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Can the President Lawfully Investigate His Investigators?

By Andrew Napolitano • Unz Review • May 24, 2018

This past weekend, President Donald Trump suggested that his presidential campaign may have been the victim of spies or moles who were FBI informants or undercover agents. He demanded an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.

At the same time that the president was fuming over this, Republican congressional leaders were fuming about the reluctance of senior officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI to turn over documents that might reveal political origins of the current criminal investigation of the president by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Can the president intercede in a federal criminal investigation of which he himself is a subject? Can Congress intercede in a DOJ criminal investigation? Here is the back story.

Mueller was named special counsel so he could investigate serious and demonstrable evidence of Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election. Because the Trump campaign met with Russian intelligence officials offering campaign assistance, implicit in that investigation is an inquiry into whether the Trump campaign invited foreign interference and agreed to accept or facilitate it.

Mueller is seeking to determine whether there was an agreement between the Trump campaign and any foreign person, entity or government to receive anything of value for the campaign. Such an agreement plus a material step in furtherance of it taken by any of those who joined the agreement would itself constitute the crime of conspiracy, even if the agreed-upon thing of value never arrived.

In the course of examining evidence for the existence of this alleged conspiracy — which Trump has forcefully denied many times — Mueller’s prosecutors and FBI agents have come upon evidence of other crimes. They have obtained 19 indictments — some for financial crimes, some for lying to FBI agents and some for foreign interference in the election — and four guilty pleas for lying, in which those who pleaded guilty agreed to assist the government.

Nine of the indictments are against Russian intelligence agents, whom the president himself promptly sanctioned by barring their travel here and their use of American banks and commercial enterprises, even though he has called Mueller’s investigation a witch hunt.

Mueller has also come upon evidence of obstruction of justice by the president while in office and financial crimes prior to entering office, all of which Trump has denied. Obstruction of justice consists of interfering with a judicial proceeding — such as a grand jury’s hearing evidence — for a corrupt purpose.

Thus, if Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because he didn’t trust him or because he wanted his own person in that job, that was his presidential prerogative, but Trump’s purpose was corrupt if he fired Comey because Comey would not deny that the president was the subject of a criminal investigation — a basis for firing surprisingly offered publicly by one of the president’s own lawyers.

The potential financial crimes appear to be in the areas of bank fraud — making material misrepresentations to banks to obtain loans — and money laundering, or the passage of ill-gotten gains through numerous bank accounts so as to make the gains appear lawful. These, too, Trump has denied.

It seems that the deeper Mueller and his team dig the more they find. As lawyers and as federal prosecutors, Mueller’s team members have ethical obligations to uncover whatever evidence of crime they come upon and, when professionally feasible and legally appropriate, either prosecute or pass the evidence on to other federal prosecutors, as they did in the case of evidence of fraud against Michael Cohen, a former confidant and lawyer for Trump before he was president.

Now, back to Trump’s eruption about FBI spies or moles.

The president cannot interfere with criminal investigations against himself without running the risk of additional charges of obstruction of justice — interference with a judicial process (the gathering of evidence and its presentation to a grand jury) for a corrupt purpose (impeding his own prosecution or impeachment). Nor can members of Congress see whatever they want in the midst of a criminal investigation, particularly if they might share whatever they see with the person being investigated.

Prosecutors have a privilege to keep their files secret until they reach the time that the law provides for them to go public. Because Mueller is faced with the legal equivalent of assembling a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, he is not yet ready to show his cards. If his cards contain materials from confidential sources — people whose identities he promised not to reveal — or if his cards contain evidence he presented to a grand jury, he may not lawfully reveal what he has until it is time to exonerate the president, indict him or present a report to Mueller’s DOJ superiors that is intended for the House of Representatives.

Can the president investigate his investigators?

Yes — but not until the investigation of him is completed. That’s because no one can fruitfully examine the legitimacy of the origins of the case against Trump without knowing the evidence and the charges. Trump’s allegations are of extreme scandal — the use of FBI assets by the Obama administration to impede his presidential campaign. Yet if he is exonerated, those allegations will lose their sting. If he is charged with crimes or impeachable offenses that do not have their origins in politically charged spying, then his allegations will be moot.

But if he were to force the DOJ to turn over raw investigative files now to politicians who want to help him, he might very well be impeding the criminal case against him. That would be profoundly threatening to the rule of law, for it provides that no man can be the prosecutor or the judge in his own case. Even Trump’s lawyers acknowledge that he could not lawfully do that.

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

May 24, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Trump takes ‘Criminal Deep State’ to task amid claims FBI spied on his campaign

By Robert Bridge | RT | May 24, 2018

Hounded by claims of ‘Russian collusion’ for most of his presidency, Trump is now calling out the Obama administration over claims it had the FBI spying on his campaign. Can the Republican leader turn the tables on his accusers?

In a series of rapid-fire Tweets, Trump called upon the Justice Department to investigate claims that the FBI infiltrated his campaign for political purposes, possibly at the direct order of former president, Barack Obama.

“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

Needless to say, those are Watergate-level allegations, and it seems Trump may even possess the one thing the Mueller investigation has conspicuously lacked to date: hard-core evidence.

This month, it was revealed that Professor Stefan Halper, a foreign policy scholar at Cambridge University until 2015, was serving as an FBI mole inside of the Trump campaign.

The operation, started in July 2016 and codenamed ‘Crossfire Hurricane’, is a stunning revelation because for the last two years the FBI denied it was spying on the Trump campaign. Now there is the obvious question as to why the federal agency had infiltrated the Trump team in the first place. Was it simply to find evidence of ‘Russian collusion,’ or, as Trump has suggested, was it politically motivated?

Aside from the high creep factor of academics moonlighting as actual spies, Halper allegedly arranged meetings with campaign advisers Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis in an apparent effort to build the case for Russia collusion, the Washington Post reported.

As one example of his covert work, Halper reportedly “reached out to George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign-policy adviser for the campaign, inviting him to London to work on a research paper.”

Those efforts to dig up dirt on Trump, however, failed to give Robert Mueller his much-anticipated ‘gotcha!’ moment. Indeed, from Paul Manafort (indicted for corruption in Ukraine) to Stormy Daniels (former American porn star) to Evgeny Freidman (New York ‘taxi king’ and tax cheat), and every other shady character in between, Mueller has failed to make anything more than a tenuous connection to Russia.

Now, combine this ‘nothing burger’ with the debunked claims put forth in the Clinton-funded ‘Steele dossier,’ complete with “golden showers” in Moscow, and you have a very good case to “wrap up” the investigation, as Vice President Mike Pence recommended.

Here is why the Trump administration believes they have finally got the deep state blocked in with the latest findings: the FBI and DOJ must have known that there was zero evidence of Russian collusion since their mole (or moles) would have revealed that information long ago. At the same time, Halper is said to have begun his covert activities inside of the Trump campaign before Crossfire Hurricane began, which also complicates matters for the Democrats.

Thus, the entire Mueller investigation, Republicans argue, has been an elaborate farce, designed to tarnish Trump and the Republican Party in the run-up to the monumental midterm elections. Trump is already claiming that the tables have been turned on the Mueller investigation and the deep state.

“Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!” he tweeted triumphantly Wednesday morning.

Naturally, Trump’s announcement triggered howls of pain from the Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accused the White House on Tuesday of putting “extraordinary, unusual and inappropriate pressure on the Department of Justice and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.”

Schumer then lashed out at House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who subpoenaed the DOJ for all documents related to the FBI informant earlier this month.

“A man like Devin Nunes, who, I hear privately from my Republican colleagues — they think he’s off the deep end,” he said in a personal affront.

That’s right. Schumer thinks it is Nunes who is “off the deep end” because the Republicans have a solid case for proving high-level political manipulation inside of the Trump campaign. The Senator doth protest too much, methinks. Meanwhile, members of the political right have suggested that Barack Obama, who was the Commander-in-Chief at the time of Trump’s campaign being infiltrated, should be forced to explain what prompted such a decision.

“If he doesn’t know, then it would seem a public explanation is also in order — about his management, and about just how far the ‘deep state’ went without specific presidential approval,” argued James Freeman, assistant editor of the Wall Street Journal.

On Thursday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy will meet with DOJ officials, who are expected to turn over documents detailing the federal intrusion of the Trump campaign.

I reached out to Lionel, legal analyst at lionelmedia.com and regular RT commentator, for some insight into Trump’s chances for emerging successful as he attempts to gain information from the Department of Justice and FBI.

First, there is the composition of the DOJ, which Lionel described, as only Lionel can, as a “Lernaean Hydra with many facets, divisions, jurisdictions and levels of loyalty.”

“There are lifetime, career prosecutors and agents not necessarily committed to an administration or party and there are the targeted, viz. the politically corrupt, biased, partisan and ‘Deep State’ swamp critters whom President Trump has so affectionately titled,” he explained.

Lionel says “the plot now thickens” as Attorney General Jeff Sessions tapped US Attorney John Huber, a Republican from the red state of Utah, to investigate all matters and issues the Republicans have been demanding.

“Huber is a federal prosecutor with plenary powers to empanel grand juries, obtain indictments and secure results that make those of a Special Prosecutor pale by comparison,” he explained. “Sessions has further ordered Huber to work in coordination with DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz and his staff of 470 that dwarfs any of that of a Special Prosecutor.”

“Moreover, the fact that this [US Attorney] is based in Utah means that he’s far from the fetid swamp that is Washington DC. Far from a potential grand jury pool that is anti-Trump, anti-Sessions and (ahem) anti-justice. The move tactically was brilliant.”

As far as the investigation against Trump, which just entered its second year, “Mueller’s status is an unconstitutional hybrid that normally would require Senate confirmation,” the legal analyst explained via email.

“The good news (or bad news, depending on one’s vantage) is that with a Huber-Horowitz team in place, Mueller’s outgunned, outmatched and outmanned.” In short, with the Huber-Horowitz team in place in distant Utah, this means “checkmate” for team Trump, Lionel believes.

Whether or not that prediction comes true, it will be very interesting to see what move the Democrats and the Mueller investigation makes next, because the available spaces on this chessboard of extremely high stakes are diminishing at a breathtaking pace.

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News, he is author of the book, ‘Midnight in the American Empire,’ released in 2013.

@Robert_Bridge

Read more:

Spygate: Trump slams ‘criminal deep state’ over reports of informants in campaign

‘Obama already did it to the French’: WikiLeaks weighs in on Trump’s ‘Spygate’ claims

May 24, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

Sheldon Adelson, the Godfather

If Americans Knew | May 21, 2018

Wendy Mesley discusses Sheldon Adelson’s role in getting the U.S. embassy moved to Jerusalem, as well as his massive influence on Donald Trump and American politics in general.

May 21, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

University Professor Sacked for Telling-the-Truth

Peter Ridd as a first year undergraduate science student at James Cook University back in 1978 – forty years ago.
By Jennifer Marohasy | May 19, 2018

BACK in 2016, when I asked Peter Ridd if he would write a chapter for the book I was editing I could not possibly have envisaged it could contribute to the end of his thirty-year career as a university professor.

Considering that Peter enrolled at James Cook University as an undergraduate back in 1978, he has been associated with that one university for forty years.

Since Peter was fired on 2 May 2018, the university has attempted to remove all trace of this association: scrubbing him completely from their website.

But facts don’t cease to exist because they are removed from a website. The university has never challenged the veracity of Peter’s legitimate claims about the quality of much of the reef science: science on which billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research is being squandered. These issues are not going away.

Just yesterday (Friday 18 May), Peter lodged papers in the Federal Court. He is going to fight for his job back! […]

Peter deliberately choose to frame the book chapter about the replication crisis that is sweeping through science.

In this chapter – The Extraordinary Resilience of Great Barrier Reef Coral and Problems with Policy Science – Peter details the major problems with quality assurance when it comes to claims of the imminent demise of the reef.

Policy science concerning the Great Barrier Reef is almost never checked. Over the next few years, Australian governments will spend more than a billion dollars on the Great Barrier Reef; the costs to industry could far exceed this. Yet the keystone research papers have not been subject to proper scrutiny. Instead, there is a total reliance on the demonstrably inadequate peer-review process.

