American Jews, Blacks, Fiercest Opponents of Iraq War
77% of American Jews oppose the Iraq war, according to a new Gallup poll. Only Black Protestants are more opposed, at 78%.
(Given that the Pope and the bishops oppose the Iraq War, you’d think Catholics would be against it in large numbers, too. But only 28% know what position their religious leaders have taken on it, so the Church has not been good at getting out the word. And, the hierarchy has seen its moral authority on such things deeply eroded by its silly stance on birth control and more recently by the pedophilia scandals.)
Both Jews and Blacks have a long history of preferring government spending on social justice to giving billions away to the (largely white Protestant) Military-Industrial Complex. And, of course, both overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Party. American Jews were far less enthusiastic about going to war in 2003 than were other Americans (Only 50-some percent supported the war as opposed to 75% of the general public).
My suspicion is that the Israel factor does not play a significant role in this attitude, and that it has an almost wholly American context. Some 37 percent of American Jews say they are disturbed by Israeli policies, and less than half say that caring about Israel matters “a lot” to their sense of Jewishness.
Besides, if one did care about Israel, one couldn’t take a lot of heart from the transformation of Iraq into a failed state full of determined bombers and guerrillas in training. Falluja just isn’t that far from Tel Aviv. Even Yuval Diskin, head of Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence agency, admitted last year that Israel may end up missing Saddam Hussein: “When you dismantle a system in which there is a despot who controls his people by force, you have chaos,” he said. “I’m not sure we won’t miss Saddam.” (Israeli television was recording him, unbeknownst to him).
Neoconservative Jews in the US like Richard Perle, Frederick Kagan and Michael Rubin at the American Enterprise Institute who vocally support the Iraq War (and have gotten rich off it) are a minority of a minority, and even are at odds with the Israeli security establishment! Moreover, the American Enterprise Institute, which crafted the Iraq War, gets funding from Exxon Mobil, and last I checked it was run by white Protestants. The vice chair of AEI is Lee Raymond, former CEO of Exxon Mobil and surely Dick Cheney’s old golf partner in the Dallas years. That is, the Kagans and the Rubins, who identify with the Revisionist Zionist movement on the Israeli Right, are useful idiots for Big Oil, not movers and shakers in their own right.