Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Larry Beinhart: New York Times: Gore Lost, Gore Won in 2000

Larry Beinhart
Corrections: In Which the New York Times Perpetuates the Myth It Created -- That Bush Won Florida in 2000
Posted May 27, 2008 | 11:23 AM (EST)
"In 2001 painstaking postmortems of the Florida count, one by The New York Times and another by a consortium of newspapers, concluded that Mr. Bush would have come out slightly ahead, even if all the votes counted throughout the state had been retallied." Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, May 23, 2008 in a review of the HBO television movie, Recount
That's not true. The New York Times did not do its own recount. It did participate in a consortium. Here's what they actually said: "If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin." Ford Fessenden And John M. Broder New York Times, November 12, 2001
Why did Ms. Stanley make such an important and fundamental error?
It is not a trivial matter. It is a common piece of misinformation. Many, many people believe it. Now a few more do, as a result of Ms. Stanley's review. It is not a trivial matter. Because that misinformation was created by one of the most bizarre, and still completely unexplained, journalistic events in modern times. Here's what happened. George Bush appeared to have won Florida, and therefore the presidency. The law in Florida was actually quite simple and direct:
Ÿ(4) If the returns for any office reflect that a candidate was defeated or eliminated by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast for such office, ... the board responsible for certifying the results of the vote on such race or measure shall order a recount of the votes cast with respect to such office or measure.
That is one of the simplest and most clearly written bits of legislation I've ever seen anywhere. The Florida court thought so too and ordered a recount. Then the United States Supreme Court stepped in and shut the recounts down. Bush was left as the victor and became the president. But, presumably, the whole world wanted to know who actually did get the most votes. It would make a great and important story. But getting the truth was too time consuming and expensive for any single news organization, so a consortium was formed. It consisted of The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Tribune Company, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The St. Petersburg Times, The Palm Beach Post and CNN. It took almost a year and cost over a million dollars. All the news organizations had the same information: Al Gore got more legal, countable votes than George Bush. Here are the headlines:
The St. Petersburg Times: "RECOUNT: BUSH."
If you were still interested, after the headlines, and bothered to read the stories, it didn't get much better. I read it in the New York Times. Frankly, I missed the key paragraph, until I saw it pointed out in an article by Gore Vidal. I subsequently went back and read all the stories. The Times was the worst in terms of active misdirection. They spent the first three paragraphs supporting the headline and they explicitly stated that Bush would have won even with a statewide recount. Finally, in the fourth paragraph -- if you got that far -- was the statement quoted above:

"If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin."
There it was. A very simple statement. Al Gore got more votes in Florida than George Bush. It is also very well buried. It had arcania about chads on both sides of it. Even so, as if in a panic to make sure that nobody might think that it mattered that Al Gore got more votes than George Bush, the Times dismissed what the Consortium had spent a million dollars to find out: "While these are fascinating findings, they do not represent a real-world situation. There was no set of circumstances in the fevered days after the election that would have produced a hand recount of all 175,000 overvotes and undervotes." Even though that would seem to be a fairly obvious interpretation of the law and it is what was found when someone actually did sit down and count the votes.
The rest of the story, another four paragraphs, detailed a variety of other possible recounts, all partial recounts -- these counties, but not those counties - that the Gore lawyers or the Bush lawyers asked for at various times. Bush would have won all of those variations, he just didn't get the most votes in Florida. Not that the all variations mattered much. The Florida court had ordered a state wide hand recount.
The news story spinners hung their hat on a technicality.
Florida law, as affirmed by the courts, says a vote most be counted if there is "a clear indication of the intent of the voter."When the questions and lawsuits started, they were about undervotes. An undervote is when a voter has tried to vote but for some reason the counting machines fail to accept it. The most common cause, in Florida, which used a punch system, was that the punching device did not make a clear hole in the voting card. The piece of paper that was supposed to be knocked out, a chad, was hanging, or only broken on two corners, or merely dented. While the machines couldn't discern the "intent of the voter," the human eye often could. So we had the spectacle, and the jokes, about "hanging chads," as the recounts began. If only the undervotes were counted, by some standards of judging them, then Bush would have won.
But the consortium recount came across something else -- overvotes. An overvote is when someone punches in the name of the candidate, and then, just to make sure, writes their name on the ballot. The machines could only read that the ballots had been marked in two places and threw them out.
But a human being, who saw that the place to vote for Gore had been punched and then, that Gore's name had been written in, could easily determine the intent of the voter. So the reporters for the consortium kept track of those too, and found out that Gore actually won.
Had the people inspecting the votes in the actual recount also noticed overvotes, and would they have done something about them? The answer appears to be yes.
Newsweek has uncovered hastily scribbled faxed notes written by Terry Lewis, the plain-speaking, mystery-novel writing state judge in charge of the Florida recount, .... -- just hours before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its order -- Lewis was actively considering directing the counties to also count an even larger category of disputed ballots, the so-called "overvotes," which were rejected by the machines because they purportedly recorded more than one vote for president. ....
Judge, if you would, segregate 'overvotes' as you describe and indicate in your final report how many where you determined the clear intent of the voter," Lewis wrote in a note to Judge W. Wayne Woodard, chairman of the Charlotte County Canvassing Board on the afternoon of December 9, 2000. "I will rule on the issue for all counties, Thanks, Terry Lewis.
Newsweek, The Final Word? Michael Isikoff, 11/19/01
That leaves us with a big question. The largest, most prestigious news organizations in the United States - pretty much in the world - discovered a great and exciting story -- the wrong guy was president of the United States. Also, that the Supreme Court of the United States had interfered in an election to frustrate the actual will of the voters. (Justice Scalia wants us to get over it.) Why did they so distort the story with misleading headlines, by burying the lead, by blowing so much fog and confusion around it, that almost everybody who read or heard the story, walked away with the false impression that they had deliberately created? Created so successfully that the NY Times TV show reviewer is repeating it as fact seven years later.

There is no hard, on the record answer to that. None of the editors or publishers have come forward and said, "This is why we spun the story the way we did, even if it meant pissing away the million dollars we spent to get it." Nobody has, and nobody can, sue them for gratuitous misinformation and malfeasance, and put them in the witness box under oath to get to the bottom of it. There is only speculation. The story is dated November 12, 2001, just two months after September 11, 2001. We can imagine that they universally felt it was not the time to announce a pretender was on the throne and that the system was rotten, right to the top. But I sure would love to know how they all got on the same page about it. That would make a terrific story. Not as great as the one they threw away, but good enough.
I wrote to the Times and suggested a correction. At the time that I've submitted this, none has appeared. However, a correction has already appeared because an article about Sex and the City got the number of its television seasons was wrong. You have to know when accuracy is important.
Larry Beinhart is the author of Wag the Dog, The Librarian, and Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin. All available at His new novel: SALVATION BOULEVARD will be published in September, 2008, by Nation Books Responses can be sent to


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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Israel Shamir Exposes Zionist control of Wikipedia

Wiki, the Chaos Controlled
By Israel Shamir

In the art of surveillance, there is a cunning ploy, familiar to the readers of Le Carre: the target is followed by a clumsy gumshoe; he discovers he is being tailed, easily shakes the tail off and goes on, feeling secure and unobserved. Unbeknownst to him, there are other detectives who stick to him like glue and follow him to his perdition. Professionally it is called a “double tail”.

Apparently, some of us were duped by such a ruse in the peculiar affair of a Zionist plot to infiltrate Wikipedia. This powerful online encyclopaedia is ostensibly free and open: everyone can be an editor, add or edit any entry. Editors remain anonymous; their true identity is hidden behind a nickname. This rule has a serious drawback: using this anonymity, a dedicated group may infiltrate the system by stealth, distort reality and create a false picture of the world in the eyes of billions. Apparently this script has been recently enacted.

