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Israel partisan Peter Berkowitz named head of State Dept Policy Planning

Peter Berkowitz flanked by Paul Singer (L) and Lawrence Mone (R) at 2018 Manhattan Institute event. Singer, chair of the Manhattan institute’s board of trustees, is a hedge fund billionaire known for supporting Israel causes. Mone is president of the institute. Its board has included numerous Israel partisans, includiing Daniel Loeb, a backer of the Emergency Committee for Israel; Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; Project for the New American Century director Mark Gerson; former American Enterprise Institute chairman Bruce Kovner; and Michael Fedak, board member of AIPAC spinoff Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | August 30, 2019

The new official in charge of the State Department’s long-term strategic thinking is yet another neoconservative with close ties to Israel.

Politico reports that the State Department’s new head of policy planning will be longtime Israel partisan and neocon Peter Berkowitz. According to Politico, the position “puts him in charge of long-term strategic thinking for the department.”

Politico reports that the announcement “came in an internal email to select State Department officials on Monday morning.” Berkowitz will specifically be in charge of the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning.

Berkowitz is extremely close to Israel. He received an M.A. degree from Israel’s Hebrew University in 1985, and currently teaches for the Tikvah Fund in Israel. He is the Co-founder and Director of the Israel Program on Constitutional Government, located in Tel Aviv. He has been on the advisory committee for the Center for Jewish Political Thought, a section within Israel’s Shalom Hartman Institute. Berkowitz has been the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute (the Taubes donate to numerous Israeli organizations) and is on the faculty of the Hertog Foundation.

Berkowitz has written numerous articles about Israel, often for the neoconservative outlet, Weekly Standard. His fellow neocon, Stanley Kurtz, credits Berkowitz with causing South African jurist Richard Goldstone to recant after leading a fact-finding investigation whose findings Israel disliked. The investigation had determined that Israel had committed numerous war crimes in Gaza. The report’s findings were corroborated by a number of other investigations that found Israel had violated international law.

In one of his pieces, Berkowitz claimed that “No military in the history of warfare has made greater efforts in the face of grave national security threats to avoid the use of force or has tried harder, when obliged to fight, to protect noncombatants than the Israel Defense Forces. With the possible exception of the U.S. armed forces, no military has investigated itself as rigorously as the IDF. With the possible exception of the U.S. judiciary, no courts have done more to hold their military accountable than Israel’s. And with the possible exception of America, no democracy has gone further in wartime to legitimize dissent than Israel.”

Berkowitz’s contention flies in the face of documentary evidence compiled by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, B’Tselem (also see this), the International Red Cross, Physicians for Human Rights, Reporters Without Borders, Foreign Service Journal, and even the U.S. State Department. According to Berkowitz, all of these agencies are wrong.

Berkowitz also penned a piece attacking Harvard Professor Stephen Walt and University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer for their essay in the London Review of Books and Harvard working paper about the Israel lobby. Berkowitz accused the professors of “myriad half-truths, gross distortions, ignorant assertions, and defective reasoning.” Mearsheimer and Walt’s findings were later published in a book by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.

Trump had initially opposed neocons and kept them out of his administration. Although neocons are nominally Republicans, many had endorsed Hillary (and many now remain, at least on the surface, Democrats). As Trump came under escalating attack, however, he moved ever closer to billionaire campaign donor Sheldon Adelson (who funds many neocon enterprises) and eventually began naming neocons to positions of power, where they often drive policy.

Neocons in the Bush Administration promoted the disastrous war with Iraq, and Israel and its partisans are central in the demonization of Iran that has resulted in the sanctions against Iran and threats of still worse.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of the best selling book Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

August 30, 2019 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , ,

7 Comments »

  1. unbearable.

    Comment by ontogram | August 31, 2019 | Reply

  2. Alison Weir: investigative journalist extraordinaire. Kudos.

    In a real world, this sumbitch would not even be considered for this position requiring experienced, mature, balanced judgment for “policy” to be effective and in the best interests of the United States of America. He should be investigated and called out by the Office of Government Ethics (I’m not smart enough to know whether Berkowitz=Jewish=[even the suspicion of] dual loyalty=biased qualifies as an “ethics” violation, but OGE should be able to start action or route the matter to an appropriate forum or venue).

    This is goddam outrageous (plus brazen), and it’s about dam’ time that conscientious, patriotic Americans stand up and take names!

    Para 6 above: In one of his pieces, Berkowitz claimed that “No military in the history of warfare has made greater efforts in the face of grave national security threats to avoid the use of force or has tried harder, when obliged to fight, to protect noncombatants than the Israel Defense Forces. With the possible exception of the U.S. armed forces, no military has investigated itself as rigorously as the IDF. With the possible exception of the U.S. judiciary, no courts have done more to hold their military accountable than Israel’s. And with the possible exception of America, no democracy has gone further in wartime to legitimize dissent than Israel.” — That bullshit surely must qualify under the heading “

    Comment by roberthstiver | August 31, 2019 | Reply

    • (my above comment-in-process got “posted” before I finished it!…will continue —

      (That bullshit surely must qualify under the heading…) “If a liar lies often enough and brazenly enough, a great many ignorant or gullible people will wonder if the lies aren’t truths.”

      Despite my many words here, I feel speechless, impotent, outraged, hopeless….

      Comment by roberthstiver | August 31, 2019 | Reply

      • Hmm: Is the State Department Inspector General a Jew-Zionist? If not, I’d think he/she’d be the proper person to weigh in/rule on the propriety of Berkowitz’ accession to such an obvious conflict-of-interest situation….

        Comment by roberthstiver | August 31, 2019 | Reply

        • Here’s a link to the website of the OIG State Department.https://www.stateoig.gov Steve A. Linick who was also US Attorney California in mid 90s & US Attorney Virginia early 2007..was appointed as IG by Obama in 2013…but I suspect he might be a neocon holdover…but I did not find anything that jumped out at me about his political leanings ..this link does ask the ‘whys’ of his appointment : https://diplopundit.net/tag/permanent-ig/

          Comment by madams122017 | August 31, 2019 | Reply

          • Thanks so much for this intervention and valuable information! I’m spinning off in all kinds of weird directions at this 76 yo point in my ‘life,’ but I hope to initiate some action regarding this issue today. Inaction is not an option…(hope that doesn’t sound trite or pretentious).

            Comment by roberthstiver | August 31, 2019 | Reply

            • absolutely understood! I share that sense of despair as well…but pls remember there ARE more of folks like us than there are of them…and folks are finally becoming aware…and the most important aspect is that you are asking questions, raising warning flags and doing what you can do…76 or 26 machts nicht…but to make an effort to do something is KEY…thank you Robert! reading the good sources like IAK is also part of a solution…cheers

              Comment by madams122017 | August 31, 2019 | Reply


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