Ex-professor Peter Ridd has also published extensively in the scientific literature on the Great Barrier Reef, including issues with the methodology used to measure calcification rates. In the book he explains:

Like trees, which produce rings as they grow, corals set down a clearly identifiable layer of calcium carbonate skeleton each year, as they grow. The thicknesses and density of the layers can be used to infer calcification rates and are, effectively, a measure of the growth rate. Dr Glenn De’ath and colleagues from the Australian Institute of Marine Science used cores from more than 300 corals, some of which were hundreds of years old, to measure the changes in calcification during the last few hundred years. They claimed there was a precipitous decline in calcification since 1990, as shown in Figure 1.2.

The LHS chart suggests a problem with coral growth rates – but the real problem is with the methodology. When corals of equivalent age are sampled, there has been no decline in growth rates at the Great Barrier Reef – as shown in the RHS chart.

However, I have two issues with their analysis. I published my concerns, and an alternative analysis, in the journal Marine Geology (Ridd et al. 2013). First, there were instrumental errors with the measurements of the coral layers. This was especially the case for the last layer at the surface of the coral, which was often measured as being much smaller than the reality. This forced an apparent drop in the average calcification for the corals that were collected in the early 2000s – falsely implying a recent calcification drop. Second, an ‘age effect’ was not acknowledged. When these two errors are accounted for, the drop in calcification rates disappear, as shown in Figure 1.2.

The problem with the ‘age effect’, mentioned above, arose because in the study De’ath and colleagues included data from corals sampled during two distinct periods and with a different focus; I will refer to these as two campaigns. The first campaign occurred mostly in the 1980s and focused on very large coral specimens, sometimes many metres across. The second campaign occurred in the early 2000s due to the increased interest in the effects of CO2. However, presumably due to cost cutting measures, instead of focusing on the original huge coral colonies, the second campaign measured smaller colonies, many just a few tens of centimetres in diameter.

In summary, the first campaign focused on large old corals, while, in contrast, the second campaign focused on small young corals. The two datasets were then spliced together, and wholly unjustifiable assumptions were implicitly made, but not stated – in particular that there is no age effect on coral growth…

Dr Juan D’Olivo Cordero from the University of Western Australia collected an entirely different dataset of coral cores from the Great Barrier Reef to determine calcification rates. This study determined that there has been a 10% increase in calcification rates since the 1940s for offshore and mid-shelf reefs, which is the location of about 99% of all the coral on the Great Barrier Reef. However, these researchers also measured a 5% decline in calcification rates of inshore corals – the approximately 1% of corals that live very close to the coast. Overall, there was an increase for most of the Great Barrier Reef, and a decrease for a small fraction of the Great Barrier Reef.

While it would seem reasonable to conclude that the results of the study by D’Olivo et al. would be reported as good news for the Great Barrier Reef, their article in the journal Coral Reefs concluded:

Our new findings nevertheless continue to raise concerns, with the inner-shelf reefs continuing to show long-term declines in calcification consistent with increased disturbance from land-based effects. In contrast, the more ‘pristine’ mid- and outer-shelf reefs appear to be undergoing a transition from increasing to decreasing rates of calcification, possibly reflecting the effects of CO2-driven climate change.

Imaginatively, this shift from ‘increasing’ to ‘decreasing’ seems to be based on an insignificant fall in the calcification rate in some of the mid-shelf reefs in the last two years of the 65-year dataset.

Why did the authors concentrate on this when their data shows that the reef is growing about 10% faster than it did in the 1940s?

James Cook university could have used the chapter as an opportunity to start a much-needed discussion about policy, funding and the critical importance of the scientific method. Instead, Peter was first censored by the University – and now he has been fired.

When I first blogged on this back in February, Peter needed to raise A$95,000 to fight the censure.

This was achieved through an extraordinary effort, backed by Anthony Watts, Joanne Nova, John Roskam and so many others.

To be clear, the university is not questioning the veracity of what ex-professor Ridd has written, but rather his right to say this publicly. In particular, the university is claiming that he has not been collegial and continues to speak-out even after he was told to desist.

New allegations have been built on the original misconduct charges that I detailed back in February. The core issue continues to be Peter’s right to keep talking – including so that he can defend himself.

In particular, the university objects to the original GoFundMe campaign (that Peter has just reopened) because it breaches claimed confidentiality provisions in Peter’s employment agreement. The university claims that Peter Ridd was not allowed to talk about their action against him. Peter disputes this.

Of course, if Peter had gone along with all of this, he would have been unable to raise funds to get legal advice – to defend himself! All of the documentation is now being made public – all of this information, and more can be found at Peter’s new website.

May 18, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 8 Comments

Pharma Paid and Trump Delivered

By Martha Rosenberg | CounterPunch | May 16, 2018

How high are Pharma’s prices? Novartis wants $475,000 a patient for its new cancer therapy. Hep C drugs cost $95,000 for a course of treatment. The immune drug, Actimmune, costs $52,321.80 a month. The parasite drug Daraprim costs $45,000 a month. And the gallstone drug Chenodal costs $42,570 a month.

But this week in his long-awaited speech, Trump blamed foreign countries for high drug prices in the US and reversed his campaign pledge to use Medicare’s buying power to negotiate lower drug prices. Pharma stock prices rose; the shilling paid off.

Pharma has two lobbyists for every member of Congress. It spends more on lobbying than tobacco, oil and defense contractors combined. It parades patients before public and consumer panels to “provide media outlets a human face to attach to a cause when insurers balk at reimbursing patients for new prescription medications,” writes Melissa Healy of the Los Angeles Times.

And that is not enough for Pharma. Companies also try to incorporate in the UK, Ireland and other overseas locations to dodge the US taxes that fund them such as Medicare. They already manufacture and test drugs overseas because the labor is cheap.

The US government is captured. Pharma operatives head both Health and Human Services and the FDA. The CDC Foundation which receives millions from corporations (not that it affects policies or anything) lists as donors Abbott, AbbVie, Bayer, AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Eli Lilly, Amgen, Genentech, Gilead and many more. (Is that why the CDC allows its name to be used in Gilead ads for its Hep C drug?)

Until 2010, PhRMA, Pharma’s top lobbying group, was headed by former Louisiana Rep. Billy Tauzin who resigned from Congress where he chaired the committee which oversees the drug industryonly to immediately reappear as the leader of PhRMA where he drew a $2 million salary. No conflict of interest there.

Tauzin had played a key role in shepherding the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill through Congress which prohibited government negotiation of lower drug prices and Canadian imports. “It’s a sad commentary on politics in Washington that a member of Congress who pushed through a major piece of legislation benefiting the drug industry, gets the job leading that industry,” Public Citizen’s President Joan Claybrook said.

Two-thirds of Pharma lobbyists previously worked for Congress or federal agencies reports the New York Times. An aide to former Michigan Rep. John D. Dingell now works for PhRMA, and an aide to former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who was the chairman of the Senate health committee “is now a top lobbyist for Merck.” Gary Andres, former staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee now lobbies for biotech companies. And the list goes on.

Having captured Congress, you wouldn’t think Pharma would need a charm offensive. Yet it spends millions trying to convince the public it has our interests at heart as it raises our taxes and health care costs. Currently, “America’s Biopharmaceutical companies” are running their “Go Boldly” campaign, ennobling their work with the pay-off line “here’s to permission to fail.”

Yes, Pharma knows a lot about “permission to fail.” Over 20 of its drugs have been withdrawn from the market -after maximum money was made of course- in recent years because they were so dangerous. They include Vioxx, Bextra, Baycol, Trovan, Meridia, Seldane, Hismanal, Darvon, Raxar, Redux Mylotarg, Lotronex, Propulsid, phenylpropanolamine (PPA), Prexige, phenacetin, Oraflex, Omniflox, Posicor, Serzone and Duract.

Pharma also runs a sappy “Hope to Cures: The Value of Biopharmaceutical Innovation and New Drug Discovery” campaign that showcases patients whose lives were saved by expensive drugs. “If you object to our six-digit drug prices you are signing the death warrant for these patients,” the sleazy campaign seeks to convey.

Two lies lurk under the PR stunt. First, most of Pharma’s profits come from non life-saving drugs that treat acid reflux, ADHD, poor eating habits and a host of  trumped up psychiatric illnesses. Secondly, research accounts for only one-fifth of Pharma’s drug costs. Most drug costs Pharma seeks to recoup are for marketing––the ask-your-doctor ads you see on TV––and, of course, lobbying.

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

‘Independent’ Syrian Observatory for Human Rights receives nearly £200k from UK – Peter Hitchens

By Omar Baggili | RT | May 14, 2018

The British government has given the self-described ‘impartial’ Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) £194,769.60 for a project to help fund “communications equipment and cameras,” according to journalist Peter Hitchens.

The Sunday Mail’s Hitchens, a regular critic of British foreign policy, tweeted on Sunday: “Boris Johnson’s Foreign Office admits it gave £194,769.60 to the supposedly ‘independent’ Syrian Human Rights Observatory. How many other ‘independent’ bodies in the Syrian controversy aren’t as ‘independent’ as they look?”

The SOHR declares on its website that it’s “not associated or linked to any political body.” Hitchens in his Sunday Mail blog asks: “Is Boris Johnson’s Foreign Office not a political body?” Hitchens appears to question the legitimacy of the relationship, in relation to the Syrian conflict “in which the British government clearly takes sides.”

Fellow Mail journalist and author of ‘Not the Chilcot Report,’ Peter Oborne has added that the “Syrian Observatory has been treated as a gold standard for information on Syria. Quoted by BBC all the time. Always described as independent.”

The group has come under criticism, being accused by some as a tool of Western propaganda due to its location and lack of staff. Its operation is managed by one man in Coventry in the UK, Rami Abdurrahman, who fled Syria in 2000. He relies on a handful of Syrians to assist him in collating information from “more than 230 activists on the ground”, a network of people from his youth, reports New York Times.

Abdurrahman’s neutrality on the Syrian conflict came under fire when he told Reuters in 2011 he would return to Syria only “when Bashar al-Assad goes,” and according to CNN, was part of a delegation of Syrian opposition officials that met with the then-Foreign Secretary William Hague, that same year.

It’s not the only Syrian-focused human rights group to come under the spotlight with accusations of questionable neutrality because of UK government links. The White Helmets, officially known as the ‘Syria Civil Defence’ has also come under fire. Since 2011, the UK has provided the organization with £38.4m of funding, a freedom of information request has revealed, as reported in The Guardian.

The group operates in areas under the control of the Syrian opposition forces, including Islamist rebels such as Jaysh al-Islam, who controlled the city of Douma until recently, and the location of the latest alleged chemical weapons attack.

According to reports, Theresa May is preparing to increase funding to the White Helmets in response to media claims that President Donald Trump is to withdraw US support for the organization. In March, Trump froze a $200m (£148m) package of US aid to Syria, including money for the White Helmets.

The US President has said he would like to see his country relieve itself of military and humanitarian duties in Syria, calling on other countries to help fill the financial void to fund stabilizing and rebuilding projects in the country after the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), claims ABC news.

Addressing parliament on Wednesday, the UK PM said: “We do support them [the White Helmets], we will continue to support them and … the international development secretary will be looking at the level of support in the future.”

Two Syrian groups claim to be impartial, yet are happy to receive funding from the UK government who, as Hitchens says, are clearly taking sides on the Syrian conflict.

May 14, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Eclipsing Factionalism: The Missing Story from the Gaza Protests

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | May 10, 2018

The Gaza border protests must be understood in the context of the Israeli Occupation, the siege and the long-delayed ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees. However, they should also be appreciated in a parallel context: Palestine’s own factionalism and infighting.

Factionalism in Palestinian society is a deep-rooted ailment that has, for decades, thwarted any unified effort at ending the Israeli military Occupation and Apartheid.

The Fatah and Hamas political rivalry has been catastrophic, for it takes place at a time that the Israel colonial project and land theft in the West Bank are occurring at an accelerated rate.

In Gaza, the siege continues to be as suffocating and deadly. Israel’s decade-long blockade, combined with regional neglect and a prolonged feud between factions have all served to drive Gazans to the brink of starvation and political despair.