Conspiracy? Yes. Jewish conspiracy? You bet! The damning email exchange was intercepted and published, revealing a radical Zionist plot to bend “Wiki.” A moderate leftist (some would call it ‘tame’) US-based pro-Palestinian site EI revealed that the radical-extremist Zionist organisation CAMERA called for “volunteers who can work as ‘editors’ to ensure” that Israel-related articles on Wikipedia agree with their right-wing-Zionist agenda. This effort was to be kept secret from the media and the public. Stealth and misrepresentation were presented as the keys to success. A CAMERA official advised the volunteers to sign up as editors for Wikipedia and afterwards to avoid editing Israel-related material for a while, in order to “avoid the appearance of being one-topic editors”. The orchestrated effort was to appear as if it were the work of unaffiliated individuals, and for this reason the editors were to avoid picking a user name that marked them as pro-Israel, or that let people know their real name. The emails taught Zionist apprentices how to act in the interests of Israel while using neutral language. The emphasis was on the long run side of the operation: “This is a marathon not a sprint”, a Zionist instructor nicknamed ‘Zeq’ taught his apprentices in the email exchange.

The EI article about this revelation was quite sycophantic towards Wikipedia. It presented Wiki as an objective source at loggerheads with Zionist infiltrators, and even bordered on advertising: “Openness and good faith are among Wikipedia’s core principles. Any person in the world can write or edit articles, but Wikipedia has strict guidelines and procedures for accountability intended to ensure quality control and prevent vandalism, plagiarism or distortion. It is because of these safeguards that articles on key elements of the Palestine-Israel conflict have generally remained well-referenced, useful and objective.”

Still, it was not enough, and on the next day, 22 April 2008, EI updated this article with a triumphal and calming statement: “a plan by the pro-Israel pressure group CAMERA to skew Wikipedia in a pro-Israel direction appears to have collapsed after it was exposed by EI”. Zeq was dismissed, and anyway, fewer than a dozen of Camera moles were active at the time EI exposed the scheme. In short: everything is fine, Wiki is functioning well, and the Zionist scare is gone, thanks to fearless EI. And anyway, it was only a small operation by the enemies of freedom, and it is over.

Excuse me, is this an article, or a paid advertisement for Wikipedia? Did EI receive on evening April 21st an offer they could not refuse from the owner of Wiki? Only a Zionist can think that Wiki “articles on key elements of the Palestine-Israel conflict have generally remained well-referenced, useful and objective.” On the contrary, they are biased in the extreme; just read, for instance, an exceedingly hostile entry on Hamas, including its Talk, i.e. discussions of editors, deletions and corrections. It defines Hamas as “… best known for multiple suicide bombings and other attacks directed against civilians [known to whom? To me it is best known as the ruling party of Palestine, and secondly, as grassroots mutual assistance movement – ISH]… Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel [while all prominent Israeli parties joined in destruction of Palestine – ISH] … the organization is described by many as antisemitic.” Is that objective? Further the entry says, inter alia: Hamas is considered by the US a terrorist organisation. This is true, but not the whole truth. I personally added: However, Russia refused to consider Hamas a terrorist organisation. My addition was immediately removed by ever-watchful Zionist case-officer. Hamas is terrorist, full stop.

Only a dishonest fool, or a man who never used Wikipedia, may think that plan of the Lobby “to skew Wikipedia in a pro-Israel direction appears to have collapsed”. The clumsy gumshoe was shaken off, for Camera is but a bunch of amateurs, extreme Jewish nationalists with some nuisance value. They do not represent the Jewish mainstream; but they do play a useful part: they make the mainstream appear moderate. Being hassled by Camera is like being hassled by the Klan – it proves nothing. They hassle everybody, even moderate Zionists and other fellow-philosemites whom Camera fanatics consider insufficiently zealous, such as Johann Hari, an English professional philosemite who recently boasted: “I have worked undercover at both the Finsbury Park mosque and among neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers to expose the Jew-hatred there; I went on the Islam Channel to challenge the anti-Semitism of Islamists, I received a rash of death threats calling me ‘a Jew-lover’’. Later he strayed farther afield and wrote about Israeli sewage pouring all over Gaza. Afterwards, he complained, “Camera said I am an anti-Jewish bigot akin to Joseph Goebbels.”

