Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

A False Accusation of Antisemitism from Where You Would Least Expect It

By Jeff Blankfort | Dissident Voice | September 12th, 2019

I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.

— Benjamin Netayahu, 2001, quoted in Ha’aretz, July 15, 2010

It is not uncommon, of course, to be labeled “anti-Semitic” for calling attention to the inordinate power of the Israel Lobby over our political processes or suggesting that the Iraq War was launched on Israel’s behalf. The last place that I would expect to find such an allegation, however, was on the CounterPunch website to which I have contributed a number of articles on the subject over the years.

On August 2nd in an opinion piece by Ron Jacobs, headlined, “Israel—The Largest US Aircraft Carrier in the World,” those, like myself, who have described, in detail, on CounterPunch and elsewhere, the manner in which the Israel Lobby controls both Congress and the White House on issues relating to Israel, were accused of propagating “what is an essentially anti-Semitic argument concerning the nature of the Washington-Tel Aviv alliance.”

That Jacobs, a veteran of the Sixties as long of tooth as myself, a prolific writer and frequent contributor to Left publications, would make such an allegation, after what we have learned about the role of pro-Israel Jewish neocons in fomenting the Iraq War and following that, implementing crippling sanctions on Iran while agitating against the nuclear agreement with Tehran, is as mind boggling as it is insulting.

Jacobs did this under the cover of what purports to be a review of a new book by historian Stephen Gowans, Israel: A Beachhead in the Middle East, which Jacobs contends is “a necessary and forceful rebuke of those on the left and right who insist that Washington is Israeli-occupied territory.”

First, a book review it is not. One cannot do justice to any serious book in just 764 words which is the length of Jacobs’ piece, although whether Gowans’ book which amplifies the charge of antisemitism can be taken seriously is open to question.

If not a book review then, what is it? Let’s start with the title, a quote from the late general and Secretary of State Alexander Haig whose very sanity came into question following the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan when Vice-President George HW Bush was away from the capital. At that point, as the New York Times described it, Haig “raced upstairs [to the press room] and went directly to the lectern before a television audience of millions. His knuckles whitening, his arms shaking, Mr. Haig declared to the world, ‘I am in control here, in the White House.’ He did not give that appearance.”

In any case, Gowans use of Haig’s quote in his book turned out to be hearsay from a dubious source.

From Jacobs’ opening sentence, it seems clear that his intention was to provide “damage control” for the plethora of predominantly Jewish organizations whose primary raison d’etre is pushing the agenda of the Netanyahu government on Capitol Hill whose activities, not to mention, existence, have been largely ignored or dismissed by others on the “Left” who share Jacobs’ aversion to blaming even a segment of American Jews for anything. (Think Noam Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis, Stephen Zunes).

“The Israeli government does not control the foreign policy of the United States.,” is how Jacobs began his article. True, but none of those he is criticizing argue that it is and Jacobs must surely know this. They affirm, with considerable evidence to back it up, that supporters of the Israeli government are largely responsible for shaping US policies in the Middle East and nowhere else. In other words, Jacobs has created a straw man.

If we restrict ourselves to this millennium, one only has to look at the appointees from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) that George W Bush brought into his administration, and particularly to the Pentagon and who became activated, like sleeper cells, after the events of September 11.

From PNAC, came a troop of 20, foremost among them, Dick Cheney, Dubya’s Vice-President, Donald Rumsfeld, (Secretary of Defense), Paul Wolfowitz, (Deputy Secretary of Defense), Richard Perle, (Defense Advisory Board), Doug Feith, (Under Secretary of Defense for Policy), Lewis (Scooter) Libby (Cheney’s Chief of Staff), and John Bolton who received a recess appointment as UN ambassador when it was clear he wouldn’t get Senate approval. (Bolton would later be hailed by Israel’s UN ambassador, Dan Gillerman, as “the sixth man in our office” and last year, after replacing H.R. McMaster as Trump’s National Security Adviser, he received the “Defender of Israel” award from the Zionist Organization of America).

Launched in 1997 by neocons Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol, (son of Irving Kristol, the neocon movement’s co-founder), PNAC drew attention on Capitol Hill the following year when it sent a letter to then President Bill Clinton, calling on him to overthrow Saddam. Among its signatories were Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz. Legislation was passed, the Iraq Liberation Act, in 1998, which stated that it was US policy to oust Saddam but no action was taken or contemplated.

What makes the Israeli connection indisputable was that PNAC was preceded a year earlier by a policy paper prepared for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, entitled, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” Its authors were a study group led by Perle which included Feith, David Wurmser and his Israeli wife Meyrav Wurmser and called for the removal of Saddam Hussein, highlighting Iraq’s possession of “weapons of mass destruction.” Wurmser would go on to become a Middle East Advisor for Vice President Cheney and with Feith, help set up the Office of Special Plans to produce evidence of Iraq’s WMDs when the CIA failed to come up with it.

What those who insist that the 2003 war on Iraq was just a continuation of traditional US imperialist policies refuse to acknowledge is that the invasion of Iraq marked a 180 degree break with what US Middle Eastern policy had been up to that point, namely, to maintain stability in that oil rich region.

That is why former president George HW Bush, his Secretary of State, James Baker and his National Security Advisor, former general, Brent Scowcroft, publicly opposed the war and why Bush Sr resisted demands from the neocons and Israel’s allies in the media, to have US troops march to Baghdad and remove Saddam from power after ousting Iraqi troops from Kuwait a decade earlier.

When this fact was pointed out to George W Bush by Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press, Dubya responded, “I answer to a higher father.”

Before the war went south, Perle and Wolfowitz were competing in the media for credit for the great victory over Saddam. Both men, along with Cheney, Feith, and Bolton, were also members of JINSA’s Advisory Board, an influential but little known neocon operation that came into existence in 1976, apparently in response to President Gerald Ford having suspended a shipment of US jet fighters to Israel for six months upon Israel’s refusal to give up land in the Egyptian Sinai that it had captured in the October 1973 war.

Moreover, Ford sent a private letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin warning him about a likely re-evaluation of US-Israel relations, hinting that he might call for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders. Rabin made the letter public which alerted AIPAC to respond. It struck back against Ford by getting 76 senators, three-quarters of that body, to sign a letter to the president, warning him that the US-Israeli bond was sacrosanct and should not be meddled with. Ford quickly backed off and over the years, many more such letters, drafted by AIPAC, would reach the desk of our presidents.

JINSA saw its goal as making sure that the US and Israeli militaries would become so entwined that no future president would ever contemplate or be able to disentangle the armed forces of both countries. To ensure that, it created a large advisory board composed of former generals and admirals and a few police chiefs while arranging programs to take newly retiring generals and admirals on all expense paid trips to Israel. There are currently 57 former generals and admirals on the JINSA advisory board. The first and last article about JINSA in a national publication appeared in The Nation in 2002 and like PNAC, its existence has been ignored by those engaged in damage control on Israel’s behalf.