The mass protests in Gaza, which began on March 30 and are expected to end on May 15 are the people’s response to this despondent reality. It is not just about underscoring the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. The protests are also about reclaiming the agenda, transcending political infighting and giving voice back to the people.

Inexcusable actions become tolerable with the passing of time. So has been the case with Israel’s Occupation that, year after year, swallows up more Palestinian land. Today, the Occupation is, more or less, the status quo.

The Palestinian leadership suffers the same imprisonment as its people, and geographic and ideological differences have compromised the integrity of Fatah as much as Hamas, deeming them irrelevant at home and on the world stage.

But never before has this internal division been weaponized so effectively so as to delegitimize an entire people’s claim for basic human rights. ‘The Palestinians are divided, so they must stay imprisoned.

The strong bond between US President Donald Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is being accompanied by a political discourse that has no sympathy for Palestinians whatsoever. According to this narrative, even families protesting peacefully at the Gaza the border is termed as a ‘state of war’, as the Israeli army declared in a recent statement.

Commenting on the Israeli killing of scores and wounding of hundreds in Gaza, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, repeated a familiar mantra while on a visit to the region: “We do believe the Israelis have a right to defend themselves.”

Thus, Palestinians are now trapped – West Bankers are under Occupation, surrounded by walls, checkpoints, and Jewish settlements, while Gazans are under a hermetic siege that has lasted a decade. Yet, despite this painful reality, Fatah and Hamas seem to have their focus and priorities elsewhere.

Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, following the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords, Fatah dominated Palestinian politics, marginalized its rivals and cracked down on any opposition. While it operated under the Israeli military Occupation in the West Bank, it still thrived financially as billions of dollars of aid money poured in.

More, the PA has used its financial leverage to maintain its control over Palestinians, thus compounding the oppressive Israeli Occupation and various forms of military control.

Since then, money has corrupted the Palestinian cause. ‘Donors’ money’, billions of dollars received by the PA in Ramallah has turned a revolution and a national liberation project into a massive financial racket with many benefactors and beneficiaries. Most Palestinians, however, remain poor. Unemployment today is skyrocketing.

Throughout his conflict with Hamas, Abbas never hesitated to collectively punish Palestinians to score political points. Starting last year, he took a series of punitive financial measures against Gaza, including the suspicious PA payments to Israel for electricity supplies to Gaza, while cutting off salaries to tens of thousands of Gaza’s employees who had continued to receive their paycheck from the West Bank authority.

This tragic political theater has been taking place for over ten years without the parties finding common ground to move beyond their scuffles.

Various attempts at reconciliations were thwarted, if not by the parties themselves, then by external factors. The last of such agreements was signed in Cairo last October. Although initially promising, the agreement soon faltered.

Last March, an apparent assassination attempt to kill PA Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, had both parties accuse one another of responsibility. Hamas contends that the culprits are PA agents, bent on destroying the unity deal, while Abbas readily accused Hamas of trying to kill the head of his government.

Hamas is desperate for a lifeline to end the siege on Gaza and killing Hamdallah would have been political suicide. Much of Gaza’s infrastructure stands in ruins, thanks to successive Israeli wars that killed thousands. The tight siege is making it impossible for Gaza to be rebuilt, or for the ailing infrastructure to be repaired.

Even as tens of thousands of Palestinians protested at the Gaza border, both Fatah and Hamas offered their own narratives, trying to use the protests to underscore, or hype, their own popularity amongst Palestinians.

Frustrated by the attention the protests have provided Hamas, Fatah attempted to hold counter-rallies in support of Abbas throughout the West Bank. The outcome was predictably embarrassing as only small crowds of Fatah loyalists gathered.

Later, Abbas chaired a meeting of the defunct Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Ramallah to tout his supposed achievements in the Palestinian national struggle.

The PNC is considered the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Like the PLO, it has been relegated for many years in favor of the Fatah-dominated PA. The PA leader handpicked new members to join the PNC, only to ensure the future of all political institutions conforms to his will.

In the backdrop of such dismaying reality, thousands more continue to flock to the Gaza border.

Palestinians, disenchanted with factional division, are laboring to create a new political space, independent from the whims of factions; because, for them, the real fight is that against Israeli Occupation, for Palestinian freedom and nothing else.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net.

May 10, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 10 Comments

Protecting Israel Is Their Full-Time Job

Time to question the loyalty of some legislators and judges

Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • May 8, 2018

I have a number of times discussed how the U.S. and other governments have legislated and otherwise promoted Jewish and Israeli interests in ways that most people would find unacceptable if they were aware of what exactly has been going on. Here in the United States, special Medicare coverage and immigration status have been granted, often concealed in other legislation, to benefit holocaust survivors and Russian Jews seeking to emigrate. State legislatures and the U.S. Congress have meanwhile been working hard to pass legislation that blocks and even criminalizes the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) protests against Israeli behavior while universities have been banning anti-Israel demonstrators and groups on campus because they apparently are offensive to the sensitivities of some Jewish students.

The latest outrage against the First Amendment comes from South Carolina, the home state of the arch-Zionist poseur and United Nations Ambassador extraordinary Nikki Haley. A new hate speech law was inserted in the state’s recently approved annual budget. The legislation borrows from the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism, which proscribes speech that “demonizes” or applies “double standards” to Israel “by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” as anti-Semitic.

While the State Department definition is a guideline, South Carolina’s specific inclusion of it in legislation makes explicit that criticism of Israel as hate speech can be subject to criminal penalties. It also is binding on all the state’s universities and educational institutions.

The law was promoted by Alan Clemmons, a Mormon legislator who has led numerous delegations to Israel and who has been described as “Israel’s biggest supporter in a U.S. state legislature.”

Supporters of the Bill of Rights have been universally opposed to the bill, but pro-Israel groups have praised the initiative and are expecting a “new wave” of legislation all across the United States blocking any criticism of the self-described Jewish State. The Brandeis Center has enthused

“This bill gives South Carolina the tools to protect Jewish students’ and all South Carolina students’ right to a learning environment free of unlawful discrimination. We are hoping this momentous step will result in another national wave to, once and for all, begin defeating rising anti-Semitism.”

Other states will undoubtedly follow the South Carolina lead, so it would appear that any criticism of Israel will become illegal in the public square if the many friends of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have their way. And they generally do get what they want from the federal level all the way down to the states and local communities, so be prepared.

Israel also is regularly exploiting the American legal system to punish countries that it has defined as its enemies. Its government sponsored lawfare organization called Shurat Hadin has initiated a number of lawsuits in U.S. courts to punish Palestinians and Iranians. Ironically, it is currently seeking to demonstrate that Hamas is committing war crimes in Gaza, where Israel has been using army snipers to kill unarmed demonstrators.

Other lawsuits filed on behalf of mostly Jewish Americans in U.S. courts seeking compensation from Iranians and Palestinians are also pending, with the tribunals in Manhattan particularly prone to being sympathetic to the plaintiffs. Last week, at the Federal Court for the Southern District of Manhattan, Judge George Daniels issued a default judgment relating to his 2011 determination that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to the hundreds of family members of victims who are named in the case. The judge ordered Iran to pay $6 billion in compensation – “$12,500,000 per spouse, $8,500,000 per parent, $8,500,000 per child, and $4,250,000 per sibling” to the families and estates of the deceased. A 4.96 annual interest rate will also be applied to the amount, starting from September 11, 2001 to the date of the judgement.”

Normally foreign governments have what is referred to as sovereign immunity which prevents their being sued, but that all changed in the U.S. with the passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) of 2016, which permitted individual lawsuits in any federal court involving any government’s alleged participation in international acts of “terrorism.” This has resulted in a series of multi-billion-dollar lawsuits against Iran, the Palestinians and also Saudi Arabia. Many of the lawsuits have Israeli citizens as plaintiffs, suing in American courts.

Though the lawsuit claimed, and Judge Daniels agreed, that Tehran had supported the 9/11 hijackers with training and other assistance, most authorities would question that judgement. Many would consider it to be ludicrous as Iranian Shi’ites were considered to be kill-on-sight heretics by al-Qaeda. The idea that Iran was somehow involved in 9/11 is in reality a ridiculous Israel Lobby contrivance that was first floated in 2015 by ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, a renowned Zionist stooge and conspiracy theorist who is viewed by many as not completely in possession of all his marbles.

Indeed, it is far more plausible that Israel was involved in 9/11 than was Iran. Israel operated a massive spying operation directed against Arabs in the U.S. and several of its intelligence officers were seen in Jersey City to be filming themselves while dancing and cavorting in delight as the twin towers went down, suggesting some prior knowledge.

But, of course, no one would be allowed to sue Israel in an American court. The 9/11 Commission failed to examine the case against Israel even though it allegedly sought to compile a “full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding” the attacks, but it did investigate the possible ties to Iran. It found the only evidence of any Iranian support to consist of certain 9/11 hijackers travelling through Iran on their way to Afghanistan without having their passports stamped.

In his Farewell Address President George Washington warned that

“… a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation. As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot.”

If one believes that deference to the special foreign interest of one powerful and wealthy segment of the population is appropriate in a democracy then I suppose the Jewish/Israeli pander has to be considered acceptable. I happen to believe that, as our first president so clearly articulated, it is not, particularly as much of the concession that Jews are somehow to be treated differently than the rest of the community due to their alleged victimhood contributes to a criticism-free ride for an Israel which is eagerly seeking a new war in the Middle East. It would be a war that the United States would inevitably get pulled into by Israel’s friends in Congress and the media. It would also be catastrophic for all parties involved and it all starts with the belief that Israel should somehow be protected and its enemies punished while also being exempt from being made accountable for its actions.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

May 8, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Murderous Strikes on Syria (via “Pacified” Lebanon)

By Andre Vltchek | New Eastern Outlook | May 1, 2018

On April 9, 2018 at least 14 people were killed during the murderous strike by the Israeli air force on the Syrian T-4 airfield at Homs.

Israeli F-15 fighter jets flew over Lebanese airspace, as they have done on many previous occasions, in total disregard of international law.

Both Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war, and the latest action could easily be considered as yet another shameless provocation. Apparently, whatever terror Western allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel decide to spread throughout the region, their actions will always go unpunished.

To add insult to injury, instead of condemning Israel, the Western mass media outlets began their predictable and embarrassing servile howling against the government in Damascus, some ‘correspondents’ even calling President al-Assad an “animal” (The Sun, 9th April, 2018).

This time, Lebanon, which in the past suffered from several brutal Israeli invasions, and where Israel is commonly referred to as ‘Palestine’, decided not to protest too loudly against the violation of its airspace. There were some statements made by individual Lebanese politicians, as well as a statement by the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which objected to the attack against Syria, claiming that Lebanon will file a complaint to the UNSC. Most of the statements, however, appeared only in the Arabic language. There was definitely no robust national response, as one would have expected.

Ms. Zeinab Al-Saffar, an Iraqi educator and television anchor based in Beirut, Lebanon, shared her thoughts on the subject:

It is not the first time that this is happening.  Israeli forces have been violating the airspace of Lebanon, as well as the land and sea belonging to Lebanon. Violation of the territory of Lebanon [by Israel] became something ‘regular’. What happened recently is a flagrant intrusion which should not go unanswered, as they were using Lebanese air space in order to attack the Syrian land. I believe this is the right time for the U.N. to do something more than just to make the reports and write numbers. This is an extremely serious situation; to use the territory of a neighboring country in order to attack a third nation; it is a barefaced crime.

*****

Why do Lebanon’s protests not resonate louder?

There are several reasons. One: the country recently ‘secured’ an enormous package of mostly loans from the West, at a ‘Paris conference’, amounting to more than 11 billion dollars.

Two: A great percentage of the ‘elites’ of Lebanon is accustomed to taking orders from the West. The West is where their villas are, where their relatives live, and their permanent residency cards issued.

A much greater war may be nearing; both the U.S. and Europe are now attacking Syria directly. In this decisive time, the Lebanese rulers are opportunistically showing where their allegiances lie: not with the people of the devastated Middle East, but with Paris, London, Riyadh and Washington.