Now, when the amateurs are disgraced and gone, the professionals remain. Wiki is as partial to Jews as the Jewish Chronicle. The picture of the world it offers is being edited and shaped in full accordance with general Jewish world view thanks to a group of permanent and devoted editors and arbiters.

Freedom to add and edit is just a bait attracting millions unpaid contributors. If Wiki were truly free, provided that “ordinary people’ are in vast majority, we could expect to find a democratic world view, not one not perverted by a biased minority, but the real Wikipedia does not work that way. The apparent chaos of Wiki is strictly controlled by a hierarchy of Agents Smith, who secure the Wiki matrix. They delete references to Jewish misdeeds, but emphasize every good deed by a Jew. Israel/Palestine is just one area in what is truly universal agenda. For instance, they block and remove attempts to mention the Jewish origin of the founder of Satanist movement, one La Vey (originally Levy), though this explains his hatred towards Christianity. They insist on inferiority of Poincare versus Einstein, of Jung versus Freud or Proudhon versus Marx. Every act against Jews is recorded; every act of Jews against goyim is blotted out from this organised memory of our generation. These editors can manage just fine, thank you, without amateur infiltrators.

Zeq has been banned for his indiscretions, but the man he wrote of so admiringly, whom he described as their role model to his apprentices (“work with him and learn from him”), an ideal,. effective Zionist Wikipedia editor called Jayjg, is still there. Jayjg is not just an editor; he is an arbiter, what passes for a judge on the Wikipedia. He was appointed to that position by the site owner himself. He is an Agent Smith of the Wiki matrix. One may see his work in many, many entries: clever and unscrupulous, he is a master of the subterfuge and deceit.

Another, superior Agent Smith is Cberlet or John Foster (Chip) Berlet, the scourge of the web. He is acting under many names. He is a collaborator with the ADL, the Jewish thought police. Though he previously denied having any relationship to ADL, he admitted to Israeli Foreign Affairs that he “had had quite a cordial professional relationship with the ADL" and “had been doing research in cooperation with ADL”. The New York City Jewish newspaper "Forward" reported that Berlet transferred information from FBI anti-Communist informer directly to ADL. Ace Hayes wrote: “John Foster “Chip” Berlet has been involved, over the past half decade, in attacking virtually every independent critic of the Imperial State that the reader can name.” His operation is financed by Ford Foundation. Michael Collins Piper in his monumental book on the Kennedy assassination, Final Judgment, asserts that Chip Berlet is a CIA agent. Naturally, his own entry in Wiki is protected from editing. The Arbitration committee (those who hold the reigns of power on the Wiki) “admit to hero-worship of Cberlet’, as I was informed by a prominent insider.

These men are discreet, they won’t babble about their devotion to the Jewish cause; they hide it under the veil of bureaucratic expressions and abbreviations. Their supporting cast includes some Jewish “antizionists” like RolandR. This is actually a British Trotskyite trade union apparatchik Roland Rance, who does not mind to cooperate with convinced anti-Communist, CIA and ADL agent Berlet and with zealous Zionist Jayjg. So much for his antizionism and his socialism! He, and thousands of smaller wanna-be Agents Smith did not need the starry-eyed arch-Zionists of CAMERA, they are already in.

The “revelation” of EI is nothing but a subterfuge, a “double tail” executed to increase our trust in Wiki. A similar “double tail” operation was performed last year, when Wiki announced it had found CIA-made edits on a few pages. Careful reading of that “revelation” was even more disappointing than that of EI. The worst discovered CIA edit of President Ahmadinejad entry was ‘added exclamation “Wahhhhhh!”, while “other changes that have been made are more innocuous, and include tweaks to the profile of former CIA chief Porter Goss and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey.” This is ridiculous: the US secret services spend many billions per annum in their drive for domination of the Web. A recent report speaks of $30 billion allocated by the Pentagon for an “electronic Manhattan Project” in order to fight the Web. And they want us to believe that all these billions produced an exclamation “Wahhhhhh!”? Alas, it is just another “double tail” sting by the usual suspects.


The Wiki entries on Palestine/Israel are far from “well-referenced, useful and objective” as the dupes of EI claim. On the second thought, are they dupes, or willing collaborators? The top man in EI is Electronic Ali, as Ali Abunima is nicknamed, the man who began the witch hunt against “Shamir the antisemite”. He is the Arab front for various exclusively Jewish organisations for Palestine, who rather promote the Jewish cause and fight antisemitism. Such Jewish bodies like to have a compliant shabbesgoy (as Rosa Luxemburg called these guys) for a front, and Ali fits the bill perfectly. Even this article on Wiki has some reference to ‘evil antisemites’.

In his attack on me, Electronic Ali acted together with the execrable Hussein Ibish, but since then, the thieves have fallen apart.[1] Another prominent EI person is, or was, Nigel Parry, a British antisemitism-fighter, their webmaster and probably also their case officer. Nigel Perry is an enforcer of Political Correctness and is Gatekeeper General of the permitted discourse on Palestine, keeping it between hard Likud and the soft Peace Now. He proudly mentions many years of involvement with the Palestinian cause. Well, such guys are a reason why the Palestinian cause looks the way it does.

Why, we could have One State, a single unified state in Israel/Palestine by now, but for these guys. Looking back, it was a possible development in 2001, sometime before 9/11, when my call for One State was heeded by many Israelis and Americans, and supported by major American newspapers. Then these men began their campaign to denigrate me and scared the supporters away. “Shamir is discredited and marginalised”, they wrote with satisfaction. For them, it did not matter that together with me, they discredited and marginalised the idea of One State -- the only possible peaceful solution to our conflict.

The final battle was fought on the Wikipedia site, where Ali-Ibish-Parry provided ammunition to Zionist Agent Smith Jayjg and ADL’s own Barlet, with the ADL-sponsored block of “antifascist” e-zines: British Searchlight, Norwegian Monitor, Swedish Expo, American Trotskyite Socialist Viewpoint et al. These formidable forces were counteracted by our wonderful friend Joh Domingo, a South African fighter against apartheid, and our French friend Omnivore. You can read the protocols of the battle on They decided to make me a Swedish neonazi impostor, instead of the Israeli writer I am.

All the time this battle was going on, I lived in my Jaffa house, receiving endless visitors, giving numerous interviews, going to work, seeing people – but I might as well have been dead. I felt like Doc Daneeka, a character in Joseph Heller’s witty Catch-22, who was declared dead as the plane he was supposed to fly was downed. “I am alive!” he shouted. “Here we have a paper saying you are dead”, they replied. His wife “inherited” his property, he was stricken from the lists, they stopped serving him food, and even his friends and comrades looked askance when he appeared. This is the power of an official-looking document – or a webpage blue with hyperlinks. Thus I have learned the dreadful power of an encyclopaedia: it does not reflect the world, but rather creates the world. Wiki is linked to thousands of sites; whether you look at or at an Arab English-language site, you’ll be led to Wiki with its lies.

If an encyclopaedia said I am a Swedish neonazi antisemite, nothing could change it. I could scream all day long: “Look, here I am, in Jaffa” but they would reply: “Here we have an official paper saying that you are not”. I am very grateful to Joh Domingo for his superhuman efforts, but he could not overcome the Agents Smith. Neither could I. If tomorrow they decide to make you a little green man from Mars, they will succeed, too. And then, even your friends will look behind you for your flying saucer.

A few days ago, I spoke to a group of Indian intellectuals in Delhi, and afterwards I received this touching letter from Come Carpentier, a French expat writer living in the Indian capital. He wrote: “I meant to thank you for these enlightening, balanced and always objective yet passionate words you spoke that evening...Listening to them dispels even better than reading you the reputation that you have been given by you-know-who as a firebrand defamer of Israel, holocaust denier, Nazi apologist and so on and so forth... Not to mention the rumours about your being a clandestine Swedish Far Right-winger infiltrated in the Holy Land by the international Islamo-Fascist Cabal!”


