Sunday, January 13, 2019
The Real Reason Why The 'Weekly Standard' Didn't Last: Neocons Always Put 'Israel First'
By William Kristol, From TheWeekly Standard, Thanksgiving 2012:
…George W. Bush was ridiculed by the left, and criticized by some on the right, for speaking of the Global War on Terror. The left hated the notion of a global war of any sort, and the right disliked the imprecision of “terror.” But the term “war on terror” has always struck me as good enough for government work. For what the West stands against is terror—whether the terror of modern secular totalitarianism or the terror of an older, and now revitalized, religious fanaticism. From the Great Terrors of Stalin and Hitler to the attacks on New York and Tel Aviv, and on Madrid, Bali, and Mumbai, terrorists of all stripes know who their enemies are. They attack across the world and kill Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike—but they grasp that the centers of resistance, the nations that stand most squarely in their path, are the United States and Israel.
And so these two very different nations—Christian and Jewish, large and small, new world and old (though the new world nation is older than its newly reborn old world counterpart)—find themselves allied. More than allied: They find themselves joined at the hip in a brotherhood that is more than a diplomatic or political or military alliance. Everyone senses that the ties are deeper than those of mere allies. Israelis know that if the United States fails, so shall Israel. Americans sense, in the words of Eric Hoffer, “as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us.”
I write this on the eve of Thanksgiving, the most Old Testament, the most Hebraic, of our national holidays. On Thanksgiving we don’t celebrate our rights or our achievements, or honor our soldiers or great men. Rather, we thank the Almighty for our blessings here in America. We might also thank Him for restoring the homeland of the Jewish people, as Israelis might thank Him for the existence, side by side with Israel, of a loyal and steadfast America.
From "For GOP, Support For Israel Becomes New Litmus Test,"New York Times, March 27, 2015:
“It is remarkable,” said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine and one of the leading voices promoting Israel’s cause in the United States. Mr. Netanyahu, who goes by the nickname Bibi, has become a rallying point for Republicans, he said. “Bibi would probably win the Republican nomination if it were legal,” he said.
Mr. Kristol, emailing from Israel where he was meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, described the shift as a result of broader underlying trends in American politics as the political left grows more “European” and the political right grows more “Reaganite.” He added that “the conservative belief in American exceptionalism is akin to Zionism.”And he said the contrast between Mr. Obama’s friction with Mr. Netanyahu and former President George W. Bush’s strong support for Israel “is pretty dramatic.”
President Clinton cruising through the Democratic primaries unchallenged, it is all the more striking to hear Buchanan speaking happily of a mob with pitchforks descending on GOP-run Capitol Hill. In the plum days of Ronald Reagan, Republicans loved to talk of an 11th Commandment prohibiting intra-party nastiness. Laments former Tennessee senator Howard Baker, an Establishment archduke: "My friend Bob Strauss says, We taught you how to act like Democrats.' "
(William) Kristol stoutly calls for a little more nobility: "The way in which conservatism has succeeded in a democracy is by learning how to incorporate populism, popular instincts and even prejudices into the message. If you're interested in politics, you don't blame other conservatives for adopting certain populist ways of speaking.
"Someone needs to stand up and defend the Establishment," says Kristol, a sometime strategist, party ideologist and the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine. "In the last couple of weeks, there's been too much pseudo-populism, almost too much concern and attention for, quote, the people -- that is, the people's will, their prejudices and their foolish opinions. And in a certain sense, we're all paying the price for that now. . . . After all, we conservatives are on the side of the lords and barons."
"But there will always be an Establishment in a system like ours. The task is to make it a decent Establishment, and not just pretend that the voice of the people is always right. . . . We at the Weekly Standard are pulling up the drawbridge against the peasants. I may need to get myself pitchfork insurance."