But back to the first point – to money. As reported by Reuters on April 6, 2018:

“The pledges include $10.2 billion in loans and $860 million in grants, France’s ambassador to Lebanon Bruno Foucher said on Twitter…”

Donors in turn want to see Lebanon commit to long-stalled reforms. In a nod to those demands, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri pledged to reduce the deficit of the budget as a percentage of GDP by 5 percent in the coming five years.

Macron told Hariri in a news conference the aid aimed to give Lebanon a fresh start, adding that it put “an unprecedented responsibility” on authorities there to carry out reforms and preserve peace in the country.

“It is important to continue reforms in the coming months,” Macron said, adding: “We’ll be by your side.” …

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the conference: “… Lebanon needs major reforms of its economy, structural and sectoral.””

‘Structural reforms’ is a key term. This shameful package of loans which will further tie the hands of Lebanon could insure the complacency of the country: both economic and political obedience at the time when the West is ready to unleash a new wave of its military onslaught in the region.

There is hardly any transparency in Lebanon, and therefore almost no guarantee that the loans will be used to improve the standard of living of the suffering population. Corruption in Lebanon is endemic – it is institutionalized – to the point that it is often not even called ‘corruption’ anymore.

Social services are almost non-existent. Here, the contrasts are truly appalling. Ferraris and Lamborghinis, as well as outrageously expensive sailing boats, co-exist side-by-side with absolute misery and lack of social services, such as, at least periodically, garbage collection.

Hezbollah, a movement which is on the so-called terrorist list of many Western countries, is often the only reliable source of social services in the country.

The West will now demand more and more neo-liberal ‘reforms’. Almost nothing social will be built. Funds will disappear into the deep pockets of the shameless Lebanese ‘elites’ and ‘leaders’. It will be the poor, who will be expected to service the loans, as the rich in Lebanon hardly pay taxes.

In exchange for their booty, many Lebanese politicians will be further obliged to follow the Western line towards the region, including the neo-liberal and increasingly neo-colonialist policy of Washington and France (Lebanon’s former colonial master) towards Syria and the rest of the region.

******

And across the border line, the war is still raging. Washington and London fulfilled their shameful promises to perform ‘punitive actions’; to ‘chastise Syria’ for something that was clearly invented/manufactured just in order to justify an invasion, destabilization and in the end, the destruction, of this small but strong and proud nation.

A Syrian intellectual, who lives in both Beirut and Damascus, offered his analyses for this article. However, he requested not to be identified by his name, afraid of repercussions from both Lebanon and the West:

The Israeli attack comes at a time when the Syrian army is winning its fight against terrorist groups in Damascus suburbs, and it could be read as an indirect answer to these wins. It is also a dangerous move since the T4 airbase is heavily involved in the fight against the remaining of ISIS in Syria. This attack is unacceptable aggression against a sovereign nation and it is a violation of international laws. It also shows that Israel is helping directly and indirectly various terrorists groups operating on the Syrian territory.

*****

However, the commentaries that are being spread by the Western mainstream press are increasingly defying all logic. They are progressively turning out to be racist, supremacist. Well, actually now they are what they have always been earlier, throughout the centuries of European and then North American colonialism.

In Damascus, shelling a park right next to the Four Seasons Hotel, the UN accommodation from East Ghouta

Just read The Guardian article from April 9th, 2018- “Israel has launched countless strikes in Syria. What’s new is Russia’s response”:

Israel has launched many previous strikes into Syria, mainly to protect its borders from a buildup of Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces and armaments on the Golan Heights. Israel, has not, as a rule, attacked al-Qaida or Islamic State positions in Syria.

On all previous occasions, Russia – which has controlled Syrian air space since it sent troops to defend the regime of Bashar al-Assad in 2015 – has turned a blind eye. There had been an understanding that Israeli interests in Syria would be preserved by Russia, primarily by limiting the presence of Iranian-backed troops in Syria’s south-west. The Israeli fear is that access to the Syrian side of the Golan Heights allows Hezbollah to launch attacks into Israel.

At least The Guardian does not pretend that it believes in the Western fabrications that President Assad is poisoning his own people…

But the article is clearly trying to justify and find logic behind the Israeli terrorist attacks against the independent nation.

‘Poor Israel – it is worried about ‘Hezbollah forces and armaments on the Golan Heights.’

Spy-surveillance base on the hill overlooking Syria

But the Golan Heights is by international law an inseparable part of Syria. I repeat: by all international norms! Including, the United Nations Security Council UN Resolution 497. Golan Heights had been attacked, occupied and forcefully (and it looks like indefinitely) annexed by Israel, during the so-called ‘Six-Day War’ in 1981.

I visited the Golan Heights. I worked there, for several days, clandestinely, some 5 days ago. What I encountered there was true horror: ancient villages were totally destroyed, most of the original population deported from their land, Israeli-paid spies and provocateurs approaching and scrutinizing random visitors. All around – scattered rich Israeli agricultural enterprises protected by barbed wire and tall concrete walls. It all felt like working in Angola or Namibia, during the South African apartheid, or perhaps even worse; divided communities, stolen land, electric wire, and omnipresent fear and oppression.

Horrid border at Majdal al-Shams

But it is Israel which now has the right to ‘worry’ and to murder people in the name of its ‘security’. That is precisely what the tone of the Western mainstream periodicals clearly suggests.

Israel had stolen more than a thousand kilometers square of the Syrian territory in 1981, and now it is mercilessly bombing its victim; from Lebanese territory, in order to assure its ‘safety and security’. It is doing so from the territory of Lebanon, a country which was invaded by the Israeli military, on several occasions.

And the West is cheering.

*****

Of course, Israel is acting with total impunity, because it enjoys both the support and encouragement from its allies: The United States, the U.K. and Macron’s France.

Lebanon is panicking. Its’ ‘elites’ are trying to both survive, and not to anger the West.

Syrians have, it often appears, nerves of steel.

They worry but are determined not to give one single inch of their land to the invaders.

My friend in Damascus wrote to me, just a few hours before I submitted this report:

People are worried and they constantly follow up the news. My brother asked us to go to Safita for one month, as it is safer there. I’m not sure if we do it, but we are closely monitoring the situation.

My colleagues and comrades on the ground in Syria are angry, very angry. They can clearly see through the lies, which are being spread by the West.

Israel is repeatedly bombing heroic Syria.

On April 29, 2018, the Israeli attacks killed 26 Syrians and Iranians, just before Midnight, near Hama and Aleppo.

The U.S. and Europe are bombing and threatening to cause even more damage.

But this is 2018, not those dark years when the West could murder and rape without any consequences. If these attacks continue, there will be a counterpunch: fully justified, determined and powerful.

Then even the tiny Lebanon would have to decide where it stands.

• Photos by Andre Vltchek

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

De-Briefing Academics: Unpaid Intelligence Informants

By James Petras • Unz Review • May 1, 2018

Introduction

Over the past half-century, I have been engaged in research, lectured and worked with social movements and leftist governments in Latin America. I interviewed US officials and think tanks in Washington and New York. I have written scores of books, hundreds of professional articles and presented numerous papers at professional meetings.

In the course, of my activity I have discovered that many academics frequently engage in what government officials dub ‘de-briefing’! Academics meet and discuss their field-work, data collection, research finding, observations and personal contacts over lunch at the Embassy with US government officials or in Washington with State Department officials.

US government officials look forward to these ‘debriefings’; the academic provided useful access to information which they otherwise could not obtain from paid, intelligence agents or local collaborators.

Not all academic informants are very well placed or competent investigators. However, many provide useful insights and information especially on leftist movements, parties and leaders who are real or potential anti-imperialist adversaries.

US empire builders whether engaged in political or military activities depend on information especially regarding who to back and who to subvert; who should receive diplomatic support and who to receive financial and to military resources.

De-briefed academics identify ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ adversaries, as well as personal and political vulnerabilities. Officials frequently exploit health problems or family needs to ‘turn’ leftists into imperial stool pigeons.

US officials are especially interested in academic gate-keepers who exclude ‘anti-imperialist’ critics, activists , politicians and government officials.

At times, US State Department officials claim to be sympathetic ‘progressives’ who oppose ‘Neanderthals’ in their institution, in order to elicit inside information from leftist academic informants.

Debriefing is a widespread practice and involves numerous academics from major universities and research centers, as well as non-governmental ‘activists’ and editors of academic journals and publications.

Academic participates in debriefing frequently do not publicize their reporting to the government. Most likely they share their reports with other academic informers. All claim they are merely sharing research and diffusing information for ‘science’ and to further ‘humane values’.

Academic informers always justify their collaboration as providing a clear and more balanced picture to ‘our’ policymakers, ignoring the predictable destructive outcomes likely to ensue.

Academics in the Service of Empire

Academic informants never study, collect research and publicize reports on US covert, overt and clandestine policies in defense of multi-nationals and Latin American elite which collaborate with empire builders.

US officials have no interest in ‘debriefing’ academics conducting anti-imperialist research.

US officials are keen to know any and all reports on ‘movements from below’: who they are, how much influence they have, their susceptibility to bribes, blackmail and invitations to the State Department, Disneyland, or the Wilson Center in D.C.

US officials fund academic research on militant trade unions, agrarian social movements, feminist and ethnic minorities engaged in class struggle, and anti-imperialist activists and leaders, as they all serve as targets for imperial repression.

The officials are also keen on academic reports on so-called ‘moderate’ collaborators who can be funded, advised and recruited to defend the empire, undermine the class struggle and split movements.

Academic informants are especially useful in providing personal and political information on Latin American leftwing intellectuals, academics, journalists, writers and critics which allows US officials to isolate, slander and boycott anti-imperialists, as well as those intellectuals who can be recruited and seduced with foundation grants and invitations to the Kennedy Center at Harvard.

When US officials have a difficult time understanding the intricacies and consequences of ideological debates and factional divisions within leftist parties or regimes, ex-leftist academic informers, who collect documents and interviews, provide detailed explanations and provide officials with a political roadmap to exploit and exacerbate divisions and to guide repressive policies, which undermine adversaries engaged in anti-imperialist and class struggle.

The State Department works hand and glove with research centers and foundations in promoting journals which eschew all mention of imperialism and ruling class exploitation; they promote ‘special issues’ on ‘class-less’ identity politics, post-modern theorizing and ethnic-racial conflicts and conciliation.

In a study of the two leading political science and sociological journals over a period of fifty years they published less than .01% on class struggle and US imperialism

Academic informants have never reported on US government links to narco-political rulers.

Academic informants do not research widespread long term Israeli collaboration with death squads in Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina and El Salvador, in cases because of their loyalties to Tel Aviv and in most cases because the State Department is not interested in debriefings which expose their allies and their joint complicity.

Academic Informants: What do they want and what do they get?

Academic informers engage in debriefing for various reasons. A few do so simply because they share the politics and ideology of the empire builders and feel it is their ‘duty’ to serve.

The great majority are established academics with ties to research centers who inform because it fattens their CV– which helps secure grants, prestigious appointments and awards.

Progressive academics who collaborate have a Janus face approach; they speak at Leftist public conferences, especially to students and in private they report to the State Department.

Many academics believe they can influence and change government policy. They seek to impress self-identified ‘progressive’ officials with their inside knowledge on how to ‘turn’ Latin critics into moderate collaborators. They invent innocuous academic categories and concepts to attract graduate students to further collaboration with imperial colleagues.

The Consequence of Academic Debriefing

Former leftist academic informers are frequently cited by the mass media as reliable and knowledgeable ‘experts’ in order to slander anti-imperialist governments, academics and critics.

Ex-leftist academics pressure rising scholars with a critical perspective to adopt ‘moderate’ reasonable critiques, to denounce and avoid anti-imperialist ‘extremists’ and to disparage them as ‘polemical ideologues’!

Academic informants in Chile helped the US Embassy identify neighborhood militants who were handed over to the secret police (DINA) during the Pinochet dictatorship.

US academic informants in Peru and Brazil provided the Embassy with research projects which identified nationalist military officials and leftist students who were subsequently purged, arrested and tortured.

