A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Fifth of Congress Headed for Israel

Since it's August and nothing is going on at home (except the meltdown of the global economy), the US Congress is taking its summer recess. And a total of 81 House members, or nearly 19% of the whole, will be visiting Israel in the next three weeks. There will be 26 Democrats and 55 Republicans.  Of the 81, 47 are freshmen (first term Congressmen) elected in 2010, and they represent half of all freshmen.

It must be the beaches. After all, suggesting Israel's influence on the Hill is unusually strong for a country its size is an anti-Semitic slur, spread by irresponsible people like — well, in this case, The Jerusalem Post.


Anonymous said...

Mr Dunn,

Support for Israel in the United States is a home grown phenomenon based on deep seated beliefs shared by a broad group of constituencies. If the Middle East Institute cannot tell the difference between this fact (expressed by the Jerusalem Post article) and the centuries old anti-Semitic libels rife in the Muslim world and certain Western intellectual circles then that speaks more to their epistemic blinders than anything else.


D. Straus

Michael Collins Dunn said...

I think you misread me, but no one is speaking for the Middle East Institute, as the blog has made clear from the beginning. I know Israel well but like every country in the region I reserve the right to criticize it on occasion, or to make tongue in cheek comments. I am speaking only for myself, however.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for misreading your post.

I thought you were mocking people that speak out against contemporary anti-Semitic discourses within the Middle East and some academic/policy circles.

I read the Jpost article and it contained no analysis on whether or not Israel had more support in the United States than it should have a right to. I also think it is very strange that you would casually connect American congressional support for Israel with the current economic turmoil.

I guess I am not at all sure what you are trying to say.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

No profunditu was intended; it was a tongue in cheek comment in one blog post; the aside on the economy was intended to skewer Congress.