Even Colin Powell’s attribution of the war to Donald Rumsfeld’s embrace by “the JINSA crowd,” in Karen DeYoung’s biography of Powell, Soldier, did not stir any of the latter to reconsider their positions.

Going back to the first US war on Iraq, all of the sanctions put in place against governments viewed by Israel as its enemies, have largely been the work of AIPAC and its sister organizations such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. WINEP or TWI (its current acronym) was spawned by AIPAC in 1985 in order to make the step from lobbying for Israel to actually making policy itself. It has become arguably the most influential of the Beltway think tanks whose “experts” routinely appear before Congressional committees and whose op-ed pieces invariably find their way into the opinion sections of our leading newspapers and the inboxes of members of Congress.

To enforce the sanctions, after 9/11, President Bush set up a special department in the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence which, beginning with the appointment of pro-Israel zealot, Stuart Levey, became the exclusive provenance of pro-Israel Jews, the latest of whom, Sigal Mandelker, is actually an Israeli. It is this department, in essence, an arm of the Israeli government, that determines what countries and companies are adhering to or breaking sanctions on Iran and Syria and which organizations should be placed on the terrorist watch list.

When Obama took office, the Israeli press reported that Levey had made a special trip to Israel to assure Netanyahu that under the new president, nothing would change.

Were there not sanctions on Iraq and on Iran, the major US oil companies would have been more than happy to do business with both countries. The last company that tried, Conoco, was obliged to cancel a deal it had made with Tehran in March, 1995.

The only way the Obama Administration was able to sign the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) with Iran and the other members of the UN Security Council plus Germany was to declare it to be an agreement, not a treaty, thus avoiding having a vote on it by the Senate where it would surely have been defeated. Not to be denied, Israel’s friends in Washington had the Senate pass a bill requiring Obama and succeeding presidents to ratify US participation in the agreement every 90 days. This was the equivalent of a poison pill and a perfect set-up for Donald Trump.

There is far too much evidence of Israel’s control of Washington to include in this short article but two more items should seal the debate.

The first begins in 2015 in Las Vegas when Jewish multi billionaire Sheldon Adelson held two auditions for prospective Republican presidential candidates at his Venetian Hotel to determine which one would be the best for Israel. Adelson was at the time and still is the owner of the most widely read newspaper in Israel, Israel Hayom, which is provided free and has been seen, until recently, as a mouthpiece for Netanyahu. On the day he opened his newspaper, he apologized to his Israeli audience for having “worn the uniform of the US army and not the Israeli Defense Forces,” a clip of which can still be seen on You Tube.

Adelson’s choices after the auditions were first Ted Cruz and then Marco Rubio. When both failed to attract the voters, Adelson switched to Trump, pumping tens of millions of dollars into his campaign and, judging from Trump’s gifts to Israel, not the least of which was moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, it is safe to say that Adelson bought himself a president.

Cut now to last December, in Florida, at the annual convention of the relatively new Israeli American Council, the major funder of which happens to be Adelson. On the stage as the host was Israeli-American Haim Saban, one of the Democratic Party’s major funders who once boasted to a New Yorker writer that he was a “one issue man and that issue is Israel.”

It was shortly after the November mid-term elections and Saban was interviewing the returning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer, the Senate’s top ranking Democrat. As Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) described it on Dec. 2:

Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat who likely will be speaker of the new US House of Representatives, listed pro-Israel lawmakers she plans to name to key committee positions and said her party remained fundamentally pro-Israel.

’We have people very well placed to share our values,’ Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in addressing the final event Sunday of the annual Israeli-American Council conference, after listing planned assignments.

Pelosi said she would name Rep. Nita Lowey, D-New York, to chair the Appropriations Committee; Eliot Engel, D-New York, to chair the Foreign Affairs Committee; Ted Deutch, D-Florida, to chair the Middle East subcommittee; Adam Schiff, D-California, to chair the Intelligence Committee; Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, to chair the human rights-monitoring Helsinki Committee; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, to a key Appropriations Committee position; and Lois Frankel, D-Florida, to a key Foreign Affairs Committee position.

All have longstanding pro-Israel records and all but Hastings are Jewish.”1

Pelosi’s exchange with Saban can still be viewed on You Tube but don’t look for any report on that conference outside of the Jewish press. The corporate media, like Congress, is under the thumb of the Israel Lobby.

Notes

  1. Wasserman-Schultz had been the chair of the DNC who was forced to resign after the release by WikiLeaks of the DNC’s emails exposed the DNC’s efforts to sabotage Bernie Sanders on Hillary Clinton’s behalf. Obviously, that did not hurt her in Pelosi’s eyes.

Jeffrey Blankfort can be reached at: jblankfort@earthlink.net.

September 12, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 10 Comments

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

Israel’s man in the House of Representatives

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • August 13, 2019

It is astonishing that in the wake of the two mass killings in Dayton and El Paso that have been attributed both by the media and the Democrats to “racism,” a senior U.S. Congressman has led a delegation of 41 of his Democratic Party colleagues plus spouses on a week-long luxury all-expenses-paid trip to Israel, which is one of the few countries in the world that defines its full citizenship as a matter of race and religion. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland is, however, apparently tone deaf to some critics of the annual excursion, having made the pilgrimage to Israel more than fifteen times. “I am pleased to join so many House Democrats in traveling to Israel to reaffirm our support for a critical U.S. ally and to continue learning about the opportunities and the challenges facing Israel and the Middle East,” he said shortly before departing for Tel Aviv.

Hoyer did not mention how he had managed to pull together such a large group of co-conspirators in spite of critical issues that need to be confronted at home during recess in town hall meetings, which, due to the trip, will operate on a short schedule if at all. As Majority Leader, he is reported to be skilled at strong-arming new colleagues to compel them to make the trip to demonstrate the loyalty of the U.S. Congress and the Democratic Party to the Jewish state, which is his top priority. According to The Intercept, “Hoyer… uses his power over the House floor agenda to coerce participation. A member who refuses an invitation can find it difficult to have their bills brought to the floor for a vote. ‘His senior staff lock down cooperating members by getting their bills to the floor and punishing non-cooperators,’ said one former representative who rejected the invitation. ‘I was tortured for a decade because I refused to go on that trip…’”

Of course, the Israelis are themselves seasoned professionals when it comes to mass shooting, something that they do every Friday across the fence into Gaza, but they are unlikely to demonstrate their marksmanship to the visiting congressmen. They in any event know that Israel will never be condemned in fora like the United Nations Security Council because of the exercise of Washington’s veto. Hoyer and company are the reason that there is such a veto even though Israel is a serial war criminal and human rights violator, so in a sense he and his Democratic Party friends are the reason why the Jewish state believes itself empowered to behave so badly. And, lest anyone is worried about bipartisanship, the Republicans too have a delegation in Israel headed by House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy consisting of 31 congressmen. The 72 congressmen from both parties constitute one of the largest delegations ever to travel to to the Jewish state.