In Colombia, US academic informers were active in providing reports on rural insurgent movements which led to massive repression. Academic collaborators provided detailed reports to the [US] embassy in Venezuela on the grass roots movements and political divisions among Chavista government and military officials with command of troops.

The State Department financed academics working with NGOs who identified and recruited middle class youth as street fighters, drug gangsters and the destitute to engage in violent struggles to overthrow the elected government by paralyzing the economy.

Academic reports on regime ‘violence’ and ‘authoritarianism’ served as propaganda fodder for the State Department to impose economic sanctions, impoverishing people, to foment a coup. US academic collaboraters enlisted their Latin colleagues to sign petitions urging rightwing regimes in the region to boycott Venezuela.

When academic informers are confronted with the destructive consequences of imperial advances they argue that it was not their ‘intention’; that it was not their State Department contacts who carried out the regressive policies. The more cynical claim that the government was going to do their dirty work regardless of the debriefing.

Conclusion

What is clear in virtually all known experiences is that academic informers’ de-briefings strengthened the empire-builders and complemented the deadly work of the paid professional operatives of the CIA, DEA and the National Security Agency.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

The Israel lobby: A List

Hollywood gala on November 2, 2017 to raise funds for “Friends of the IDF”, which supports Israeli soldiers. The event raised $54 million. Since FIDF has been made tax exempt in the U.S, donors were able to write their donations to soldiers for a foreign military off their U.S. taxes.
If Americans Knew | May 4, 2018

The pro-Israel special interest group is one of the most significant and pervasive special interest groups in the United States. It consists of numerous institutions and individuals that work to influence Congress, the president, academia, the media, religious institutions, and American public opinion on behalf of Israel. It has been active in the U.S. for many decades.

Below is a partial list, in no particular order, of groups and individuals that publicly support Israel. Some of these are official lobbying groups whose primary purpose is to lobby governmental officials for pro-Israel policies. Others are groups or individuals that work to influence the media, academia and/or others in a pro-Israel direction. Some do this full-time; others as one portion of a diverse array of activities. While they span the political spectrum and range from hardcore supporters of the Israeli right to liberal critics of some Israeli policies, all support Israel.

We will continue to update and add entities to this very incomplete list as staffing and time allow. (Also, we have been creating this roster for a number of years, so some links below may now be broken and some information may need to be updated; we will work to fix these as soon as possible.)

Below this list are some recommended books and additional resources on the Israel lobby. 

• The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC): AIPAC is the most prominent governmental lobbying organization on behalf of Israel. Fortune Magazine typically rates it as the second most powerful lobby in the U.S. AIPAC frequently writes legislation for members of Congress, which extraordinarily large majorities of both parties typically endorse. It has a $100 million endowmentand annual revenue of about $60 million and spends about $2-3 million each year in lobbying Congress. AIPAC’s annual conventions are typically a who’s who of high government office from both parties pledging their loyalty to Israel. Some years ago an AIPAC official announced that they planned to take over student governments.

• Pro-Israel Political Action Committees (PACs): AIPAC does not give campaign contributions itself but instead uses a campaign finance network consisting of around thirty Pro-Israel Political Action Committees (PACs), which AIPAC is constantly signaling. Only four of these PACs have names that indicate their true agenda, such as ‘Allies for Israel’ or ‘World Alliance for Israel.’ The rest have innocuous names like ‘National Action Committee’ or ‘Heartland PAC.’ Constituents usually don’t realize their candidates are receiving money from PACs that advance the interests of a foreign government. (More info below)

• Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP): This group of 51 Zionist organizations also advocates on behalf of Israel, including a focus on Iran. It had revenues of over $2.2 million in 2011. All members of the CoP sit on AIPAC’s executive committee. The Conference of Presidents focuses on lobbying the Executive branch while AIPAC concentrates on Congress.

• The American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF): AIEF is a subsidiary of AIPAC that takes Congressional Representatives on all-expense-paid trips to Israel. In August 2011, 81 members of Congress from both parties took trips to Israel with the AIEF. Its annual budget is over $26 million, and its executive director, Richard Fishman, is officially “not compensated,” but he receives $395,000 annually from affiliates. Roll Call reports that in 2012 “The American Israel Education Foundation spent more than $650,000 last year — more than any other group — to send more than 60 lawmakers and staffers to Israel for tours of Jerusalem, seminars on Israeli politics and discussions of asymmetric warfare, according to congressional travel filings.”

• The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP): WINEP is a highly influential think tank that pushes Israel-centric Middle East policies. It was founded by a former AIPAC employee, and while it claims to promote a “balanced and realistic” understanding of the Middle East, it is “funded by individuals deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda.” It is frequently called upon by both the government and the media to provide “expert” analysis on Middle East issues. Its 2010 revenues were $9.4 million, and its net assets total $23.5 million. Former AIPAC member MJ Rosenberg stated: “I was working at AIPAC and it was Steve Rosen who cleverly came up with the idea for an AIPAC controlled think-tank that would put forth the AIPAC line but in a way that would disguise its connections.” More information is here.

• Anti-Defamation League (ADL): The ADL bills itself as a civil rights institution devoted to stamping out anti-Semitism. But in practice, it regularly works to promote Israeli interests and attacks virtually any prominent person who criticized Israel and labels them “anti-Semitic.” It has also been involved in a large spying operation against American citizens who opposed the policies of Israel and the Apartheid regime in South Africa. It is an architect of “hate crimes legislation” that may effectively criminalize criticism of Israeli policies. The ADL is a member of the CoP with revenues of around $68 million and as of 2008 had net assets of over $185 million. Abe Foxman, its former national director, made $688,280 per year. When he retired he took a position at an Israeli think tank. The current director is Jonathan Greenblatt.

• International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (aka Stand for Israel): Founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein “to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel,” it promotes advocacy for Israel among mostly right-wing Christians. It has annual revenues of nearly $100 million.

• Central Fund of Israel, based in Manhattan,  says it funds “over 250 charitable causes in Israel.” A Ha’aretz investigation found it funneled much of its money to settlements; it has sent money to an extremist Israeli organization in which the “rabbis heading the yeshiva published a book that discussed the circumstances in which non-Jews can be killed.” It has received “tens of millions of dollars” in donations. In 2015 its revenue was $20 million.

It also sponsors Reservists on Duty, established in 2015 by Israeli soldiers to travel to US college campuses to advocate for Israel and to train American Jewish students to speak on behalf of Israel.

The Gideon Project was created by Reservists On Duty “to give students fluent in English a chance to represent and defend Israel internationally after their service.” Soldiers speak on campuses throughout the U.S. Video here.

• Christians United for Israel (CUFI): CUFI is a right-wing Evangelical Christian organization run by David Brog, a Jewish American attorney who previously practiced corporate law in Tel Aviv, Israel. He’s the author of  Reclaiming Israel’s History. In 2007, the Forward newspaper listed Brog in its “Forward 50” most influential Jews in America. The titular founder of CUFI is John Hagee. CUFI, which distorts Biblical teachings, has high-level contacts with the Israeli government. Despite a budget of $7 million, it may be losing ground as more evangelicals learn the facts about Israel. It has a lobbying arm, called CUFI Action Fund, first reported in The Washington Post, run by Gary Bauer, one of the signers of the Statement of Principles of Project for the New American Century (PNAC) on June 3, 1997. Bauer also serves on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel. In 2010 he received the Defender of Israel Award from the Zionist Organization of America. CUFI Action Fund’s Communications Director is Ari Morgenstern, an Israeli citizen who previously served at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. The fund, Bauer said, will have a multimillion-dollar budget and a dozen staffers who will focus on pro-Israel lobbying among members of Congress and presidential candidates. In 2017 it began a scorecard of legislators’ every vote and comment about Israel.

• Simon Wiesenthal Center: According to its website: “The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global Jewish human rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations.” It has “a constituency of over 400,000 households” in the US. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Toronto, Miami, Chicago, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Jerusalem.” It gave its “Humanitarian Award” to Harvey Weinstein in 2015 despite the open secret of Weinstein’s assaults on women.  In 2011 it had an annual budget of $24 millionand net assets of $67 million.

• The Israel Project: Founded in 2003, the Israel Project specializes in pro-Israel propaganda targeting the press and the American public. In 2009, a secret handbook commissioned by The Israel Project and written by Republican pollster and strategist Frank Luntz, “The Global Language Dictionary,” was exposed by two Newsweek reporters. The handbook crafts language and talking points for Israel advocates in simplistic, diversionary, and dishonest ways. The organization has 70 employees and an $11 million annual budget. In 2011 it opened additional bureaus in India and China and launched a website in Arabic.

• Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF): This American organization supports the Israeli armed forces. It hosts lavish fundraisers and has fourteen regional offices in the U.S. and one in Latin America. FIDF also brings hundreds of Israeli soldiersto the U.S. every year to lecture at synagogues, universities, and schools in order to increase American support for Israeli policies. It has annual revenues of around $60 million and net assets of $80 million.

• Hadassah (Women’s Zionist Organization of America): Founded in 1912, Hadassah is “a volunteer organization that inspires a passion for and commitment to its partnership with the land and people of Israel.” It has chapters across the U.S. and “more than 330,000… Members, Associates and supporters.” It regularly advocates on behalf of Israel and is currently pushing anti-Iran legislation. It has annual revenues of nearly $100 million and $400 million in net assets.

• America’s Voices in Israel (AVI): A project of the Conference of Presidents, AVI works to “strengthen American understanding of and support for Israel by inviting U.S.-based radio talk show hosts to see Israel and broadcast their programs live from Jerusalem.” It also brings celebrities and other “opinion makers” on guided tours of Israel.

• The Jewish Agency for Israel: The name is often shortened to just “The Jewish Agency.” According to its website, founded in 1929, this links “Jews around the world with Israel as the focal point… ” Major activities include Jewish Zionist education and building a global Jewish community. “In addition to extensive programs in Israel, it operates in close to 80 countries on five continents through a network of over 450 emissaries, including hundreds of formal and informal educators. The world Jewish community participates in the Jewish Agency’s decision-making process through the Assembly, its supreme governing body, and its Board of Governors, which is responsible for policy making and oversight.” The Jewish Federations of North American are a fundraising partner, with individual Jewish Federations from numerous American cities listed.

  • James S. Tisch: Chairperson of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors. According to its website, Tisch is President and Chief Executive Officer of Loews Corporation, chairman of the Board of Directors of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc., a member of the Board of Directors of CNA Financial Corporatio, a director on the board of the General Electric Company, Chairman of the Board of WNET, parent of WNET Channel 13 and WLIW Channel 21, a member of the Board of Directors of The New York Public Library, serves on the Executive Committee of the Partnership for New York City, a Trustee of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, President and Chairman Emeritus of Federation Employment and Guidance Service (F.E.G.S.), past Chairman of the Board of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, past Chairman of the Board of United Jewish Communities, past President of UJA-Federation of New York, and a former director on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

• Young Judaea:  According to its website, the organization was founded in 1909 and is “the oldest Zionist youth movement in the United States.” It brings young people to Israel and also has numerous summer camps in the US that serve to “instill a lifelong love” of  Israel. It’s annual budget is approximately $200,000.

• American Friends of Likud: According to its website, AFL “has developed unparalleled relationships with the Likud [a right-wing Israeli political party] Ministers and Members of Knesset as well as other Israeli dignitaries and policy and opinion makers. Our programs feature these individuals as guest speakers, lecturers and educators. Our special relationships with Israel’s leaders, dignitaries, journalists, etc. have been developed over the years and are based on a mutual belief in a right-leaning Likud philosophy.” Based in New York City, it is a has an annual budget of approximately $300,000. AFLis reported to be “one of hundreds of ‘Friends of’ Israel organizations in the US – all 501c3 tax-exempt charities raising funds to send to their parent organizations in Israel.”

• American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) [Jewish Virtual Library]: This nonprofit organization was established in 1993, according to its website, in order to “strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.” Its principal publication is Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. It also works to fight “the delegitimization of Israel,” producing materials to oppose the BCS campaign and publishing the StopBDS.com website. There seem to be a number of AICE branches. The one in Chevy Chase assets of almost $11 million as of 2013. Its leader is Mitchell Bard. The organization sometimes funds professorson US campuses.

