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May 20, 2009

69% Of Israelis Are Clinically Insane

By: John Caruso

At least according to this article:

Only 31 percent of Israelis consider the views of American president Barack Obama's administration pro-Israel, according to a Smith Research poll released Sunday, on the eve of the meeting between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House.

Yes...yes, I suppose Barack Obama's pro-Israel credentials could reasonably be questioned.  Much like, say, Santa Claus's pro-Christmas credentials.  Why does he only wear red and no green?  I'm telling you, something's fishy about that bearded freak.

PREVIOUSLY: 77% of Americans are total goobs.   And golly, it sure is tough being an Israel-first voter!

— John Caruso

Posted at May 20, 2009 08:35 PM

Well, c'mon, he hasn't nuked Iran yet.

And, on an unrelated note, in case anyone missed this:

Posted by: Oarwell at May 20, 2009 09:58 PM

at least you don't deny that Obama is a socialist.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at May 21, 2009 02:17 AM

whats crazy is that many of the original zionists WERE socialists.
yet this didnt stop them from collaborating with the nazis.

its a fucked up world...

Posted by: raincoat at May 21, 2009 06:05 AM

I don't think it is fair to say "77% of Americans are total goobs"

the thing is many Americans simply don't realize the degree of deception in the media, and I am not even talking only about TV. see this video: How MSM Misleads the Public about Israel with Euphemisms like "Facts on the Ground"

Posted by: Tom at May 21, 2009 11:05 AM

Actually that was referring to something completely different (a poll about the worst vice president in U.S. history), where the deception doesn't play as large a role. Still, I was as serious about that as I was when I said that 69% of Israelis are clinically insane.

Posted by: John Caruso at May 21, 2009 11:42 AM

Just how does that make them diferent from everybody else?

Posted by: Not Exactly at May 21, 2009 12:39 PM

Large quantities of nuclear weapons, an economy big enough to wreck everyone else's when it goes down, limitless thirst for irreplaceable natural resources, energy, and food, and a total lack of any sense of responsibility for same. How's that?

Posted by: NomadUK at May 21, 2009 12:59 PM

It sure sounds familiar.

Posted by: Not Exactly at May 21, 2009 01:04 PM

This is, apparently, a poll commissioned by JPost, and I'm wondering what exactly "31 percent of Israelis" means. Several times already I heard JPost journos talking about 'Israelis' while in fact referring only to the Israeli Jews. Because, you see, by their definition only a Jew can be an Israeli. So, if that's what it is, then only about half of them (the Israelis) are insane.

Posted by: abb1 at May 21, 2009 02:52 PM

They do say "representing a statistical model of the Israeli population", for what it's worth.

If you want to see the real insanity, take a look at some of the comments on the article. Here's a sample:

Have the 31% NOT listened to the real news. Are they crazy or just stupid. It's enough to make blood shoot out of my eyes~

Not only do I not know of any historical analog for this, I can't even imagine one.

Posted by: John Caruso at May 21, 2009 03:18 PM

I dunno, I'm not convinced. "Israeli population", why not "Israel's population"? And who knows what they might mean by "statistical model", with all those subcategories of Jews there. For example, the recent disintegration of Labor is apparently due, to a significant extent, to the brief elevation of Amir Peretz, who has an audacity of being a Moroccan Jew.

But if this is indeed 31% of Israel's population, then it is much worse than I imagined.

Posted by: abb1 at May 21, 2009 03:41 PM

John, I see what you are saying if the question was if he was the worst or not. I think the problem is that it was a poorly worded poll. As far as I can tell, they also gave them the choice within that question to answer if they thought he was a "poor vice president."

The article says "An additional 41 percent feel that Cheney is a poor vice president." I can't find a link to the poll with the complete questions. why can't CNN just give a link to the poll?

Posted by: Tom at May 21, 2009 06:03 PM

Yeah, and the Jerusalem Post as well. Let us make up our own minds.

You're right about the 41%, and someone made that point in the original thread on my site. And this is all tongue-in-cheek anyway. But it's still hard for me to fathom how any thinking human being could consider Dick Cheney anything but Satan's dogcatcher. He's every worst thing about human beings in distilled form.

Posted by: John Caruso at May 21, 2009 08:02 PM

Cheney blends right in in Texas, though.

Posted by: deang at May 21, 2009 08:09 PM

JOhn: "Not only do I not know of any historical analog for this, I can't even imagine one.'

Delusions are common everywhere, but that strikes me as obvious, so i suspect i'm missing something. Is there something specific about this delusion that Obama isn't pro israel that makes it without historical analog?

