The Independent and the "US Jewish lobby"

5 Jun 2009 by CST

An article in today’s Independent by the paper’s Washington correspondent, David Usborne, contains a stunning example of the conflation of Jews with Israel.

 A double page spread on President Obama’s Cairo speech is headlined, “President stings Israel with swipe at settlements”. The sub-title tells us how brave this is, “White House shows willingness to ignore US Jewish lobby by risking confrontation with Netanyahu over Palestinian statehood”.

The opening paragraph tells us breathlessly:

THE CORDS [sic] that connect Israel to the United States were under unprecedented strain last night after Barack Obama risked the wrath of the Jewish lobby in the US by publicly chiding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…

Two paragraphs later, we hear that “Mr Obama showed he is willing, perhaps more than any US president before him, to ignore the Jewish lobby domestically by getting firm with Israel. Thus he made public a festering and personal argument with Mr Netanyahu, who is refusing to heed his demands for a halt to all new settlements in the occupied West Bank”.

So, according to the Independent’s US correspondent and headline writers:

  • The “US Jewish lobby” backs Netanyahu and West Bank settlers. Indeed, it is basically synonymous with such right-wing ideology; and a mere “chiding” of Netanyahu risks incurring its “wrath”. (Err…but what about the polling results on all these issues, and the 78% Jewish vote for Obama in the election?)
  • Obama’s Cairo speech is most notable for his willingness to confront the US Jewish lobby. (The US Jewish lobby is the most important thing in all of this? It has more “wrath” than any other player?)
  • Obama’s Cairo speech shows he is “willing, perhaps more than any US president before him, to ignore the Jewish lobby domestically”. (Suez anyone?)

And the relationship between “THE CORDS that connect Israel to the United States” and the wrathful Jewish lobby with some kind of hold over all Obama’s predecessors is what exactly?

The Independent ought to explain itself, and quickly.

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