• The Israel Allies Foundation: Its website states: “Pioneered by MK Rabbi Binyamin Elon, the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) works with Congress and parliaments around the world to mobilize political support for Israel based on Judeo-Christian values.” Officially titled International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, it coordinates similar caucuses in 35 countries and has approximately $2 million in resources. 

• Americans United with Israel: The American branch of the international organization United with Israel, which states that it is “a global community comprised of individuals who are deeply committed to the success and prosperity of Israel. Our primary mission is to build a massive network of pro-Israel activists and to educate and promote unity with the People, Country and Land of Israel.” It is a tax-exempt organization. 2014 revenue was $590,000. It’s head is Kaylene Ladinsky, associate publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times.

• The Jewish Policy Center: Its website says it provides timely perspectives and analysis of foreign and domestic policies by leading scholars, academics, and commentators” and “passionately supports … U.S.-Israel security cooperation, and missile defense. We support Israel in its quest for legitimacy and security.” The JPC also says: “We also support U.S. efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East. We believe it is critical to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. We support Washington’s efforts to deter dangerous states from acquiring nuclear weapons. Finally, we lend our full support to Israel in its long war for security in the Middle East.”

• The Haym Salomon Center: According to its website, The Haym Salomon Center is a news and public policy group that produces content that often appears in mainstream and new media outlets. Its articles have been published in USA Today, the New York Daily News, Fox News, The Hill, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, etc. Many of its articles focus on Israel, the dangers of “political Islam,” and”antisemitism,” which frequently means opposition to Israeli human rights violations. It operates under Over the Horizon nonprofit organization, which in 2014 had approximately a quarter of a million dollars.

• The Foundation for Jewish Camp: This nonprofit foundation states on its website that in in Jewish camps “Israeli culture is celebrated through song, food, art, and dance,” and reports, “The magic of Jewish camp is rooted in its 24/7 atmosphere” and says that “connection to Israel” is “entwined with basketball, arts and crafts and swimming.” It notes that some camps are particularly “focused on Zionism and the role of Israel in Jewish life.” It reports that in one of these, CAMP INC., “Israel education will be embedded in the program as campers learn about Israel through the lens of their entrepreneurial sector. Campers will learn from high-level mentors, teachers, and business pioneers. Camp Inc., under the direction of Josh Pierce, will be operated by the Boulder JCC.” Another, URJ 6 POINTS SCIENCE ACADEMY “will immerse them in a vibrant Jewish community filled with Jewish music, Shabbat experiences, and living connections to Israel.” It states that the Academy, the 14th in the Union for Reform Judaism’s camp system, will be located in the Boston, MA area. Funding comes from a grant of $8.6 million jointly funded by The Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation.

• The Jim Joseph Foundation: This is a DBA of the Shimon Ben Joseph Foundation, which faqs.org reports has assets of $837,220,914. Its website reports that among the activities its sponsors is “Israel Education,” which includes “twinning day schools with schools in Israel; integrating Israel education with learning taking place in general studies courses; and showcasing Israel’s arts and culture so students and teachers are in direct contact with what is happening in Israel today.”

• The Avi Chai Foundation: According to its 2010 form 990 report it had total assets of $614,997,808. One of its primary North American focuses, according to its website, is “Promoting Jewish Peoplehood and Israel.” It states: “Israel studies and Israel advocacy have become centerpieces of AVI CHAI’s peoplehood efforts in North America. All of the day schools receiving support from AVI CHAI have agreed to include in their materials, as an expression of their own philosophy, the following statement: “The creation of the State of Israel is one of the seminal events in Jewish history. Recognizing the significance of the State and its national institutions, we seek to instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel and its people as well as a sense of responsibility for their welfare.”

JTA reports: “The Avi Chai Foundation, one of the leading supporters of Jewish day schools, includes on its website a section on Israel Education and Advocacy. It requires all schools receiving its support to abide by a statement saying that they ‘seek to instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel and its people as well as a sense of responsibility for their welfare.’ It provides books on defending against anti-Israel campaigning on college campuses.”

• Stand with Us: Stand with Us has headquarters in Los Angeles and chapters in Israel, Europe, Britain, Australia, and South Africa. Its annual budget is at least $4 million, though this may only cover the U.S. section. It has a number of divisions, including StandWithUsCampusStandWithUs InternationalUnited4FreedomStand4FactsLearnIsraelLibrarians for Fairness, and Emerson Fellows. Student leaders are trained to advocate for Israel on campuses around the country. The organization has erected numerous pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian billboards around the U.S. “Israelis invested $57 billion in U.S. Companies” is one of them. For a deconstruction of this billboard go here.

• Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI): The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports:

Washington observers may feel there is no obvious shortage of pro-Israel lobbyists in the city—but a group of leading American conservatives thinks otherwise and has set up a new campaign group to attack President Obama over his ‘anti-Israel’ stance. The Emergency Committee for Israel presents a potent combination of Republican Party neoconservatives and Evangelical Christians. The new group’s board includes Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate who leads the group American Values, as well as Rachel Abrams, a conservative writer and activist.

Its website says: “The Committee for Israel is committed to mounting an active defense of the US-Israel relationship by educating the public about the positions of political candidates on this important issue, and by keeping the public informed of the latest developments in both countries. Join us to help support Israel and her many friends here in the United States.” The group makes his videos,  Its board is here.

The Committee produced an advertisement against Ron Paul that ran in South Carolina because of Paul’s opposition to U.S. aid to Israel and other countries, and another one against Rush Holt, who was defeated by Cory Booker, whose largest donor was a pro-Israel PAC. ECI funded tens of thousands of dollars worth of anti-Obama advertising.

• Leona M. and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust: The trust fund is valued at between $4 billion and $8 billion. Among the main areas its grants support are programs focused on “the security and development of Israel.” According to Jewish Week:

“[Leona Helmsley] left instructions for her charitable trust fund… to benefit dogs. But the courts ruled that the Leona and Harry Helmsley Trust Fund she had established after her husband’s death was not legally bound to fund animals only, and that its grants should be directed solely at the discretion of the trustees she had appointed. Fortunately for the State of Israel, Mrs. Helmsley chose Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, 69, a local Jewish attorney who worked closely with her the last 18 years of her life, to be one of the four trustees who now oversee that major trust. Frankel, who is married to an Israeli and has visited Israel frequently since he was a teenager, is proud to say that he has a passion for the Jewish state.

Among the projects receiving its multi-million grants was a new press center in Israel. At its opening Frankel announced: “Our hope is that with the opening of the club’s doors, the press will flock here, and will accurately report” on the country and its people.

• AMIT: According to its website: “Founded in 1925, AMIT is the world’s leading supporter of religious Zionist education and social services for Israel’s children and youth, nurturing and educating Israeli children to become productive, contributing members of society.” It has numerous chapters throughout the U.S. It sponsors lectures about Israel, holds screenings of Israeli films, participates in pro-Israel parades, etc. In 2011 its annual expenses were over $8 million and its net assets were $11,705,151. Its executive vice president was paid $120,292.

• Aaron and Marie Blackman Foundation, Inc: Net assets of about $7 million (see also here and here). Distributes grants to various Israeli organizations and other organizations with relationships with Israel.

• Jewish Day Schools: Many of these schools work to “instill in our students an attachment to the state of Israel.” (they sometimes use this version: “we seek to instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel and its people as well as a sense of responsibility for their welfare.” They frequently have school trips to Israel (e.g. the Jewish Day school in Seattle), and include it in curricula, e.g. in Sacramento: “sixth-graders pursue a curriculum centered on Israel.” Their mission statements note that they teach “the centrality of the State of Israel” (see Contra Costa Jewish Day School). These are usually tax exempt institutions, which means they are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. JTA reports: “In April 2002, day schools throughout the country — Block Yeshiva High School in St. Louis, the Ramaz School in New York and the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, to name a few — sent students by bus or plane to a pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C.  “’They drove us to every single rally,” said Shira Galston, a 2004 graduate of Ramaz. “There was no question [of] do you want to go to the rally. We’re going to the rally. Whenever there was something that happened, there was never a question of what side the school was on.’” The Frisch school (Jared Kushner is an alum) hosts training sessions for a project in which teens carry out social media missions assigned from Israel. The Avi Chai Foundation, one of the leading supporters of Jewish day schools, includes on its website a section on Israel Education and Advocacy. It requires all schools receiving its support to abide by a statement saying that they “seek to instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel and its people as well as a sense of responsibility for their welfare.” It provides books on defending against anti-Israel campaigning on college campuses. See this statement by Avi Chai. (It is important to note that such support for Israel came only after years of pro-Israel efforts to obtain this. The American Jewish population did not originally support Zionism, and there are many groups and individuals today who oppose this ideology, both in the U.S. and in Israel itself.)

• Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA): The Jewish Council for Public Affairs acts as an umbrella for many smaller organizations. One of its three goals, as announced in its mission statement, is to work for “the safety and security of the State of Israel.”  Its annual funding is $3,128,795 and comes primarily from private individuals. 

• Jewish National Fund (JNF): The Jewish National Fund is an international organization founded at Basil Switzerland by Theodore Herzl in 1901. The fund was originally created with for the purpose of purchasing land in Palestine for a future Jewish state. Today the main focus for the JNF is land “reclamation” and forestry. However, the group also serves to fund IDF military installations. The organization is well funded by donors with total assets of $1.15 billion dollars.

• Zionist Organization of America (ZOA): The Zionist Organization of America was established in 1887, making it the oldest pro-Israel organization in the US. Their goal is to spread the Zionist message wherever in all aspects of American life. Their objectives include spreading Zionism on American campuses, work to advance the interests Israel and Jewish people within the American legal system. They also engage in pro-Israel lobbying, with expenditures totaling$299,900 in 2009. Their finances include over $8 Million in assets and $2.5 million from donors.

• American Jewish Committee (AJC): The American Jewish Committee, founded in 1906, is based is San Francisco. In its mission statement, the AJC espouses support for leftist values, such as “shared democratic values” and “energy independence of the US,” while also advocating the right of Israel to exist as an exclusionary Jewish state. Its annual income is about $49,525,000 and comes largely from private individuals, with its assets totaling$132,310,000. It played a major role in creating the new Israel-centric definition of antisemitismthat is being embedded around the world.

• World Jewish Congress: The World Jewish Congress is an international organization representing Jews in 100 countries. Supporting Israel is one of the key components of its mission. Although its global finances are unknown, its US offices have an annual revenue of $5,521,674.

• Friends of Aish Hatorah:  Aish Hatora, Hebrew for “fire of the Torah,” is an Orthodox Jewish organization founded in 1974 and headquartered in Jerusalem. The group is known for a number of pro-Israel programs, including The Theodore Herzl Mission, which brings heads of state to Israel for one week each year. They also have a program called the Hasbara Fellowship, where people can come from around the world to learn how to effectively engage in pro-Israel propaganda. The group has also been linked to the distribution of an anti-Islamic propaganda film during the 2008 American presidential campaign. Because Aish Hatora is based in Jerusalem with various global branches, the details of their funding are unknown.

• Chabad: Chabad-Lubavitch, based on an 18th century Hasidic movement, is one of the the largest Jewish organizations in the world. It is a fervent supporter of Israel. One Chabad Rabbi has encouraged Jewish people to kill “Arab men, women, and children.” Chabad sometimes openly teaches that “the soul of the Jew is different than the soul of the non-Jew.” The group has a reported net worth of $1 billion dollars.

• Republican Jewish Coalition: The Republican Jewish Coalition Jewish is a lobbying group whose mission statement includes the “embrace of pro-Israel foreign policy.” The RJC maintains close links to the Likud party of Israel. They also control a Super Pac, which has upward of 2 million dollars in their war chest. Their Annual revenue is $10,067,507. The vast majority of their funding comes from various organizations.

• National Jewish Democratic Council: The National Jewish Democratic Council is a group dedicated to maximising Jewish support for the Democrat party, increasing support for “Jewish domestic and foreign policy priorities,” and “secur[ing] a democratic Jewish state in Israel.” NJDC supports Likud policies and pushes for a hawkish stance against Iran, urging the President of the United States to “stand with Israel.” Its annual income is $1,161,195 and is funded by private individuals.

