Remember how, during the later stages of the Clinton administration, a popular right-wing meme to attack the Clinton White House was to say that the Chinese lobby was too powerful? That the Clinton administration was in thrall to the Chinese, that there was too much Chinese money and influence within the administration and other elements of Democratic party leadership? It was a favorite talking point of Rush Limbaugh et al.I was drawing a connection, of course, with Israel. It's important to say (and I said at the time) that context is everything when it comes to histories of oppression. While there is a long and corrosive tradition of anti-Sino racism in the United States, and that tradition includes the idea that the Chinese are corrupt schemers, this is not the same as American anti-Semitism, particularly where conspiracy theorizing is concerned. However, the major point remains: we generally understand that in the context of international relations it is inevitable and necessary to discuss the conduct of different countries, and that we can and must recognize a difference between criticizing the actions of a country and expressing bigotry against its people. Criticism of a Jewish state is an inevitable byproduct of the existence of a Jewish state. That's life.
Now, do you remember a hew and cry about anti-Chinese racism following those accusations? Did anyone get pilloried for suggesting that the Chinese government's lobby was overly influential? Did merely asking the question mean that, ipso facto, the asker was an anti-Sino bigot? Was the rise of these questions seen as portending the rise of the "new anti-Chinese racism"? Were there articles full of stern warnings about the great danger to the average Chinese person posed by these questions of Chinese influence on American government affairs?
Of course not. Because there was and is a Chinese lobby, a lobby for Chinese interests, as there is for just about any country of a certain minimum level of power. And it was appropriate to ask whether that lobby's relative strength compared to other lobbies was a detriment to the overall interests of the United States. It wasn't racist to ask because the country of China is a political, governmental body, not a race or ethnicity, and the country of China has interests that (believe it or not) are not always 100% congruent with the interests of the United States. And asking whether or not what the lobby wanted was in the best interest of the USA was no insult to the people of China, or of Chinese descent. It made no statement whatsoever, as a matter of fact, about the merits of the Chinese people at all. Accusing Rush Limbaugh or anyone else of anti-Chinese racism would have been a non sequitur.
Ultimately, the major problems in our discussions of Israel stem from the desire of many defenders of Israel to have it both ways: they want at once to point out (reasonably and righteously) that it is offensive to judge a nation's people for its actions, but also to insist (unreasonably and unfairly) that judging a nation's actions is the same as expressing bigotry for its actions.
If your interest is only in reducing criticism on the Israeli state, the path is the same as it has been for 45 years: end the unconscionable oppression of the Palestinian people.