Hoyer is a bought and paid for Israeli puppet and a big part of his job is to make sure that new Congressmen and women are adequately brainwashed regarding what is going on in the Middle East. Maryland’s Democratic Party has long been dominated by Jews from Baltimore and Montgomery County and Hoyer has successfully cultivated Jewish congressmen to advance his career. He has benefited directly from $320,025 pro-Israel PAC donations to fund his reelection campaigns and has undoubtedly also received generous donations from individual Jews and from organizations not organized as PACs.

Steny Hoyer’s foreign policy votes in Congress have not surprisingly mirrored positions taken by the Israeli government. He supported the attack on Iraq and was in fact very possibly the most prominent promoter of the war among Democrats. When the war became a foreign policy disaster, he muted his approval of it but has continued to vote for funding of U.S. military involvement in both Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Hoyer’s support of Israel is unshakable and he has often appeared and spoken before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual summit. At his most recent appearance this past spring his keynote speech included “I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So, when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: accuse me. I am part of a large, bipartisan coalition in Congress supporting Israel. I tell Israel’s detractors: accuse us.” Well, he got that right. He and many other congressmen do suffer from dual or even singular loyalty when it comes to Israel.

In 2007 Hoyer notably called out fellow Democrat Representative Jim Moran for stating correctly that AIPAC “has pushed (the Iraq) war from the beginning.” Hoyer called the statement “factually inaccurate,” which was not the case. He is a supporter of the Israeli illegal settlements, which up until recently was contrary to both U.S. official policy and a number of United Nations resolutions. In January 2017, he was a leading advocate of a House of Representatives resolution condemning the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which called both the settlements and the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian land as a “flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to peace.” Hoyer also has supported President Donald Trump’s move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the city as the Jewish state’s capital.

Israel’s enemies are also Hoyer’s enemies whether or not they threaten the United States. He has declared that an Iran with nuclear weapons is “unacceptable” and supports the use of American military force to deter such a development, ignoring the fact that Israel already has a nuclear arsenal which President John F. Kennedy tried to prevent before he was assassinated. Hoyer also supports keeping a U.S. military presence in Syria in spite of the lack of any threat to the United States from that direction, part of an Israeli plan to divide that country into its constituent tribal and religious parts.

Hoyer’s trip is paid for by the “educational” affiliate of AIPAC called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). One might reasonably ask why an organization connected to AIPAC, which describes itself on its website as having the “mission” to “… strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of the United States and Israel,” should be able to fund the annual mass migration of congress-critters to promote Israeli interests without having to register as an agent of the Jewish state’s government? The answer is actually quite simple. Congress and the Justice Department have been so corrupted by pro-Israel money and other manifestations of Jewish power that they do not enforce the law when it comes to Israel. Steny Hoyer and venal creatures like him are a large part of why that is so.

Nevertheless, analysis provided by Josh Ruebner at Mondoweiss cites “Dr. Craig Holman, Government Affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, who drafted the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA), designed to curb the influence of lobbyist money in congressional travel” as saying that it ‘… is unequivocal that the arrangement between AIEF and AIPAC ‘defies the spirit as well as the letter of the law’.” The law itself prohibits Members of Congress from accepting from any organization with income of at least $13,000 per quarter “that retains or employs 1 or more registered lobbyists… funds earmarked directly or indirectly for the purpose of financing” travel by congressmen or women for longer than one day.

According to Holman, AIPAC, which spent $700,000 in lobbying during the second quarter of 2019 alone, gets around the prohibition by having AIEF, which is a 501(c)3 educational foundation that does no lobbying, do the funding. The loophole to permit congressional junkets beyond the one day is referred to as “the AIPAC loophole,” as its intent was clearly to permit congressional paid-for-by-lobbyists travel to Israel to continue. That the arrangement is essentially fraudulent is revealed by examination of the two entities’ tax returns, which reveals that AIPAC pays the AIEF employees.

The solution to the problem remains simple. Tighten up the Congressional travel rules to eliminate the “AIPAC exemption” while at the same time requiring AIPAC and the other prominent organizations that are part of the Israel Lobby to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would open up their finances and lobbying to more intense scrutiny. But, of course, Steny Hoyer and his friends will never allow that to happen.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

August 14, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Agents of Influence

Trips to Israel, a “Nationalism Conference,” Epstein and more

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • July 23, 2019

Some journalists in the Jewish media are starting to complain that President Donald Trump is “loving Israel” just a little too much since he keeps citing his concern for the Jewish state as the driving force behind some of his erratic behavior. It is a viewpoint that I most definitely share, though I would describe the apparent White House lovefest with the Israel as a “lot too much.” When the President of the United States calls a congresswoman an anti-Semite and demands that she apologize to him personally and also to Israel it is definitely a lot too much.

So Israel is always in the news, or so it seems, though it is often not in the news when the story might be derogatory. The story disappears from sight as soon as it is determined that Israel might be involved, as is currently the case with Jeffrey Epstein, or Israeli activity is excised completely as was the case with the Mueller investigation where Russiagate should have really been called Israelgate as it was Israel that was seeking favors from the incoming Trump Administration, not Russia. As Noam Chomsky put it, Israeli interference in American politics “vastly overwhelms” anything Russia has done.

I have recently written about how the Jewish state works hard to brainwash the American people and limit the foreign policy options of the U.S. government, to include aggressive efforts to obtain what the intelligence agencies would call “agents of influence.” Agents of influence live and work in one country while simultaneously and treacherously advancing the interests of another nation. It is what George Washington warned about in his Farewell Address when he counseled “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”

Foreign influence as a potential national security threat is also a status defined in legal terms by the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), which requires anyone working on behalf of a foreign government to register and make transparent sources of income.

Uniquely, no foundation or individual working in America to advance the interests of the Jewish state has ever been required to register under FARA even though many, like the odious American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), boast unambiguously on their websites that they are “America’s pro-Israel Lobby.” Many of the foundations are regarded as educational or charitable 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profits, which means the U.S. taxpayer is helping support their activity. But being a non-profit charity does not necessarily mean austerity, as the salaries of top employees are generous. Canadian Jew Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a 501(c)3, is paid $560,000 in salary and benefits. FDD has for many years been calling for war against Iran.

The most recent foundation being set up by Israel’s friends to promote the interests of the Jewish state is the Edmund Burke Foundation, which hosted a conference on “Nationalism” last week. The conference was interesting in that the Burke Foundation is headed by an Israeli and an American Jew who has served as Executive Director of the Christians United For Israel (CUFI). The event was held at the Washington D.C. Ritz-Carlton, suggesting that the Burkeans are not short of cash. Pro-Israel groups always seem to have plenty of Benjamins.

A number of traditional conservatives and even some organizations were fooled by the promotional material and speakers’ list into thinking that the program was legitimate and would focus on supporting national interests as well as foreign policy restraint, but some at least had their eyes opened when John Bolton, as featured speaker, was vigorously applauded by at least half of the audience.