• Foundation for Defense of Democracies: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is an international organization whose claimed goal is “fighting terrorism and promoting freedom” and “defend[ing] free nations from their enemies.” It developed from the educational initiative Emet, which was created to “win American sympathy for Israel’s response to the Palestinian intifada.” While its mission may appear neutral, the organization is dedicated to promoting the security of Israel. Among its other projects is the Iran Project, which revolves around “supporting energy sanctions.” It is funded largely by private individuals’ donations. Its annual income is$7,267,839.

JINSA: JINSA is a non-profit organization whose mandate includes promoting a “a strong U.S. military, a robust national security policy, and a strong U.S. security relationship with Israel…” Their total revenue is $3,332,140 from contributions and program services.

• Saban Center at Brookings: The Saban Center for Middle East Policy is part of the Brookings Institute. Its mission statement includes a two-state solution for Israel/ Palestine. “Ardent Zionist” Haim Saban, a former AIPAC official, funds the institute.

• Center for Security Policy: Founded and led by neoconservative Frank Gaffney, a longtime Israel partisan, CSP works to promote a close US-Israelrelationship and to position Israel’s enemies as allegedly US adversaries. It’s annual budget is approximately $4 million and Gaffney himself earns over $288,000 yearly. The Institute for Policy Studies states: “…(CSP) is a prominent member of the neoconservative advocacy community that has promoted extravagant weapons programs, an Israel-centric view of Middle East peace, and a broad “war on terror” against ‘Islamofascists.’……A primary target of CSP’s work is Iran.”

• MEMRI: The Middle East Media Research Institute is an organization founded in the US in 1998. It’s stated objective is to “inform the debate over US foreign policy in the Middle East.” However, MEMRI is a shadowy organization that does not disclose names of staff members nor office locations. Analysts have commented that MEMRI appears to function as a propaganda organization that circulates biased translations in order to portray Arabs in the most negative possible light. One of the organization’s founders worked as an Israeli military intelligence officer. MEMRI has full non-profit status in the US and receives donations and grants amounting to $4,872,208 annually.

• Hillel: Hillel is a Jewish international student organization. According to its web page, Hillel “fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.” Its president has stated: “We are a pro-Israel organization. It is part of our mission to encourage students to build an enduring commitment to Israel as a Jewish and democratic homeland.” Hillel sponsors and promotes free “birthright” trips to Israel. These trips position Israel as the “homeland” for European and American Jews. Hillel collects annual revenue of $25,920,017, primarily from gifts, grants, and contributions. Hillel has had a program to try to expand its reach by  “paying students to attract other students” to Hillel.

In 2014 some students launched an Open Hillel to challenge the Hillel establishment and work to allow campus groups “to adopt policies that are more open and inclusive than Hillel International’s, and that allow for free discourse on all subjects within the Hillel community” and that represent “a Jewish community where the full diversity of Jewish views on Israel-Palestine is accepted and celebrated.”

• Birthright Israel: Birthright Israel is an organization that provides free ten-day holidays to Israel for young Jewish adults, age 18 to 26. Their objective is to, “strengthen Jewish identities, Jewish community, and solidarity with Israel…” Their web page strongly emphasizes support for Israel.Philanthropists, along with 14,000 individual donors, fund Birthright Israel. Their total revenue is $101,960,863.

• David Project: The David Project is a non-profit educational program for the dissemination of pro-Israel propaganda in schools. Their primary goal is justification for Israeli actions, which is often referred to in the Hebrew term, “hasbara” (explaining). Their objective is, “work[ing] directly with students and Israel groups to help them reach out to their peers and talk about Israel.” The David Project has annual income of $2,824,763. However, the source of this income is unclear.

• Amcha Initiative: The Amcha Initiative is a group whose stated objective is to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism. Their definition of anti-Semitism is broad and encompasses virtually any criticism of Israel, including criticism of Israel’s human rights abuses. The group also lists the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement as an example anti-Semitism. Their annual income is $199,155. The source of this income is unclear.

• Young Israel: The National Council of Young Israel is a group of  146 Orthodox Jewish congregations. Starting in 1912, Young Israel’s web page claims that the group has always been “fiercely Zionist” and even boasts the acquisition of arms for the Jewish terror group Haganah. Young Israel currently offers material support to the Israeli Defense Force as it engages in attacks on Palestinians in Gaza. Because Young Israel is an umbrella for over 100 individual non-profit organizations, it is difficult to ascertain the amount and sources of the group’s income.

• Ateret Cohanim: American Friends of Ateret Cohanim is a non-profit organization based in Jerusalem. The purpose of the organization is the urban renewal of Jerusalem through Jewish gentrification. Their web site boasts of a new Jewish presence in the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City, and proclaims Jerusalem to be a city belonging to every single Jew, in spite of the fact that Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is still not recognized under international law. The group maintains an office in New York with annual revenue of $1,054,618.

• Elad: The Ir David foundation (Amutat EL-AD) is a non-profit organization established in 1986 by David Be’eri, a former elite military commander of the IDF. According to their web page, the group “is dedicated to the preservation and development of the Biblical City of David and its environs.” However, the Ir David foundation is best known for its policy of “Judaization of east Jerusalem” through forced evictions and housing purchases. In recent years, their activity in East Jerusalem has been linked to violent clashes between Palestinians and the new Jewish residents. Ir David has a US auxiliary in New York called Friends of Ir David with total annual revenue of $5,884,950.

• BBYO (formerly B’nai B’rith Youth Organization)Its website says: “BBYO is the leading pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For 90 years, BBYO has provided identity enrichment and leadership development experiences for hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens.” It pridesitself on its “unwavering commitment to the State of Israel.” The site says: “BBYO’s history is closely tied to that of the State of Israel. As the future leaders of the global Jewish community, it is our responsibility to learn about, appreciate and advocate for Israel.” Its 2015 annual budget was $27 million.

• Israeli-American Council: According to the Jewish Daily Forward, the Israeli American Council (IAC) aims to establish the Israeli expatriate community living in the U.S. community “as a ‘strategic asset’ for Israel in the U.S.” The goal is to be a “a potent political force in the future.”  IAC was established in Los Angeles in 2007, but expanded dramatically in 2013 when  casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s began to serve as its main funder. About 700 expatriate Israelis participated in the “first-ever national political conference exclusively devoted to the expat Israeli community” in Nov. 2014. It has an annual budget of $17.5 million.

According to a 2013 report, “Current IAC programs include: Tzav 8 (recruiting thousands for pro-Israel rallies); Financing the Israeli “Shlichim” at all major campuses in Southern California; Organizing and funding the Los Angeles Independence Day Festival – the largest Jewish festival in North America, as well as dozens of ceremonies, holidays and mass events for the community; Sifriyat Pijama B’America, through which 10,000 families nationwide enjoy Hebrew bedtime books sent to their kids by mail, free of charge on a monthly basis; IAC-BINA club, consisting of approximately 1,500 Israeli and American Jewish young adults who convene discussions and activities relating to Jewish identity and support for Israel; establishing and funding the IAC-Care project in which thousands of the community members volunteer and organize large scale drives; and Mishelanu (the leadership program for Israeli-Americans students). More information is available on its website.

• America-Israel Chamber of Commerce Chicago: An American 501(c)6 tax-exempt organization founded in 1958 that facilitates trade and investment between the US and Israel, promotes Israeli goods and services, trade delegations and business match-making events, and works closely with the Government of Israel to advance bilateral trade. It is a sponsor of the website BuyIsraelGoods.org. The organization, which is tax deductible in the U.S., urges people to buy goods from a foreign country.

This is just one of a dozen such tax-exempt America-Israel Chambers of Commerce in the U.S. listed by the The Association of America-Israel Chambers of Commerce.

Influential Pro-Israel Individuals

• Daniel Shapiro, past US Ambassador to Israel, gave a speech in which he detailed his extremely close, life-long ties to Israel, concluding: “[A]s a committed Jewish American, with deep roots in the American Jewish community and warm bonds of affection with Israel, I will have an opportunity to draw on those associations to help make the U.S.-Israel relationship, strong as it is, even stronger in the years ahead.” He stated that “ensuring Israel’s future” drives all US policies. See “US Ambassador: Support for Israel drives all US policies

According to Wikipedia: Shapiro served as a professional staff member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he was a legislative assistant and senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Dianne Feinstein, he sat on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, he was deputy chief of staff (primarily on foreign policy issues) for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, he was vice president of the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm Timmons & Company, served as an advisor to then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on Middle East and Jewish community also assisting as strategist and fundraiser, accompanied Obama on his July 2008 trip to Israel; In January 2009, Shapiro was appointed senior director for the Middle East and North Africa of the U.S. National Security Council. Focusing on Israel, he attended every Israel-related meeting, and met with every senior Israeli diplomat and military officer who visited Washington, D.C. Shapiro often accompanied U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George J. Mitchell on his trips to the region, and played a central role in talks regarding the Middle East Peace Process and the strengthening of military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. He maintained close relations with Benyamin Netanyahu, in spite of tensions between the Israeli prime minister and President Obama.[14] Shapiro took leave of the President of IsraelReuven Rivlin, on January 17, 2017 before holding his final meeting with Netanyahu two days later, which one newspaper described as a “terse farewell.”After concluding his service as ambassador to Israel, Shapiro became a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (Israel) at Tel Aviv University.

• Howard Berman, Democratic Congressman from California, acknowledged in a 2008 interview with the Forward, “Even before I was a Democrat, I was a Zionist.” He went on to explain that “an interest in the Jewish state” was one of the main reasons he first sought a seat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he is the top Democrat. Berman, who is known as “the Congressman from Hollywood,” also told the Forward, “He is particularly keen on getting the House more involved in Iran-related issues.”

• Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel (he was naturalized as an American citizen before being nominated for this position); currently Special Envoy for Israeli Palestinian Negotiations. At one point he had his security clearance revoked, the only time this has happened to a U.S. ambassador. See video.

• Haim Saban, multimedia mogul whose net worth is over $3 billion dollars, has said, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.” In 2010, he told New Yorker magazine that his greatest concern is to protect Israel by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship. Saban has bluntly outlined his formula for gaining influence in American politics: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets. He tried to buy Time and Newsweek magazines, and has made repeated bids for the Los Angeles Times because he considers the paper to be pro-Palestinian. He donated $9 million to Democrats in the 2002 election cycle alone.

• Sheldon Adelson, a businessman and casino magnate, is worth over $28 billion dollars. He owns a number of resorts as well as the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, the most largely circulated paper in Israel. Adelson set a new record in political donations by giving $70 million (to Republicans) in the 2012 elections, nearly triple the previous highest amount. He also funds pro-Israel organizations such as Birthright Israel, which takes thousands of young Jewish Americans on recruiting visits to Israel.

• Rahm Emanuel, powerful Democratic politician, was a Congressman, chair of the House Democratic caucus, mayor of Chicago (despite allegations that he had not been a Chicago resident), in Bill Clinton’s administration (had been Clinton’s main fundraiser), White House Chief of Staff under President Obama, etc. Volunteered with the Israeli military during the first Gulf War (his father had served in the pre-Israel terrorist group the Irgun), was Israeli citizen until age of 18. Jeffrey Goldberg says Emanuel “is deeply and emotionally committed to Israel and its safety. We’ve talked about the issue a dozen times; it’s something he thinks about constantly.” See video.

• Stuart Weitzman, shoe designerdonated $1 million to Maccabi USA. The Maccabiah is an Olympics-style competition held every four years in Israel.

• David Satterfield, U.S. diplomat who holds the rank of “Career Minister” who has worked on Middle East issues for over 40 years.. Among his positions have been second-highest diplomat at the US Embassy in Baghdad. In 2002 Satterfield discussed secret national security matters in two meetings with Steven J. Rosen, a top AIPAC official.

