Posted 3 years ago on Sept. 18, 2014, 5:44 p.m. EST by LeoYo
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JAY: Sure. Is there not also something a little deeper in why you have such almost unanimous support for Israel, especially recently, over Gaza in Congress? I mean, the attacks are brutal. They were all over the television and newspapers. In this case, in fact, I was actually a little surprised how often The New York Times had as a big front-page photograph some destruction that had taken place in Gaza without always a counterbalancing photo about some rocket that kind of may have missed something in Israel. I don't want to unpack what that's about, but what I'm getting at is even someone like Elizabeth Warren, for example, or some of the people in the Black Congressional Caucus, you know, who normally take, you know, for Congress, progressive positions to some extent on certain things, were militantly supporting Israel and these brutal attacks on Gaza. And is it not deeper than just there's some money out there to be had in campaigning? 'Cause not even all these candidates get that kind of money. Is there also not something that there is this deep thing in the Republican Party, but in some ways even more in the Democratic Party, that this is an outpost of Western civilization and it's surrounded by, you know, crazy Islamists who don't understand our democracy and our democratic traditions, you know, from Kennedy, and they include Truman and this and that? Like, there's this vision of the world that Israel is this beacon or outpost of our rationality, and we have to defend it. It's not just about money.
LEVINE: Yeah, well, it's--I mean, we are--the United States is, Canada is, Australia and New Zealand are, they're basically settler states. And Israel is a settler state. The others had the good fortune, I suppose, to come along at a time when you could get away with that, and also when you could effectively decimate the native populations, not necessarily militarily, although that helped, but also just with disease.
JAY: And do it quite openly, unapologetically.
LEVINE: Right. So perhaps there's some feeling of affinity with another society that does that. But I don't know that it's an issue so much about--well, Islamophobia has become central to our political discourse only since 9/11. I think that it probably existed under the surface before that, but it wasn't stirred up. Even right after 9/11, there were certain things that Bush wouldn't say, for instance, and that he cautioned other people to say. But now it's come to full fruition.