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By Maidhc Ó Cathail – My Catbird Seat – October 28, 2010

Helen Keller’s pithy observation about American democracy being little more than a choice “between Tweedledum and Tweedledee” was never more true than in the upcoming midterm elections in the ninth congressional district of Illinois.

In a district which includes the affluent northern suburbs of Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan, the central issue is not the two wars—or is it now three?—the country is fighting, nor is it the tanking economy, in great part caused by those debt-inducing wars. No, the burning issue here is… who cares more about Israel?

“A Jewish candidate has been trying to convince the mostly Jewish voters that his Jewish opponent has not done enough to protect the Jewish interest,” reports Ynetnews, the English language website of Israel’s most-read newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. Although less than 25 percent of the ninth district’s constituents are Jewish, and there is little agreement about what constitutes “the Jewish interest,” it’s not a bad summary of Republican challenger Joel Pollak’s campaign to oust the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

Pollak, an Orthodox Jew born in South Africa, charges Rep. Schakowsky with being “soft on Israel’s security.”

Let’s take a brief look at Congresswoman Schakowsky’s record on Capitol Hill to see if there’s any truth to Pollak’s allegations.

Since she was first elected to Congress in 1998, Schakowsky has consistently backed policies sought by Tel Aviv and its unregistered foreign agents in Washington, ensuring the continuation of the U.S. military, diplomatic, and financial support on which Israel crucially depends. As might be expected, her “100 percent” pro-Israel record has included a reflexive defense of Israeli aggression and demands for crippling sanctions against Iran.

In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, which killed over 300 Palestinian children, Schakowsky voted for a House resolution supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza. Later, she co-sponsored what Rep. Dennis Kucinich dubbed the “wrong is right” resolution condemning the Goldstone report, which Kucinich said his colleagues had not even read. And after Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen armed with nothing more than a small video camera, was murdered execution-style by Israeli commandos on the Gaza flotilla, she signed the Poe/Peters letter to President Obama again touting Israel’s right to self-defense.

Echoing Tel Aviv’s rhetoric about the “existential threat” posed by Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons programme, Congresswoman Schakowsky has long been lending her name to a raft of legislation targeting Tehran. In 1999, Schakowsky co-sponsored the Iran Nonproliferation Act. In 2001, she co-sponsored the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act Extension Act. She has also co-sponsored the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, and the Iran Freedom Support Act. More recently, Schakowsky co-sponsored the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, which a former CIA officer and political analyst described as “basically an act of war.”

“There’s more, much more, but you get the idea,” as Steve Sheffey, a pro-Israel political activist, put it in his Huffington Post defense of Schakowsky.

Her opponent, however, does not get the idea.

To Joel Pollak and his supporters, which include his Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Schakowsky is “too sympathetic” to Palestinians and the sanctions against Iran are “weak.”

But the GOP nominee is most concerned about Obama’s feeble efforts to coax Netanyahu to comply with international law by ceasing the building of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. In a statement, Pollak called on Schakowsky to join him in “condemning the Obama administration’s ongoing attack on Israel.”

Among pro-Israelis there are concerns, however, that “efforts to transform support for Israel from a long-standing bipartisan national consensus into a divisive partisan wedge issue” could be counterproductive. “Ironically, by using Israel as a political football for partisan gain,” writes Sheffey, “Pollak’s supporters ignore the cardinal principle of pro-Israel advocacy: Support for Israel is and must remain bi-partisan.” According to Sheffey, Pollak has broken the Republican Party’s “friendly incumbent rule,” whereby pro-Israel opponents are expected to “disregard all other issues and vote solely based on Israel.”

Deeply concerned about the increasing use of support for Israel as a partisan issue in American domestic politics, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, reminded everyone that “bipartisan support for Israel is a strategic national interest for the State of Israel.”

One rule that Pollak didn’t break, however, is the tacit agreement among both major parties to never expose how profoundly corrupt the political system really is.

In 2000, the FBI began wiretapping Congresswoman Schakowsky as part of a wider investigation into foreign espionage and the corruption of American public officials. “The epicenter of a lot of the foreign espionage activity was Chicago,” according to former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, in an interview with The American Conservative magazine. “They needed Schakowsky and her husband Robert Creamer to perform certain illegal operational facilitations for them in Illinois.”

One would think that Joel Pollak would relish exposing Schakowsky’s entrapment by a female Turkish agent, revealed in Edmonds’ testimony under oath in a court case filed in Ohio. The problem for the aspiring pro-Israel legislator, however, is that the FBI investigation “started with the Israeli Embassy.”

And what choice does that leave American voters? As one frustrated commentator put it, there’s “not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.” Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to their corrupt bipartisan support for Israel.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan. To read more of his writing, go to Maidhc Ó Cathail: Writing and Analysis.