Other individuals include:

Journalists

NYT’s Ethan Bronner’s son was in the Israeli army; more info on NY Times)

Pundits like Jeffrey Goldberg Kenneth Pollack, Daniel Pipes, Bill Kristol, Irving Moskowitz (more)

The Islamophobia Industry: Institutions and individuals who promote Islamophobia, including Aubrey and Joyce Chernick, Frank Gaffney, Pamela Geller, David Horowitz, Stephen EmersonDavid Yerushalmi, and others. (more)

Eric Weider, publisher of American History, Civil War Times, Military History, and eight other history magazines.

Hollywood tycoon Arnon Milchan, who produced Pretty Woman, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Fight Club, worked for the  Mossad.

Politicians

(we have just begun compiling this category)

Charles “Chuck” Schumer, top Democraatic leder in the Senate


There’s no card to carry that says one is part of the Israel lobby. But taken as a whole, this sampling of powerful pro-Israel organizations demonstrates how information is systematically skewed before it reaches the American public. Politicians and journalists are systematically harassed, often losing jobs, if they step out of line.

There is no comparable pressure from the Arab-American side, much less from stateless Palestinians, who have no army, little money, and very little cultural influence or PR savvy. By contrast to the $3 million given by pro-Israel PACs in 2010, the two Arab-American PACs—Arab American Leadership Council PAC and Arab American Political Action Committee—gave a total of $36,500.

Many members of the lobby have promoted policies against Iran and Iraq.


* PACs: Usually a PAC can only donate $5,000 for a primary and $5,000 for general elections. But with thirty “unaffiliated” PACs marching in lockstep behind AIPAC, this can balloon up to $300,000 for any given candidate. The extent of this influence remains hidden from view. They also use “bundling,” which means taking various individual donations and handing them over en masse to a candidate, so that on the books it shows up as several individual donations, but everyone except the FEC understands who’s really controlling the money.

A 1996 book called Stealth PACs reports that “in 1988, Israel’s lobby had 78 PACs spending more than $5.5 million to bribe Congress to vote more aid for Israel. That was more than total contributions together of the two next largest special interests in the United States—the real estate lobby and the teamsters.”

During the 2010 elections, Israel-affiliated contributions were the third highest of any special interest at nearly $3 million (with almost equal amounts given to Democrats and Republicans). But because that number was broken into pieces and hidden behind unrelated names, pro-Israel contributions didn’t “officially” make the top twenty.

One example is Washington Pac, founded by Morris Amitay, former head of AIPAC. Its website states: “…over three million dollars has been carefully distributed on a bipartisan basis to Senators, Representatives, and candidates… Its Capitol Hill location enables the PAC to meet with Representatives and Senators on an almost daily basis. The Advisory Board holds regular luncheons with U.S. Senate candidates, and the PAC’s newsletter has earned an esteemed reputation for its analysis of the U.S. Senate races.”

• Teva: Not all PACs with connections to Israel are included in the pro-Israel list. For example, the parents company of the Teva PAC Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, an Israeli company, the world’s largest generic drug maker. It has achieved its astronomical sales by at times infringing on patents (although Judge Sidney Stein just rejected a similar claim – Stein also rejected a freedom of speech law suit related to the Palestinian issue ). Teva’s website states, “Teva Government & Public Affairs seeks to provide legislators and policy makers with both policy and political assistance on issues of importance to patients, the company, its customers, and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reports on PACs frequently. For example, see their list of pro-Israel PAC contributions to candidates in 2010..


Recommended books:

They Dare to Speak OutThey Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, by Paul Findley

The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy, by Edward Tivnan

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, by Alison Weir

Alfred Lilienthal’s books

Additional resources

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The Link

Council for the National Interest

Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

We also recommend subscribing to the If Americans Knew news blog, where we post new items on this category frequently, as well as on Israel-Palestine in general.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Netanyahu’s Iran Speech in Context: Irony, Hypocrisy and the Undeclared Hijacking of U.S. Foreign Policy

By Adeyinka Makinde | May 3, 2018

The recent presentation made by Binyamin Netanyahu purportedly detailing a secret Iranian programme aimed at acquiring a nuclear weapons capability is the latest in a long-term effort on his part to obtain United States assistance in destroying Iran. But the actions of the Israeli prime minister are not only ironic and hypocritical: they bring into focus the connection between the purposeful destructions of Iraq and Libya on the one hand and the attempt to destroy Syria, foment conflict in Lebanon and neutralise Iranian military power on the other. Few Americans are aware of this two decade-long grand strategy followed by successive United States administrations because the compartmentalization of events, short-term memory of the public and government propaganda have all served to murky the fundamental picture, that is, one in which the United States continues to follow a policy of taking down countries which pose a threat to the state of Israel. It is a policy which was adopted without recourse to public debate despite the serious ramifications it has had in terms of the cost to American prestige and an ever increasing national debt.

Most of the world’s major national intelligence services have long concluded that Iran has no nuclear weapons development programme. This includes the intelligence community of the United States and up until recently -if Binyamin Netanyahu is to be believed- Israel’s Mossad. A debate within Iran’s political, military and intelligence circles apparently ended with the nation’s supreme leader ruling against the development of nuclear weapons.

The irony is not lost in the scenario of the leader of Israel decrying the acquisition of nuclear technology by another nation, one that is a signatory state to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and subject to the stringent conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached between Iran and the ‘Five Plus One’ countries, when Israel is in possession of an undeclared arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Israel’s own nuclear weapons programme, which began with the express disapproval of President John F. Kennedy who felt that it would create a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, involved the practice of a grand deception by David Ben Gurion who insisted that the Dimona reactor was for research purposes only and not for the production of plutonium.

A pungent whiff of hypocrisy pervades Netanyahu’s presentation. Israel’s nuclear arms programme has not only been shrouded in secrecy but has involved acts of criminality which according to FBI documents declassified in June 2012 allegedly involved Netanyahu himself. Netanyahu later issued a gagging order directing the unindicted ringleader of a nuclear smuggling ring to refrain from discussing an operation known as ‘Project Pinto’. Israel spied on nuclear installations inside the United States and in the 1960s and it stole bomb-grade uranium from a US nuclear fuel-processing plant.

Netanyahu’s speech is the latest in a campaign by Israel to ignite a war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran, a plan which is intimately linked to the effort to destroy Syria over the past seven years.

The war in Syria represents the combined efforts of the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia to destroy the so-called ‘Shia Crescent’ of Iran, Syria and Lebanon (Hezbollah). The centrality of Israel in this effort was made clear by Roland Dumas, a former foreign minister of France in 2013. But Israel, along with the United States and Saudi Arabia, has been enraged by the fact that Bashar al-Assad’s secular government with the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, has practically defeated the Islamic fanatics who were introduced into Syria for the purpose of overthrowing Assad in order to balkanise the country and stop Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The reason why Israel wants Iranian aid to Hezbollah cut off and the organisation destroyed is not hard to fathom. Hezbollah is the only armed force within the Arab world willing and capable of taking on the Israeli military. Israel has for long coveted southern Lebanon up to the River Litani. But Hezbollah has twice inflicted humiliating defeats on Israel: first in 2000 when Israel was forced to withdraw after an 18-year occupation of the southern part of Lebanon which had commenced with a bloody invasion, and secondly in 2006 when Israel was forced to withdraw after sustaining heavy losses during a 34-day conflict.

Apart from the aforementioned goal of breaking the conduit between Iran and Hezbollah, the balkanisation of Syria would mean that any of the successor states would find it difficult to make a claim for the Golan Heights which Israel conquered in 1967 and which it illegally annexed in 1981. Israel is also supportive of the idea of a Kurdish state being created out of Syria as a means through which the transfer of oil and gas could be facilitated.

Much evidence exists of a pre-existing Israeli plan to destroy Syria. The Yinon Plan of 1982 and a series of position papers produced by Israel-friendly neoconservative ideologues in the United States (the Project for the New American Century’s ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses – Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century’ in 2000) as well as for the Israeli government (‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm’ in 1996) bear this out. Each document clearly calls for the neutralising or the “rolling back” of several states including Syria.

The Yinon Plan, the name given to a paper entitled ‘A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s’ which was published in February 1982 in Kivunim (Directions), a journal written in Hebrew, set out Israel’s enduring aim of balkanising the surrounding Arab and Muslim world into ethnic and sectarian mini-states. Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were prime candidates.

It was not a unique or suddenly arrived at policy, but simply set out in detail an overarching policy pursued by Israel’s leaders since the founding of the state. For instance, the diaries of Moshe Sharett, an early prime minister of Israel, laid bare David Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan’s aim of weakening Lebanon by exacerbating tensions between its Muslim and Christian population in the course of which Dayan hoped that a Christian military officer would declare a Christian state out of which the region south of the River Litani would be ceded to Israel.

A crucial point to mention is that the policy of the United States towards Syria and others is congruent with that of Israel. In fact, America has been pursuing a two-decade long strategy aimed at destabilisation and balkanisation regardless of the political stripe of the president in office. After the attack of 9/11, the United States set in motion a plan, in the words of retired U.S. General Wesley Clark, “to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran”.

The secular nations of Iraq, Syria and Libya had no links to the Sunni Islamist al-Qaeda cell which purportedly carried out the attacks on 9/11. Neither did Shia Iran. Yet, America foreign policy has been geared towards destroying nations who happen to oppose Israel and who are supportive of the Palestinian cause.

To quote General Clark again, American foreign policy was “hijacked” without a public debate.

While the adoption of this policy remains officially unacknowledged, the modus operandi by which the United States has sought to destroy these countries is clear. A succession of position papers as well as the intended effect of United States and NATO interventions point to the exploiting of ethnic and sectarian conflicts as well as the use of Islamist proxy armies as the standard tactic utilised to bring down governments.

For instance, a Pentagon-funded report by the RAND Corporation in 2008 entitled ‘Unfolding the Future of the Long War: Motivations, Prospects and Implications for the U.S. Army’ explicitly refers to the need to foment conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims as a means to the end of controlling the resources of the Middle East.

Another tactic alluded to by a 2012 document created by the Defense Intelligence Agency is that of declaring ‘Safe Havens’ -a term synonymous with the often used ‘No-Fly Zones’- ostensibly as a humanitarian policy, but which is a technique used to shield and preserve areas controlled by Islamist insurgents. It was utilised by NATO forces as a means of protecting the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group during its campaign to overthrow the government of Muammar Gaddafi, and an attempt was made to implement this prior to the fall of the al-Nusra-controlled city of Aleppo.

America’s Founding Fathers warned against getting involved in foreign entanglements, yet it devotedly follows a Middle East policy that clearly benefits the interests of another nation state. It is a policy which risks setting off a major regional war based on sectarian lines as well as embroiling it in a conflict with nuclear armed Russia.

For Israel, the goal remains the establishment of its undisputed hegemony in the Middle East. However, while an economic rationale predicated on relieving Europe of its dependency on Russian gas via a pipeline from the gulf is occasionally referenced, there has never been a comprehensive articulation of what America’s fundamental interests are in destroying Syria and Iran.

Pursuing such a policy without having had a full and thorough public debate tends to confirm key areas of dysfunction in the American system of governance. First it highlights the power and influence of those lobbies associated with Israeli interests and the Military Industry, and secondly, the unchanging nature of this policy which has been followed by the respective administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump provide evidence that what Michael J. Glennon terms the ‘Madisonian’ institutions of state are no longer accountable in the manner which people still think they are. Instead power in regard to crucial issues on American national security rests with an unelected group of people outside of the separated organs of government: what Glennon, a professor of law at Tufts University, refers to as ‘Trumanite’ institutions.

The implications for the health of American democracy are all too apparent.

The pursuit of a strategy which has served to diminish American esteem among the global community as well as adding to the increasing national debt represents a catastrophic failure not only on the part of the political class, but also on the part of the mainstream media, which has consistently presented a narrative devoid of its true context. The intellectual community comprised of university academics and scholars working for think tanks must accept a large share of the blame.

Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech, a shameless attempt at goading the United States into breaking its obligations under an international agreement as a prelude to fighting a war which would serve Israel’s interests, ought to ignite a full and transparent debate on American national security policy in the Middle East.

A failure to do this risks future costly disasters which would dwarf the debacles of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2018)

May 4, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment