The Cato Institute Campaigns Against Jews and Israel

The Cato Institute Campaigns Against Jews and Israel

The Cato Institute, like other libertarian movement think-tanks, claims to support a "non-interventionist" foreign policy.

But their non-intervention takes a strange form -- blaming Jews for problems in the Middle East, opposing Jewish home-building on their own land, making false accusations against the only Jewish state, and promoting the most ancient anti-Semitic myths about the Jewish people.

The evidence:
  • In "Israel's Hamas Policy Threatens Permanent War" (2012), Cato senior fellow Doug Bandow calls Israel the occupiers promoting violence in Gaza and the West Bank, even though Israel surrendered control of Gaza many years before the author penned his article. He concludes, somehow, that America is blamed "for Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians", without citing what mistreatment he is talking about or how America -- which seems to fund both sides of the conflict -- can be blamed. Then he concludes, "Without a shared commitment to peace, the violence will continue." Mr. Bandow's version of peace is Israel surrendering land it justly acquired in the 1967 war.

  • In "The Case for Ending Aid to Israel" (2012), Doug Bandow again singles out Israel. He correctly points out that Egypt receives less foreign aid than Israel, but fails to understand a very basic point: U.S. aid to Arab nations far outweighs the aid to the Jewish state. Throughout this policy paper, Bandow pretends to be a supporter of Israel, even though he revealed his actual position quite clearly in his paper about Israel and Hamas. (See above bullet point.) Bandow singles out Israel again because he is working to dissolve the Jewish state, which is why he blamed it for inciting violence in his previous article.

  • In "Settlements Post Fundamental Threat to Democracy in Israel" (2003), Doug Bandow says that foreign aid to Israel fuels "hatred of and terrorism against the United States". He does not back up his assertion with any specific information about how exactly that occurs. He says that "Israel currently is mixing Jew and Arab and separating Arab from Arab," concluding "Thus are sown the seeds for conflict." More than 1.5 million Arabs are citizens of Israel, yet there are no Jews living in Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon, or Syria -- so Mr. Bandow's observations simply reflect his ideological opposition to the Jewish state. He then falsely claims that the Jewish state has occupied Arab lands, an assertion that is especially false after a close review of the wars of 1947-1948 and 1967. Bandow concludes, "The settlements require a pervasive Israeli military occupation, imposing a de facto system of apartheid." What a preposterous claim! Apartheid is legal separation. Arab citizens of Israel can vote and participate in society like any Jewish citizen. To accuse the only Jewish state of apartheid when there is not a shred of evidence to support such a claim shows that Mr. Bandow is wholesale opposed to the existence of Israel. His article -- from start to end -- is filled with propaganda and outright lies about Jews and Israel. The Cato Institute's donors, many of whom are likely Jewish, are funding Mr. Bandow's "research".

  • In "Barriers to Peace" (2011), Doug Bandow begins his article with many false assertions. He says that "Israel cannot be understood apart from the Shoah -- the Holocaust." This is patently false. Israel, correctly understood, is the historic home of the Jewish people, the land that Jews have lived on for 4,000 years. "Jew" comes from "Judea", which is the land that Mr. Bandow says the Jews are "occupying". When talking about the Holocaust, you might think Bandow would have a heart for Jews. He doesn't. Instead, he says, "The understandable determination 'never again' helps explain the harshness, even ruthlessness of Israel's creation: the terrorism against British colonial rule, the ethnic cleansing of resident Arabs." He goes on to accuse Israel of racism against Christians and Arabs, without any facts to back up his vicious, Nazi-like propaganda. Of course, he asserts that "Israel's Arab Christians are a people without a country" even though Christians in Israel are more protected than Christians in any other Middle Eastern country, and despite that Christianity is recognized as a religion in Israel. Bandow talks about how he was staying on Bethlehem during his trip. Does he realize that no Jews are allowed to live in Bethlehem? The stunning misinformation in his article leaves one not only with the impression that he has no idea what he is talking about, but also that he hates no group more than he despises the Jewish people. He not only opposes a Jewish state entirely, but also any other homeland for the Jewish people. This makes Bandow one of the most vicious and nasty propagandist anti-Semites in the libertarian movement, and that's saying something.
"Scholar" Bandow has many articles on this topic at the website, all of which have a very anti-Israel bent to them. Somehow the "non-interventionist" foreign policy being pursued by the Cato Institute has morphed into a radically anti-Israel foreign policy -- so much so that they accuse Israel of crimes, occupation, and apartheid. Their own credibility has been shattered because of false statements made by Bandow over a period of more than a decade. Making false accusations about Israel and propagating further untruths does not advance liberty or peace; quite the contrary!

Make no mistake: the Cato Institute is not neutral on foreign policy. It and its scholars are vehement opponents of the Jewish state, and also oppose any other homeland for the Jewish people. Therefore Jewish donors and others who recognize the importance of a strong Israel -- the only democracy in the Middle East and the only country with more than 2% Jewish population -- should make the Cato Institute aware of their anti-Jewish position. One possible solution would be for said donors to stop funding the Cato Institute.