Posted by: Not Exactly at May 21, 2009 08:12 PM

"Satan's dogcatcher":

Cheney is way more evil than Satan's dogcatcher. I think Satan actually might have sold his soul to Cheney.

Posted by: Not Exactly at May 21, 2009 08:27 PM

Delusions are common everywhere, but that strikes me as obvious, so i suspect i'm missing something.

I expected that might be misunderstood. I'm not just talking about delusion in general, but the particular pathology of this situation. Here's the generalized version:

Imagine two countries, A (a world superpower) and B (a tiny outlaw state). For years, country A has lavished billions of dollars on country B, protected it diplomatically, and insulated it from what would otherwise be worldwide condemnation for country B's atrocities. Furthermore, every leader of country A pays continual homage to country B—and once a year goes entirely prostrate at a meeting of country B's supporters, declaring undying loyalty and indeed near-total identification.

And the latest leader of country A is no different—in fact, in his last appearance before country B's supporters he actually went farther in his genuflection than is the norm. He's also cheered country B's vicious warmaking in the past, and after being elected but before assuming office he gave his tacit consent as country B raped its former colony. And since taking office he's actually increased the flow of money to country B, while continuing the torrent of slavish declarations of fealty.

But despite all of this, a poll of citizens of country B shows that only 31% of them of them believe that country A's leader supports their country. And this is by no means unique; the citizens of country B regularly claim that various politicians in country A aren't sufficiently supportive, no matter how much those politicians bow and scrape and throw money at them and cover for their crimes.

I know of no other values for A and B than "the United States" and "Israel" throughout recorded history (imagine the Roman Empire acting this way toward some tiny country on the horn of Africa, and having the citizens of that country scream "Caesar is secretly against us!"), and I can't imagine this situation ever arising again. It's absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable. And I'd laugh it off as an absurd fiction but for the fact that it's happening right here and now, before our eyes.

Posted by: John Caruso at May 21, 2009 10:57 PM


Here’s my take on what you wrote and the polling data, since I have to stay up late waiting for someone.:

The fact that the poll data seems literally crazy doesn't mean it's crazy based on how people are interpreting the questions. for example, someone i know once told me they thought George Bush is honest. Now, George Bush lies all the time, which that person well knew, and i pointed out that he lies an awful lot for an honest person. My acquaintance conceded that point to me but said that she thought he meant well. She just assumed all politicians lie, so she didn't even factor that into the meaning of "honest" about a politician. Weird, i know, but i doubt a unique way of interpreting a question.

I think that's sort of what may be going on with the israeli voters. Sure they know obama is on their side in the sense that all u.s. politicans are on their side, and have no choice but to be, but that doesn't mean that when push comes to shove all u.s. presidents are all equally dependable. The Israeli public may be right that obama is not as committed to them on principle, that his commitment is based on political expediency and necessity, and that no matter how many promises he makes, he is a risk under the wrong circumstances to break those promises.

as for world history, that's pretty expansive. I probably know well under less than 1 percent of world history in enough detail to say whether the situation you describe is unique. But if i were you, i would stay away from using the Roman Empire as an example. There actually have been two holocausts in jewish history--the second by the Nazis, the first by the Romans.

Judea was once part of the Roman empire, Now, i don't know whether any promises were made by the Romans anywhere along the way when Judea was still their client state. But it's not inconceivable to me that perhaps promises were made and not kept, and it certainly is the case that Judea had reason to worry very much about being dependent on a superpower that might have a broader agenda than Judea's security.

Some of that paranoid craziness the Israeli poll data might reflect really does have some grounding in history. It doesn't strike me as accurate to think of the Israelis as equivalent to a bunch of Texans worried about being invaded by Nicaragua. Granted, their many nukes give them some protection from annihilation, but they are still surrounded by a billion muslims, and they’re still a small country. And they definitely may have real trouble if they ever lose the backing of the U.S.

So i agree with you, and also i don't. i think it's crazy for israelis to think obama isn't on their side, objectively, and yet i think i can see what they might be worrying about subjectively.

in closing, i have no doubt that it's maddening to read constantly that obama is anti-israel and pro-palestinian.

Posted by: Not Exactly at May 22, 2009 03:04 AM

Don't fool yourself, they are indeed delusional, mad as a hatter; all that 69% from the poll. They are also extremely racist, so the fact that the guy's father was an African might very well have something to do with it as well.