Some potential critics of the agenda were not invited or even deliberately denied tickets to limit dissent, and several attendees were appalled by what they had witnessed, which was essentially an affirmation of status quo foreign policy, to the benefit of the hawks in Washington and Israel. Inevitably, some delusional dimwits were unable to understand that they were being used and were oddly entranced by what they were seeing and hearing. And don’t worry if you are among those who missed the event. It will probably be replayed in a few months under a different name and with a slightly different cast of characters.

The most visible Israeli tool for generating contacts with Americans that might prove useful is the all- expenses-paid VIP junkets that are arranged for Congressmen. New Congressmen routinely travel to Israel for a dog-and-pony show within months of their taking office. One of Congress’s leading cheerleaders for Israel, Maryland’s Steny Hoyer has visited the Jewish state many times and can be relied on to pressure freshman congressmen to make the trip. Other Americans who might be influential in the future are also feted by the Israeli hospitality machine. American military cadets from the service academies and colleges are now being brought to Israel to learn a fictional version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Undoubtedly, some of them are set up for intelligence approaches after they are commissioned.

Which brings us to the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein story and how it is being handled by government and covered in the media since the story exploded two weeks ago. No one outside the alternative media seems to be interested in the possibility, or rather likelihood, that Epstein was working for a foreign intelligence service, which would most likely be Israel. In the media the Epstein story died almost immediately, submerged in the tale of Donald Trump telling several congresswomen to go back where they came from.

It is unlikely that the spying aspect of Epstein’s alleged crimes will even be investigated both because it involves the Jewish state and also because it appears to include participation by leading politicians from both parties and other public figures. The Deep State will make the story die, which just might also be what happens to Epstein in jail.

The evidence that Epstein was involved in intelligence work most likely bribing or blackmailing prominent individuals to act on behalf of Israel, derives both from the statement made by former U.S. Attorney for Miami Alexander Acosta that “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone” and from other external evidence. Epstein was making videos of his guests having sex with his young girls, which is a version of a classic intelligence entrapment technique referred to as a “honey trap” that is employed by every major spy agency worldwide. And the Acosta quote – will it ever be fully investigated? Who told him that Epstein was “intelligence” and what were the circumstances?

Jeffrey’s sources of income have also been questioned. Epstein’s sole identified business connection was Ohio billionaire Les Wexner, who maintained very close ties to the upper echelons of the Israeli diplomatic and intelligence establishment. Epstein served as Wexner’s trustee when the latter was forming the Mega Group, created by Wexner and Edgar Bronfman to generate positive views of Israel as a cover for Israeli propaganda dissemination in America.

Epstein’s lack of an identifiable income stream rather suggests that he might have been supported by a government agency of some kind. He had hidden in his Manhattan house a great deal of cash, diamonds and an Austrian passport. The diamonds might have represented payment in kind from Israel, which is capital of the world diamond trade, and the existence of the passport is intriguing. It has been described in the media as “fake” but that can mean anything. The passport, dating from the 1980s, was apparently authentic with a photo of Epstein and a fake name inserted in it, but it might plausibly be the product of a government document forgery lab. Why Austria? Because Austria was at the time politically neutral and the passport would be a good one for traveling anywhere. It would be much preferred by spy agencies or by agents who wanted to travel anonymously.

That Epstein would be linked to Israel rather than to some other intelligence service is due to his relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, whose father Robert, a Czech Jew who became a naturalized British citizen, was believed by C.I.A. and other intelligence services to be a long-time agent of Mossad. After he died under mysterious circumstances, he was given a state funeral in Israel that was attended by every current and former head of the Jewish state’s intelligence service as well as by the country’s prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. Ghislaine was reportedly Epstein’s close friend and a procurer of his young girl victims.

As most of Israel’s agents of influence are now on Martha’s Vineyard where they gather in July and August, it would be wonderful to cut off all transportation and communication with the island and leave them there, but that would be unfair to the genuine year-round residents. Alternatively, I would be happy just to see Israel’s dire influence over the United States exposed by the media and discussed in public fora by the more than 20 Democratic Party presidential wannabes. As that is not likely to happen, I would settle for a real honest-to-God investigation of Epstein and what he was doing coupled with a move by the Treasury and Justice departments against all the hundreds of pro-Israel groups that have never registered under FARA. It’s a big job to uncover Israeli subversion, but somebody needs to start doing it.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

There’s Something Rotten in Virginia: Israel Is a Malignant Force in Local Politics

Mel Chaskin, Chairman of Virginia Israel Advisory Board. Credit: YouTube
By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | April 7, 2019

One of the more interesting aspects of the relentless march of the Israel Lobby in the United States is the extent to which it has expanded its reach down into the state and even local level. Previously, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the hundreds of other Jewish and Christian Zionist organization dedicated to promoting Israeli interests had concentrated on the federal government level and the media, believing correctly that those were the key players in benefiting Israel while also making sure that its public image was highly favorable. The media was the easy part as American Jews were already well placed in the industry and inclined to be helpful. It also turned out that many Congressmen and the political parties themselves had their hands out and were just waiting to be bought, so “Mission Accomplished” turned out to be a lot easier than had been anticipated.

But amidst all the success, the Israeli government and its diaspora supporters discovered that it was receiving a lot of unwelcome publicity from an essentially grassroots movement that went by the label “Boycott, Divest and Sanctions” or BDS. BDS was strong on American campuses and its appeal as a non-violent tool meant that it was growing, to include many young Jews disenchanted with the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu version of the Jewish state.

Israel works hard to influence the United States at all levels and is generally very successful, but it seemed a stretch to try to pass legislation banning a non-violent movement at a national level so it focused on the states, where legislators would presumably be less concerned over the Bill of Rights. It mobilized its diaspora resources to focus on elections at local and state government levels where Jewish constituents were active in interviewing candidates regarding their views on the Middle East. Candidates understood very well what was happening and also appreciated that their answers could determine what level of donations and the kind of press coverage they might receive in return.

Put together enough intimidated legislators in that fashion and you eventually will have a majority willing to pass legislation blocking or even criminalizing the BDS movement while also granting special benefits to Israel. As of this writing, there is anti-BDS legislation in 27 states, some of which denies state services or jobs to anyone who does not sign an agreement to not boycott Israel. Particularly draconian bills currently advancing in Florida equate any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, explicitly define Israel as a Jewish state and also enable anyone who says otherwise to be sued.

Another blatant propaganda program that is being used with congressmen, as well as state and local officials plus spouses, is the sponsorship of free “educational” trips to Israel. The trips are carefully coordinated with the Israeli government and many of them are both organized and paid for by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF).  There are also other trips sponsored by AIEF as well as by regional Jewish organizations that particularly focus on politicians at state and even local levels as well as journalists who write about foreign policy.

Everyone is expected to return from the carefully choreographed trips singing the praises of the wonderful little democracy in the Middle East, and many of the travelers do exactly that. The pro-Israel sentiment is buttressed by the activity of the state and local diaspora Jewish groups, which tend to be very politically active and generous with their political contributions.