In a way, pro-Jewish bias of Wiki is unavoidable bearing in mind Jewish positions in Western discourse, media and universities. Jews – even people of Jewish origin – are likely to correct discourse in a flattering for them way. They did it hundred years ago, and five hundred years ago. Provided they do it in one direction, they constitute the only entity (besides the undermined Church and its Orders) capable of a marathon (in words of Zeq) - of sustaining a long-run operation.
A hundred years ago, a New York lawyer Samuel Untermeyer financed the first Scofield Reference Bible; since then, the Scofield Bibles are being republished in newer even more pro-Jewish editions and they bring in millions of Christian Zionists.

Joachim Martillo writes in his Judonia: “Jewish efforts benefit from organizational memory that does not exist in other lobbying situations. The longevity of Jewish Federation organizations can give Israel Lobbying efforts a generational aspect not seen elsewhere. For example, Israel Advocacy organizations worked for fifty years to delegitimize Arabists in the Foreign Service and State Department, and replace them with Israel-sympathetic personnel”.

Martllo erroneously connects this result with some specific pro-Israel organisation. Success of Zionism (and incidentally its crimes) is just the strawberry on top of the Jewish success cake. The Jews are engaged in advocacy of Jews, and consequently they delegitimize Arabists, or priests, or independent historians who do not subscribe to the notion that Jews are special in consistently beneficial way. Zionism is a result of Jewish pruning of history, and this pruned history is what we were taught.

There are no Arab sheiks or Russian oligarchs or American oilmen ready to finance anything long term of no immediate relevancy. They do not understand that practically every entry of encyclopaedia, every textbook influence future generations. A correct entry on, say, Poincare or monotheism or Persian invasion could save potential Zionists from their delusions of grandeur.

Wikipedia is a great idea for Jews: people of all nations from all over the world contribute of their knowledge, and then this Summa is pruned in the way acceptable to the pro-Jewish gardeners. Despite its “free” image, Wikipedia is part and parcel of the immense Judaised media holding, and thus is as biased as any other publication of the group from the New York Times (owned by Sulzberger) to Liberation (owned by Rothschild) to hundreds of Murdock papers.


Wikipedia is an important asset, like the New York Times, but both are in the hands of enemies of freedom. Sometimes good and truthful articles or entries are to be found in both, but these are specks of gold dust placed there to salt the dud mine. We certainly want to democratise both; to make both really democratic and accessible. Until this is done, we should explain that both are tools of mind control not to be trusted or taken at face value. If Wiki wants to preserve some of its reliability, it must get rid of its Zionist enforcers. Not only of the CAMERA bumpkins, but of the hard men in black suits, the Agents Smith.

[1] In an article by Osamah Khalil of Berkeley EI deservedly took Ibish to task for his “defense of Abbas’ strategy of deference and obsequiousness to the US and Israel. According to Ibish’s issue paper, Abbas’ problem is not that he is a failed, corrupt and ineffectual leader who appears to Palestinians as an eager American tool, but that he is “uninspiring” and “lacks the charisma that many politicians rely upon, and is not an emotive speaker.” Ibish’s screed, continues EI, “deliberately ignores a thugocracy in Palestinian politics as embodied by Mohammad Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub and their ilk.” His idea of an independent secular Palestinian state is a US-backed government of thieves and their enforcers… Ibish derides reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas as “utopian”, as for him there is no alternative to Abbas’ rule, American hyperpower, and Israel’s military and economic dominance in the Middle East.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Justin Raimondo: Obama vs the Lobby

Justin Raimondo

May 14, 2008
Obama vs. The Lobby

No matter how much he grovels, it's never enough
by Justin Raimondo
Poor Obama. No matter how much he tries to placate the Israel lobby, they just won't take yes for an answer. The Lobby has been after him for months, trying to dig up "evidence" that someone with the middle name of "Hussein" is necessarily an enemy of Israel. The best they could come up with so far were the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's jeremiads, which didn't have much of an effect at the polls, as the North Carolina and Indiana primary results – and subsequent national polls – attest.

Yet Obama still keeps trying to appease the Lobby. He's purged staff members who so much as looked cross-eyed at the Israelis, such as one poor adviser who meekly suggested that talking to Hamas might not be such a bad idea. He was out faster than you can say Mearsheimer and Walt.