Posted by: abb1 at May 22, 2009 08:51 AM


i actually had noted that same fact in a draft but cut it out. i'm sure many of the 69% are indeed racist, many of them can't stand the 'hussein' middle name, many of them religious wackos, many of them are militaristic jingoes--all that. i suppose maybe you're right that all 69% of them hold those views--beats me.

i just don't think israelis have to be "crazy" to think obama isn't in the bag for them the way bush was. i think he probably isn't--which certainly doesn't mean he is pro-palestinian or anti-israel. If obama can find the political "room" to support a peace that many of that 69% of israelis don't like, i think he might do it. of course, he might not. we'll see. but he might try if things develop to permit it, which certainly is what the neocons fear.

on the other hand, the neocons and their figurehead W would NEVER antagonize the israeli right. those guys would rather just obliterate iran. if they had had their way a few years back, they certainly would have done that then, and probably syria right along with it. i think that was the original plan, at least if what wes clark reported in his book some years ago and sy hersh later reported was true. you know, back when freedom was on the march.

so yeah, the 69% may all be crazy--i think many of them CERTAINLY are crazy since Netanyahu is in charge again--but i think the poll data isn't enough to draw that conclusion.

Posted by: Not Exactly at May 22, 2009 10:29 AM

There is no Left in Israel anymore, it's all Right. Also, there are, in fact, very few religious wackos; it's one of the least religious countries in the world. No left, no right, no religion: it's all about ethnic exceptionalism and hardly anything else.

Posted by: abb1 at May 22, 2009 10:53 AM

I'm not surprised there isn't much left in Israel any more, but there really aren't many religious wackos in Israel?? I've never been there, and like i say, i'm no expert, but Gush Emunim and people who want Israel to have its historic Biblical boundaries are what i would call religious wackos. i've not closely read edhud sprinzak's book The Ascendance of Israel's Radical Right, and i suppose its maybe out of date now, but that's mostly where my understanding comes from. still, if i messed it up, it's not Sprinzak's fault; it really isn't something i've studied. I just wondered about it after Rabin was killed by a guy who i remember as a religous wacko, at least by my lights. Maybe i just have been seeing what i want, by my view has been reinforced by things on the web, mostly about the settlers, and on i think a frontline special about the settlers once too. Am i wrong, or aren't the Jewish settlers on the west bank mostly religious wackos? (maybe i'm confused because nationalism and ethnicity and religion blend together for israeli jews).

so maybe i just don't understand israeli culture enough. the way i use the word, a person doesn't have to be devout or even meaningfully religious to be a religious wacko. in fact, they probably typically aren't. your average bible-thumping, gun-toting evangelical in the U.s, especially at the air force academy, isn't what i'd call profoundly spiritual. the nutcase general who slapped all those wrathful old testament quotes on the intel briefings rumsfeld was getting back in 2004, as came out this week, probably hadn't been deeply moved by spiritual sentiment in a while. but he'd definitely be a religious wacko by my reckoning

Likewise, Israelis who want to recreate judea on its old Biblical borders in keeping with some really old Jewish religious ideas may be pretty modern and nonreligious in some ways, but they get lumped in my religious wacko group.

Posted by: Not Exactly at May 22, 2009 11:52 AM

AS a Zionist Jew I can verify them Jews gots some wacko beliefs. They don't even believe in Santy Claws. Hell, as one of the I don't believe in Santy Claws either. And as a CITIZEN &TAXPAYER of the Great (though SOMETIMES prone to fits of secessionism) State of Wyoming, STILL a member of These United States of America, I DON'T WANT TO BE SANTY CLAWS to either the Israelis or the Palestinians. SADLY, it seems U&I have been standing around in red suits and beards, hollering "HO, HO HO," for a looooong time. FACE FACTS its 2009 and BoA, AIG, and Citigroup NEED that money one hell of a lot more than 2 "foreigners" no matter how much President Obama wwant to bow and scrape for them.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 22, 2009 02:54 PM

I get impression, and I think I also read it in some Zizek's piece recently, that Israel is one of the least religious society in the world. Zionism is a secular ethnic nationalist movement.

Religious parties have something like 12% of the seats in the Knesset. All of the four major parties are secular; and the second one, led by that Lieberman character, is almost militantly anti-religious. The Russians and other Eastern Europeans certainly have no religion, they hate the limitations imposed by religious nuts and hate their smug free-riding, huge families living on government handouts. And I think it's a pretty common attitude all over.

Posted by: abb1 at May 22, 2009 05:09 PM


Posted by: Not Exactly at May 22, 2009 05:33 PM