While I have been criticizing the liberal Jews who supported Hillary Clinton, I just realized that there were a number of conservative, neo-con Jews who encouraged George W. Bush to invade Iraq. They are significantly responsible for the turmoil in the Middle East today. The invasion of Iraq may have been a disaster for US foreign and military policy, but it may have been a boon for Israel. The Arabs and Muslims are now so engaged in fighting each other -- Sunni versus Shiite, Saudi versus Iranian, chaos in Syria and Libya, destabilization of Egypt, etc. -- that they don’t have time to worry about Israel and the Palestinians. Israel is probably more secure from external threats than it has been for years, maybe since its creation. The invasion of Iraq has been great for Israel, not so great for the United States. This is what worries me about whether American Jews put America’s interests first, or Israel’s interests first. The issue was highlighted by Netanyahu’s visit to the US to oppose the Iran deal; he was greeted much more warmly by Senators and Congressmen that President Obama. Of course, many of those who cheered Netanyahu were not Jewish.
In any case, some of those Jewish neo-con leaders who worked for the US invasion of Iraq were Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, Under Secretary of Defense Doug Feith, NSC staffer Elliot Abrams, VP Cheney’s national security advisor Scooter Libby, and Under Secretary of Defense Dov Zakheim, among many others. These neo-cons are still unrepentant about the Iraq invasion, although they do not defend it on the grounds that it benefitted Israel rather than the United States.
In any case, their efforts illustrated the influential role of Jews in the American government. It also illustrates what is often the case: the Jews are not at the top of the pyramid, but serve in important advisory positions right under the man at the top, who is usually not Jewish. In the case of Iraq, President Bush II no doubt wanted to invade Iraq, and his Jewish policy advisors helped him to justify it. Non-Jewish advisors might have discouraged his initial impulse to invade after 9/11, but of course, the main proponent of the war was Dick Cheney, who is not Jewish.