Speaking of which: the Obama-oids have gone out of their way to distance themselves – i.e., "reject and denounce" – those two hate-criminals, even though, as Philip Weiss trenchantly avers, a book by Obama's point man on the Middle East says pretty much the same thing. In response to all this, Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative, dryly remarked: "At this point one wonders whether the people who deny the dramatic influence of the Israel lobby on American politics feel a little bit silly."

Obama's latest ritualized act of kowtowing takes place in the pages of the online edition of The Atlantic. In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg – a male Judy Miller who retailed Ahmed Chalabi's tall tales of Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction" and other fables while still managing to keep his job and his reputation – Obama jumps through all kinds of hoops with admirable dexterity, while ultimately avoiding abject humiliation and even showing signs of resistance.

Goldberg is relentless from the get-go, demanding to know: Does Zionism "have justice on its side?" Obama goes into a soliloquy about his "Jewish-American camp counselor" whose tales of life in Israel he found "powerful and compelling." Obama, the wanderer, has instinctive sympathy for a people who want only to "return home." All very affecting and authentic, but it's not enough for David Frum, who kvetches:

"Now, how long do you think it takes Obama to deliver a 'yes' or 'no' to that question? I count five long paragraphs – interrupted by two follow-up questions – before we get to 'yes.' That's a long time. And when the answer is delivered, it is immediately followed by a disclaimer."

No explanations, no dilly-dallying, no loitering in the middle ground – Commissar Frum wants answers, "straight" answers, and he wants them now! So what is this supposed "disclaimer"? It's when Obama says:

"That does not mean that I would agree with every action of the state of Israel, because it's a government and it has politicians, and as a politician myself I am deeply mindful that we are imperfect creatures and don't always act with justice uppermost on our minds."

How dare he refuse to give a moral blank check to whomever is elected prime minister of Israel?! Frum takes the Ann Lewis line, which is, as she put it at a forum on Israel: "The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel."

According to the strictures set down by the Frum-Lewis Doctrine, we are obligated to carry out whatever edicts the Israeli government issues – and if Obama doesn't buy that, well, then, he's obviously a Farrakhan-loving secret Muslim.

Goldberg isn't satisfied, either. He presses the issue:

"Go to the kishke question, the gut question: the idea that if Jews know that you love them, then you can say whatever you want about Israel, but if we don't know you – Jim Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski – then everything is suspect. There seems to be in some quarters, in Florida and other places, a sense that you don't feel Jewish worry the way a senator from New York would feel it."

Unconditional support isn't enough: the Lobby demands love. At the end of his interrogation, Obama is expected, like Winston Smith, to love Big Brother.

Obama's smooth "I find that really interesting" is devastating, in its way: what equanimity! He segues into a personal account, talks about his trip to Israel, lists all the admirable qualities of the pioneers who have built a modern democracy in a "hardscrabble land," among them a strong sense of morality and a long tradition of open discussion and disputation: "What I also love about Israel is the fact that people argue about these issues, and that they're asking themselves moral questions."

Here Obama hits back, if ever so subtly. The poor guy was no doubt annoyed at being hectored by this tiresome fanatic, so who can blame him for making reference to the well-known fact that discussion in the U.S., when it comes to Israel, is far less open than it is in Israel itself? (Although that is changing.)

He pulls back, though, and resorts to the some-of-my-best-friends argument, another way of groveling. Yet Goldberg is clearly pissed off, because he pops him with the Ahmed Yousef question. Poor Obama: another Rev. Wright-like tar baby, albeit this time an Arabic version, one that the Lobby hopes will stick. Obama, however, isn't having it:

"My position on Hamas is indistinguishable from the position of Hillary Clinton or John McCain. I said they are a terrorist organization and I've repeatedly condemned them. I've repeatedly said, and I mean what I say: since they are a terrorist organization, we should not be dealing with them until they recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and abide by previous agreements."

Goldberg has got him. The man who would talk to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, and Raúl Castro won't deal with the elected government of Palestine. Why single them out for special disfavor? After all, the Cuban commies, for one example, have imprisoned and killed their internal critics, as have the Iranians. Chavez is no angel, either. Why a different standard for the Palestinians? He's acknowledged their suffering; why won't he recognize their legitimacy?

Much of Obama's appeal is personal, rather than ideological. He's just the kind of president one can imagine pulling off a series of diplomatic triumphs based on the sheer power of his personality alone. The Obama campaign knows this, of course, and that's partly why the candidate continually emphasizes the value of diplomacy, of talking to our alleged adversaries, and giving America options other than war. It's pretty humiliating for him to have to drop this tack because it so rankles the Lobby.

What's more, you can bet John McCain will point to this contradiction during the coming debates. If I were McCain, I'd ask: Well, Barack, if you're going to talk to Ahmadinejad, then why not have a cup of coffee with Ahmed Yousef?

Goldberg, clearly enjoying himself, digs the knife in deeper and inquires if Obama was "flummoxed" upon receiving the Ahmed Yousef seal of approval.

Obama – flummoxed? Surely he jests.

It's time for Obama to play his trump card, and he does so by citing his support for Israel's 2006 invasion of Lebanon, in which factories, hospitals, and Christian churches were bombed and thousands of Lebanese civilians were killed, in retaliation for the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of three more. That, at least, was the ostensible rationale for a sustained assault on Lebanon's physical and socio-economic infrastructure, although military action to take out Hezbollah was planned long before that incident.

In any case, Goldberg keeps throwing him some pretty hard fastballs: what about the settlements? And you'll note how Goldberg phrases the question, asking whether President Obama "will denounce the settlements publicly." "Denounce" is a pretty strong word: I doubt that's what Obama would do. The point is that what the Lobby fears most is public criticism by an American chief executive, or, really, by any American official. The settlements, answers Obama, are not helpful, and he doesn't deny that he'll say this in public. He won't take a vow of silence.

Goldberg comes back with an echo of a persistent suspicion, oft voiced in Likudnik circles: "Do you think that Israel is a drag on America's reputation overseas?"

Clearly exasperated at this point, Obama cuts to the core of the issue by inserting a heretical concept – that an American president ought to be upholding American interests:

"No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable. I am absolutely convinced of that, and some of the tensions that might arise between me and some of the more hawkish elements in the Jewish community in the United States might stem from the fact that I'm not going to blindly adhere to whatever the most hawkish position is just because that's the safest ground politically."

Obama is here engaging the Lobby, challenging its claim to set the terms of the debate – and refusing to grovel. Good for him. The very idea that American and Israeli interests are in any way separable – and even, at times, in opposition to each other – is the Lobby's worst nightmare. For that would mean the end of our policy of unconditional public support – although, in private, recriminations abound.

Obama really goes on the offensive toward the end of the Goldberg interview, especially when he avers:

"My job in being a friend to Israel is partly to hold up a mirror and tell the truth and say if Israel is building settlements without any regard to the effects that this has on the peace process, then we're going to be stuck in the same status quo that we've been stuck in for decades now, and that won't lift that existential dread that David Grossman described in your article."

Of course Obama has read Goldberg's article, and the mirror metaphor is really devastating, yet more evidence of the candidate's underrated ability to lash out – but with a rapier, not a broadsword.

Existential dread – that's what Obama evokes in the Lobby. They've had it easy during the Bush II era, with the American Netanyahu ensconced in the White House. Settlements? Go right ahead. The Wall of Separation? Higher, please. Assassinations timed to derail the "peace process"? Fire away! Those days will be over if Obama makes it to the Oval Office, and the Lobby knows it.

The great problem for Obama is that no matter what he does or says, the Lobby will fight him every inch of the way, and the smears will get more outrageous. The "he's-a-secret-Muslim" meme is just the beginning. The guilt-by-association strategy is by no means exhausted. How many penny-ante anti-Semites who spent two minutes with him shaking his hand, and would enjoy the publicity of being the focus of media attention, can be dug up between now and November?

We'll soon find out.