October 28, 2010 - Posted by | Wars for Israel


  1. “To Joel Pollak and his supporters, which include his Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz”…

    Anyone endorsed by Dershowitz should be rejected by the sane. The ‘man’ is a lunatic. Pollak is obviously another looney meat puppet of the Zionist Neoconspiracy.

    So is the opponent…stuck between a turd and a used tampon…whatta choice.



    Comment by hybridrogue1 | October 28, 2010

  2. The people of the United States if given a National Referendum on giving billions of dollars to Israel in cash, loans, and weaponry; would overwhelmingly vote NO!

    How much of that money is recycled in campaign bribes, kickbacks, and used to fund challengers if they do not dance to the tune of the rabid Zionist zealots occupying Palestine?

    What has Jan Schakowsky been doing in the House Intelligence Committee? And how did she manage to get on it? What was her relationship with Rahm Emanuel? The nexus is Chicago and the Mossad, and of course; that includes curious creation of candidate turned incumbent; President Obama.

    The PRO-ISRAEL TWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE analogy is applicable to Bush Jr and Obama on these same issues, rhetoric and preposterous posturing aside.

    Elections produce political poisons that perpetuate the plutocracy, genocide, and is not self-correcting by design. Only by making Public Law and Policy by Direct Popular Vote will political and economic justice arise.


    Comment by Bill Mitchell | October 29, 2010

  3. So, if less than 25% of the voters in the district are Jewish, then over 75% of the voters are Gentile. Where oh where is their chance to vote for their interests? Why can’t the American people have representatives that represent America? Why does this one special interest get to habitually undermine our government? We know the answer, at least in part. They get the money and kick back a few bucks. They own the media they don’t control and do a monica on anyone who dares to oppose them. Oh right, and they are privileged to pursue their interests while Gentiles are not.


    Comment by G Street | October 29, 2010

  4. Like

    Comment by argonium79 | October 30, 2010

  5. There is no democracy in Israel as a state is illegitimate and illegal and not recognized
    Evidence of this if anyone wanted to write a comment in the Israeli websites
    Does not allow him or be there are many obstacles to prevent him from writing a comment The reasons for Arab-Israeli conflict is the occupation of Palestine in 1948.
    Palestine Arab Islamic state like the rest of the Arab and Islamic states surrounding
    Them. Means that there are Jews and Zionists in Palestine a big mistake, because this entity
    Zionist is not consistent with the surrounding area (such as language, customs, traditions and religion)
    The only solution to end the Arab-Israeli conflict is the expulsion of Jews from Palestine
    All of Palestine. The Jewish people will not rest and will not feel comfortable and stability
    But if it gets out of Palestine and the Middle East completely. If people continue to
    Jews in Palestine and the Middle East, the death and destruction will continue.
    Palestine Arab Islamic state and will remain


    Comment by arab muslim | October 31, 2010

  6. Arab Muslim,

    Just out of curiosity, what would you think of a real democracy?

    From my perspective a Islamic state is no better than a Zionist state. Admittedly this is a western point of view established on the principles of Human Liberty, which is antagonistic to all forms of tyranny–including theocratic despotism.

    Do people really have a choice in systems that are so steeped in iron clad dogma that nothing else is known or imagined?



    Comment by hybridrogue1 | October 31, 2010

    • HR,

      Don’t be so sure that theocracies are less democratic or more despotic. All systems survive by the consent of the governed. Illegitimate power is always tenuous.

      Totalitarianism and authoritarianism are now found most entrenched in the Western “democracies”. The guy in Afghanistan with an AK47 and an independent economic life has more personal freedom to protect and cherish than one might imagine.


      Comment by aletho | October 31, 2010

  7. “The guy in Afghanistan with an AK47 and an independent economic life has more personal freedom to protect and cherish than one might imagine.”~aletho

    Yea, so does Mad Max.

    But I won’t argue about ‘Western Civilization’ being in anyway what I refer to as “Real Democracy”…which is a simple euphemism for our Muslim friend I was addressing.

    What we have in the U.S. IS democracy in action–despotism, just like the Founding Fathers warned against.

    But if you think that the choas of war–life for Afghans today, is worthy of the term,”freedom”…well then, you and I have different principles obviously.



    Comment by hybridrogue1 | October 31, 2010

  8. There is no state called Israel
    This is a terrorist state called Israel.
    State of thieves called Israel a
    basis of the displacement
    and killing of Innocent nation .
    state of thieves basis
    bloodshed and war
    And the arrest of people
    for tens of years to
    prevent him from claiming
    The right to life .
    basis steal the land of the
    Palestinian people
    And then steal
    the land of the Arab-Muslim
    the entire .State of the
    thieves do not know the law …..
    Does not recognize the
    law of the United Nations,
    a state that considers itself above the
    law . the law is the siege of Gaza
    And the bloodshed and
    destruction of houses and
    killing innocent people
    and occupying the country
    This is a country named Israel thieves
    This is a terrorist state called Israel


    Comment by arabmuslim | November 14, 2010

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