and ended whatever legitmacy communism may have ever had, so Arab Spring has completely changed this generation's view of Arabs.

AIPAC's power over the elite of our country, not just its political elite, but our military, foreign policy, journalist, and academic elites,is formidable. But among the 99% they are losing their grip, only our elite fail to precieve the shift in the wind.

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gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

EXODUS always seemed to appear on network TV when Israel was attacking one of the neigbhors. That was back when there were only three networks. I hadn't remembered Sal Mineo in ages. Maybe the PR machine is not as effective as it used to be.

I used to make up my own words for "This Land Belongs to Me".