This coziness often borders on corruption and inevitably leads to abuses that do not serve the public interest, particularly as American citizens are quite openly promoting the interests of a foreign nation. An interesting example of how this works and the abuse that it can produce has recently surfaced in Virginia, where a so-called Virginia-Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) has actually been funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia taxpayers to promote and even subsidize Israeli business in the state, business that currently runs an estimated $500 million per annum in favor of Israel.

Grant Smith’s Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP) has done considerable digging into digging into the affairs of VIAB, which was ostensibly “created to foster closer economic integration between the United States and Israel while supporting the Israeli government’s policy agenda” with a charter defining its role as “advis[ing] the Governor on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and the State of Israel, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, and general government.” Smith has observed that “VIAB is a pilot for how Israel can quietly obtain taxpayer funding and official status for networked entities that advance Israel from within key state governments.”

Documents released under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act indicate that not only does VIAB not create opportunities for Virginians, it also is active in working against the BDS movement. According to the documents, VIAB, which avoids any public disclosure of its activities, is currently also being scrutinized by the state Attorney General over its handling of government funds.

VIAB was founded in 2001 but it grew significantly under governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration (2014-2018). McAuliffe, regarded by many as the Clintons’ “bag man,” received what were regarded as generous out-of-state campaign contributors from actively pro-Israeli billionaires Haim Saban and J.B. Pritzker, who were both affiliated with the Democratic Party. McAuliffe met regularly in off-the-record “no press allowed” sessions with Israel advocacy groups and spoke about “the Virginia Advisory Board and its successes.”

The Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) reports that VIAB is “the only Israel business promotion entity in the United States embedded within a state government and funded entirely by the state’s taxpayers. In terms of the overall state budget, VIAB’s direct share is small ($209,068 for fiscal years 2017 and 2018). However, VIAB’s diversion of state, federal and private grants, as well as demands on state-funded entities like colleges and universities to collaborate in projects designed primarily to benefit Israel, run in the millions of dollars per year. VIAB’s main objective is to provide preferential and unconditional funding to oftentimes secretive Israeli business projects designed to entwine Israeli industries into Virginia industries and government. VIAB seeks to transcend warranted, growing and legitimate American grassroots concerns about human rights in Israel-Palestine by pressuring state lawmakers and the local business community into providing unconditional support and developing a long-term ‘stake’ in Israel.”

Per VCHR, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act found that VIAB, among other suspect practices, had “Provided reports of success that the office of the Governor found to be “inflated without merit.” VCHR concluded that “there should be no preferential and unconditional Commonwealth of Virginia support for Israeli business projects for four key concerns: moraleconomicgood governance and state public opinion.” Moral was due to Israel’s “dismal human rights record,” economic because Virginia has a half-billion dollar trade deficit with Israel, good governance because VIAB’s board and leadership are drawn from the “Israel advocacy ecosystem,” and public opinion because opinion polls suggest that over one third of Virginians favor halting all funding for “Israeli business ventures.”

On a similar issue a shadowy group called the Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS), which is actually a “partisan group with backing by state and local Israel advocacy organizations,” is seeking to change the information conveyed by the history and social studies textbooks used in K-12 classrooms across Virginia. ICS recommended changes include: “1. Emphasizing Arab culpability for crisis initiation leading to military action and failure of peace efforts—and never Israeli culpability, even when it is undisputed historic fact. 2. Replacing the commonly used words of “settlers” with “communities,” “occupation” with “control of,” “wall” with “security fence,” and “militant” with “terrorist.” 3. Referencing Israeli claims such as “Israel annexed East Jerusalem” and the Golan Heights as accepted facts without referencing lack of official recognition by the United Nations and most member nation states.”

The activity of the VIAB is little more than robbery of Virginia state resources being run by mostly local American Jews to benefit their co-religionists in Israel. What is significant is that the theft from the American taxpayer, having long occurred at the federal treasury level, now extends down to state and local jurisdictions. And the ICS is yet one more example of attempted Israeli brainwashing of the American public on behalf of the Jewish state to completely alter the narrative about what is going on in the Middle East. Will it ever end? Perhaps, but only when the American people finally wake up to what is being done to them and by whom.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

AIPAC Is Coming to Town – Again!

And the Israelis are having an election

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review  • March 19, 2019

The Trump Administration has delivered yet another concession to Israel’s embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the eve of parliamentary elections: the Israeli military occupation of much of the Palestinian West Bank and of the Golan Heights will no longer be referred to in official U.S. government documents as an occupation. America’s so-called Ambassador to Israel is a former Trump lawyer named David Friedman who is more involved in serving Israel than the United States. He personally supports the view that the illegal Jewish settlements are legitimately part of Israel, choosing to ignore their growth even though it has long been U.S. policy to oppose them. He has also long sought to change the State Department’s language on the Israeli control of the West Bank and Golan Heights, being particularly concerned about the expression “occupied,” which has legal implications. Now he appears to have won that fight, to the delight of the Netanyahu government.

And the expunging of “occupied” might be only the first of many gifts intended to bolster Netanyahu’s chances. Senator Lindsey Graham, who also boasts of his close ties to the Israeli Prime Minister, intends to initiate legislative action to go one step further and compel the United States to actually recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory that was annexed after fighting in 1967, but which has not been recognized as part of Israel by any other country or international body. If a vote on the bill is pushed forward and goes as expected virtually unanimously as the subject before congress is Israel, it would hugely benefit Bibi. Some sources are also predicting that recognition of the Golan Heights could easily lead to U.S. government recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over much of the West Bank.

Israel’s election is scheduled for April 9th, so there is still plenty of time for additional mischief. There have even been suggestions in the Israeli media that Netanyahu just might escalate fighting with any one or more of a number of its neighbors to enhance his wartime leader credentials. That Gaza will be pummeled is a certainty and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria is probably also in the gun-sights. An uncorroborated report last week out of Israel claimed that Hezbollah is operating a “terror cell” in Syria close to the border with Israel. It would serve as a pretext for a bit of military action and America’s own congress-critters would immediately be jumping up and down expressing their support for Israel’s right to “defend itself.” The big prize for Netanyahu would, of course, be success at getting the United States to attack Iran and one can bet that Mossad is cranking up “false flag” plans to bring about such an eventuality while also making it look like the Mullahs were at fault.

Netanyahu, bedeviled by corruption charges against him, is otherwise sinking into his usual pre-election mode, which is to outflank nearly everyone on the intransigent right of Israeli politics. He has entered into a coalition with the openly racist Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit, which most Israelis consider to be close to a Jewish version of fascism as it advocates, among other policies, the forceful expulsion of all Arabs.

Benjamin Netanyahu is also looking for a boost through his attendance at the annual American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) summit, which is being held in Washington from March 24-26. The theme of the conference is, unfortunately, “Connected for Good,” which is clearly a boast by AIPAC rather than an admission of the shameful reality that has been delivered to the American people by a groveling and subservient congress and White House. Co-opting the United States is what it is all about, with the promotional material promising an “UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE : The AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of America’s pro-Israel community. The conference is a celebration of the U.S.-Israel partnership and the premier opportunity for every attendee to lobby their Congressional office to advance the U.S.-Israel relationship. The Policy Conference is also a rich educational experience and inspirational booster shot. Attendees will hear keynote speeches by American and Israeli leaders, attend intimate educational sessions, and be wowed by moving stories of U.S.-Israel partnerships, Israeli heroism, and groundbreaking Israeli innovations that are changing our world.”

AIPAC is a seriously threatening organization with income of more than $100 million per annum, nearly 400 employees, 100,000 members, seventeen regional offices, and a “vast pool of donors.” It clearly includes a lot of smart and savvy folks who know a lot about what is going on in the Middle East, but its panels will not include a single word about shooting unarmed protesters, declaring Israel to be a “nation state for Jews alone,” its own acceptance of laws attacking freedom of speech, or its use of Jewish donated money to corrupt the American political system encouraging “allegiance to a foreign country” on the part of U.S. citizens. Bibi will undoubtedly pick up on AIPAC’s cozy theme of inclusiveness by taking the opportunity to burnish his credentials as the leader who can continue to deliver on unlimited and uncritical support from the United States. He will almost certainly meet with President Donald Trump and the two will undoubtedly mention the terrible wave of anti-Semitism that is sweeping the globe, justifying still more ethnic cleansing of the diminishing number of Arabs living in Greater Israel and the bombing of Iran.

Other leading American politicians who will be at AIPAC in supporting rolls include the slimy Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the despicable former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. It will also include numerous other congressmen, administration officials and the usual scumbags who gravitate to these events, including pardoned criminal Elliott Abrams and unindicted felon Senator Robert Menendez. Abrams, who believes that Jews and gentiles should not intermarry, is currently engaged in destroying Venezuela and just might be otherwise occupied.

A number of the “American” government attendees at the event are actually Israeli citizens. Sigal Mandelker, a committed Zionist who holds the perpetually Jewish position of Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the United States Department of Treasury, is an Israeli by birth and it is widely believed that a number of Jewish congressmen and government officials who will be attending the AIPAC conference have dual citizenship. On the conference website’s roster of attendees, it is amusing to see the official photos in which the U.S. legislators and officials are standing in front of the American flag, seemingly disinterested in the irony that what AIPAC is doing is destructive of democracy in America and a sell-out to Israeli interests, undermining those of the United States.

Netanyahu’s most serious opposition in the election appears to be a centrist coalition headed by former Israeli Defense Force chief General Benny Gantz, who has spoken of his pride in killing 1,364 “terrorists” in Gaza, and former Finance Minister Yair Lapid. It is the principal challenge to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election hopes. Israeli courts have also meanwhile banned several Arab parties while allowing extreme right-wing Jewish parties to appear on the ballot.

Whatever the outcome, the United States will be on the receiving end of what Israel decides to do post-election as Trump and company as well as the Democrats in opposition also have an election coming up next year and will want to receive the Israeli seal of approval. And AIPAC will be right there to make sure that Israel in return gets everything that it so richly deserves. Goodnight America.

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.

March 19, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Talking About Israel

The relationship with Israel is poison for the United States

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | March 11, 2019

A recent article by Andrew Sullivan in the New York magazine considers how one might discuss the issue of Israel and its powerful domestic lobby without being accused of anti-Semitism. Sullivan is a keen observer of the dynamics of American political power and the article pretty clearly lays out why the relationship with Israel is poison for the United States, but he cautions that words matter and one has to be careful about the packaging surrounding any critique of the Israel Lobby and its American Jewish supporters.

Sullivan begins with: “Let’s get this out of the way first: Using the phrases ‘all about the Benjamins’ and ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ when referring to the Israel lobby in D.C., as freshman Democratic representative Ilhan Omar recently did, is anti-Semitic. It should be possible to criticize Washington’s relationship with Israel without deploying crude and freighted language like this.”

And that is precisely where some critics of the Israel-America relationship might have a problem with observers like Sullivan as what for him passes as “crude and freighted” is for others frankness. Okay, “all about the Benjamins” is slang and the implication is that Jewish money is what has corrupted American politics and the media to stifle any honest discussion on Israel-Palestine and to skew U.S. government activity in the Middle East so that it favors what Israel perceives to be its own interests. This process operates right out in the open with Israel-firster Jewish billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban respectively serving as principal donors for the Republican and Democratic parties.

This flood of Jewish money into foreign policy generation has done incalculable damage to the actual interests of the United States as Sullivan, to his credit, makes clear in his article. The point is that politics in America is all about money and Ilhan Omar was quite right to make that connection. Most congress-critters do not love Israel because they honestly like the hordes of lobbyists that it is able to send their way. In fact, many of them privately complain about the pressure, but they do love the campaign donations and the lucrative sinecure jobs in the financial services industry that come with their retirements. And they also know that if they cross Israeli interests while in office they will soon be unemployed.

And as for the “allegiance to a foreign country,” how else does one describe doing everything possible to favor a foreign state at the expense of the nation where one lives? Sullivan himself provides ample evidence in his article that the one-way relationship with Israel inflicts major damage on the United States and that the enabling of that process comes from a disciplined and well-funded lobbying effort that operates at all levels of government and also through the media. Is that not allegiance to a foreign country?

After expressing the “thou shalt nots” regarding Israel, Andrew Sullivan pulls no punches in his article, which should be read in extenso. He writes “The basic facts are not really in dispute. A very powerful lobby deploys the money and passions of its members to ensure that a foreign country gets very, very special treatment from the U.S.” and then goes on to detail exactly how Israel is a major liability to America. He discusses the $3.8 billion it receives annually in spite of the fact that is a wealthy country, its failure to support U.S. foreign policy objectives, its unwillingness to curtail a brutal occupation of the West Bank, its humiliation of President Obama because he entered into an agreement with Iran, and its nearly complete subjugation of Congress, congressional leaders and the White House.

Sullivan fails to mention how Israel also spies on the United States, steals U.S. developed technology and benefits hugely from beneficial trade agreements that kill American jobs. And there are also the “suspected but not proven” issues like Israel’s role in 9/11, its apparent manipulation of Jewish American officials in the Pentagon to start the disastrous 2003 war with Iraq, and its current clandestine agitation for Washington to attack Iran. Jewish billionaires also are the prime sources of “charitable” contributions that feed the illegal settlement outposts on the West Bank populated largely by fundamentalist Jews whose prime mission is to make the lives of their Palestinian neighbors so miserable that they will emigrate. That is sometimes referred to as ethnic cleansing. Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and David Friedman, the key components of the Trump Administration Middle East “peace” team, are all passionate about Israel and have all supported the illegal settlements. Friedman, in particular, has sought to eliminate the word “occupation” from official U.S. government descriptions of the Israeli activity in Palestinian areas.

And then there is the Israeli predilection to use unarmed Palestinian demonstrators for target practice and to bomb schools and vital infrastructure in Gaza, which once upon a time most Americans would have considered war crimes or crimes against humanity. Sullivan does mention how Congress is willing to pass legislation to restrict freedom of speech if such speech involves criticism of Israel, noting that the very first bill to come up in the Senate after the recent shutdown was supporting the punishment of those who advocate nonviolent boycotting of Israel. He might have added how Israel’s friends at state and local levels are pushing to rewrite world history texts to eliminate any references to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. And holocaust study is becoming mandatory in many U.S. school systems without any suggestion that the standard narrative might be in large part bogus. And then there are the holocaust museums springing up like mushrooms at the taxpayers’ expense. Is it all driven by money and enabled by the power that money buys to propagandize for Israel? And is it maybe just a bit of allegiance to a foreign country? Yes indeed, thank you, Ilhan Omar, for saying so.

All of this warm and fuzzy feeling about Israel did not happen by magic. By one estimate there are 600 Christian and Jewish organizations in the United States that have at least part of their agendas the promotion of the relationship with Israel. Christian Zionists are formidable in numbers but the money, as well as the political and media access that drive the so-called Israel Lobby process, is Jewish. The directors and presidents of those organizations meet regularly and discuss what they can do to help Israel. How does one describe such collusion? Some might prefer to call it a conspiracy.

So how should one view the dystopic nature of the relationship with Israel? No one has ever described it better than America’s first president George Washington. In his Farewell Address he wrote:

“The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest… So likewise, 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.”

Andrew Sullivan concludes with some optimism and also a warning, which should be heeded: “Can our current controversy lead to a less inhibited debate? I sure hope so. Will that actually happen? All I can say is that AIPAC will wield all the power it can muster to prevent it.” It is, to be sure, AIPAC versus all decent Americans and one has to hope that this time the voice of the people will be heard in defense of the actual interests of the United States of America rather than those of Israel.

March 11, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

NPR reporter defends one-sided report on Ilhan Omar

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | February 22, 2019

In response to an email I sent complaining that NPR had aired a one-sided, slanted report on the Ilhan Omar controversy, reporter Susan Davis replied that their coverage was “fair.” She emailed that the controversy was Omar’s fault, calling it “a self-inflicted PR mess by a sitting member of Congress.”

The report had been aired on NPR’s All Things Considered program, reportedly “the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country.”

Let’s look at what constituted Omar’s alleged “self-inflicted PR mess”: she mentioned the influence of a special interest lobby on politicians’ stances.

This is a widely understood reality. Politicians and others frequently discuss the influence of the NRA, the pharmaceutical lobby, and other special interest groups. Democrats periodically call out conservative lobbies; Republicans do the same for liberal ones. This is considered politics as usual.

That’s what Omar did.

Sequence of events

Let’s look at the sequence of events that led to the controversy over Omar:

1. Journalist Glenn Greenwald (who is Jewish but has also been accused of being “antisemitic”) tweeted: “GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

(The phrase “attacking free speech rights of Americans” refers to legislation to impede the right to boycott Israel; 75 percent of Americans oppose such legislation.”)

2. Omar retweeted Greenwald’s post with the comment: “It’s All About the Benjamins.” (Benjamins is a colloquial term for money – Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill.)

3. Pro-Israel journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon posted a sarcastic tweet saying she’d “like to know” who Omar “thinks is paying [sic] American politicians to be pro-Israel….”

4. Omar responded “AIPAC.”

AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee – a lobbying organization that claims to be, and is widely regarded as, extremely influential in Congress.

In other words, the controversy began over Omar’s two tweets, a total of six words.

For this exchange, Israel partisans, and those who desire their campaign donations, called Omar “antisemitic.” (This epithet is frequently deployed against proponents of Palestinian rights. An Israeli Knesset member has explained that this is a frequently used “trick.”)

But Omar had not said anything about “Jews” or “Jewish.”

AIPAC and the Israel lobby

Omar had simply referred to a special interest lobbying group – an organization with an income of $230 million that refers openly to the “key role” it plays in advancing legislation.

Fortune magazine once ranked AIPAC “the second most powerful interest group in Washington.”

In 2016 Fortune described AIPAC as “the biggest, most powerful group in the Israel Lobby.”

Former AIPAC official, M.J. Rosenberg wrote of Omar’s tweet: “AIPAC’s political operation is used precisely as Representative Omar suggested.” Rosenberg pointed out: “The power of AIPAC over members of Congress is literally awesome, although not in a good way.”

Pro-Israel New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote in 2011 that Congress’s many standing ovations for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

In November’s mid-term elections, pro-Israel campaign donors gave millions of dollars to both parties. Israel advocate Sheldon Adelson, alone, who says he wishes he had served in the Israeli army rather than the U.S. military, gave $123 million.

Although ambitious politicians from both parties attacked Omar for publicly stating the obvious, numerous people defended her; there were articles in The Nation, the UK Guardian, The Intercept, and many other places. An Israeli journalist based in the U.S. tweeted Omar was “exactly right.”

One-sided report

In her email to me, reporter Susan Davis claimed that the All Things Considered report was “fair.” But a fair report would have reported both the criticisms of her and the defenses.

Instead, NPR only told listeners about the accusations against Omar. There was no mention of the many people who supported her, said her point was valid, and provided evidence for their statements.

In her report, Davis had told listeners: “She’s facing scrutiny for comments that both her allies and her critics consider anti-Semitic.” This suggested that the condemnation was universal, when in reality many allies and others disagree.

A full, fair, accurate report would have followed the sentence about the claims against her with another: ‘But many people disagree and say her remarks are valid.’

That’s not what NPR did.

Davis’s inaccurate assertions

Following are the other assertions in Davis’s email. These indicate a profoundly skewed perspective on the controversy, albeit one that conforms to a pervasive blindspot within much of the media. This is unfortunate in an otherwise thorough and professional journalist like Davis, who can and hopefully will do better.

She was universally condemned by her own party, Democratic leaders, and every major chairman in the Congress.

Davis’s claim that Omar “was universally condemned by her own party” is untrue.

There are thousands of people in the Democratic party; most didn’t say anything. In fact, a 2018 Pew poll showed that “nearly twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel.”

Bernie Sanders, perhaps the most popular leader in Congress, met with Omar and offered his support.

A former member of the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee said the attacks were “outrageous.” He wrote that Omar was being condemned because “she dared to point out, as a leading New York Times columnist and so many others have in the past, the intimidating role that AIPAC plays in shaping US policy toward Israel. The response was nearly hysterical.”

He wrote that Israel supporters “have weaponized anti-Semitism, turning it into a blunt instrument in a crude effort to pummel opponents and silence legitimate debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

While Davis notes that major Congressional chairmen are against Omar, she fails to mention that Nancy Pelosi intentionally stacked the deck. Speaking a while ago before a pro-Israel convention backed by Sheldon Adelson, Pelosi announced:  “We have people very well paced to share our values.”

She apologized for using what she acknowledged were anti-Semitic tropes, if inadvertently.

This statement is also untrue.

Nowhere did Omar “acknowledge” that she had used “anti-Semitic tropes.”

In reality, Omar had apologized for “any actual hurt” her words may have caused, but said she would not change her views of the “problematic role of lobbyists in our politics.”  She said: “It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

Many people felt there was no need for Omar to apologize for making a factual statement; if anyone was allegedly “hurt” by her statement about a special interest group, this was their problem, not hers.

Our coverage was fair and accurately reflected those facts.

The coverage was not fair.

It reported one-side of a controversy that has two sides. It reported some facts and left out other facts.

All Things Considered is a highly influential program. It is important that it air unbiased, accurate reports, not one-sided, prejudicial dispatches.

Anyone who wishes All Things Considered to do better in future reports, can contact them here.


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

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Growing Anti-Semitism Scam

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • February 19, 2019

“An anti-Semite used to mean a man who hated Jews. Now it means a man who is hated by Jews.” – Joe Sobran

In his novel 1984 George Orwell invented the expression “newspeak” to describe the ambiguous or deliberately misleading use of language to make political propaganda and narrow the “thought options” of those who are on the receiving end. In the context of today’s political discourse, or what passes for the same, it would be interesting to know what George would think of the saturation use of “anti-Semitism” as something like a tactical discussion stopper, employed to end all dispute while also condemning those accused of the crime as somehow outside the pale, monsters who are consigned forever to derision and obscurity.

The Israelis and, to be sure, many diaspora Jews know exactly how the expression has been weaponized. Former Israeli Minister Shulamit Aloni explained how it is done “Anti-Semitic”…”its a trick, we always use it.”

If one were to read the U.S. mainstream media, reflective as it nearly always is of a certain institutional Jewish viewpoint, one would think that there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism worldwide, but that claim is incorrect. What has been taking place is not hatred of Jews but rather a confluence of two factors. First is the undeniable fact that Israel has been behaving particularly badly, even by its admittedly low standards. Its slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza has been unusually observable in spite of media attempts to avoid mentioning it, plus its support of terrorists in Syria and attacks on that country have also raised questions about the intentions of the kleptocratic regime in Tel Aviv, which is currently pushing for an attack on Iran. That all means that the perception of Israel, which boasts that it is the exclusively Jewish state, inevitably raises questions about the international Jewish community that provides much of its support. But the shift in perception is driven by Israeli behavior, not by Jews as an ethnicity or a religion.

Second, the alleged increase in anti-Semitic incidents is largely fueled by how those incidents are defined. Israel and its friends have worked hard to broaden the parameters of the discussion, making any criticism of Israel or its activities either a hate crime or ipso facto an anti-Semitic incident. The U.S. State Department’s working definition of anti-Semitism includes “… the targeting of the state of Israel” and it warns that anti-Semitism is a criminal offense. Recent legislation in Washington and also in Europe has criminalized hitherto legal and non-violent efforts to pressure Israel regarding its inhumanity vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Legitimate criticism of Israel thereby becomes both anti-Semitism and criminal, increasing the count of so-called anti-Semitic incidents. That means that the numbers inevitably go up, providing fodder to validate a repressive response.

One might add that Hollywood, the mainstream media and academia have contributed to the allegations regarding surging anti-Semitism, relentlessly unleashing a torrent of material rooting out alleged anti-Semites and so-called holocaust deniers, while simultaneously heaping praise on Israel and its achievements. Professor of Holocaust Studies Deborah Lipstadt has written a book Anti-Semitism: Here and Now about what she regards as the new anti-Semitism, supporting her belief that it is getting markedly worse in both Europe and the U.S. There is also a movie about her confrontation with holocaust critic David Irving called Denial. All of the media exposure of so-called anti-Semitism has a political objective, whether intended or not, which is to insulate Israel itself from any criticism and to create for all Jews the status of perpetual victimhood which permits many in the diaspora to unflinchingly support a foreign country against the interests of the nations where they were born, raised and made their fortunes. That is called dual loyalty and, in spite of frequent denials from Israel-apologists, it clearly exists for many American Jews who are passionate about the Jewish state, including members of the Trump Administration Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman and Jared Kushner.

In the past week, a newly elected member of congress has been derided, shunned and then forced to both recant and apologize for having said something that is manifestly true: that Jewish money corrupts the American political system to favor Israel. The controversy erupted after House minority leader Republican Kevin McCarthy said he would initiate investigations of two Muslim congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, over their criticisms of Israel. McCarthy called for the two to be denounced by the Democratic Party as anti-Semites after Tlaib had said that the sponsors of recent legislation intended to benefit Israel by limiting free speech “… forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right and part of our historical fight for freedom and equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”

Indeed, Tlaib had a point as the Congressional Israel boosters have long since forgotten that they are supposed to uphold the Constitution of the United States while also promoting the interests of their constituents, not those of a country seven thousand miles away. Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept responded to the news of the McCarthy threat with a tweet “It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.” Ilhan Omar then tweeted her own pithy rejoinder to Greenwald on Sunday February 10th: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!” which was in reference to the Founder Benjamin Franklin’s portrait on hundred-dollar bills. Her comment was almost immediately interpreted as meaning that she was accusing McCarthy of being bought by Jews. She followed up on a question about who was doing the buying she tweeted “AIPAC,” an elaboration that unleashed something like an anti-Semitism shit storm in her direction.

It was manufactured outrage, with political leaders from both parties latching on to a media frenzy to score points against each other. Even though it is perfectly legitimate for a Congresswoman on the Foreign Affairs Committee to challenge what AIPAC does and where its money comes from, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi complained that Omar’s “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters” was “deeply offensive.” Chelsea Clinton accused Omar of “trafficking in anti-Semitism.” President Donald Trump, who has admitted that his Mideast policy is intended to serve Israeli rather than U.S. interests, also jumped in, saying “I think she should either resign from congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Ilhan Omar quickly understood that she had touched a live wire, surrendered, and recanted. She apologized by Monday afternoon, 18 hours after her original tweet, saying “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.” But she also bravely wrote “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

Pelosi approved of the apology. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota who is running for president in 2020, chimed in to make sure that everyone knew how much she loves Israel, saying “I’m glad she apologized. That was the right thing to do. There is just no room for those kinds of words. I think Israel is our beacon of democracy. I’ve been a strong supporter of Israel and that will never change.”

Two days later, a motion sponsored by Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York passed by a 424 to 0 vote. It was specifically intended to serve as a rebuke to Omar. It stated that “it is in the national security interest of the United States to combat anti-Semitism around the world because… there has been a significant amount of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred that must be most strongly condemned.”

Congressional votes professing love for Israel notwithstanding, the fact is that there is a massive, generously funded effort to corrupt America’s government in favor of Israel. It is euphemistically called the Israel Lobby even though it is overwhelmingly Jewish and it boasts fairly openly of its power when talking with its closest friends about how its money influences the decisions made on Capitol Hill and in the White House. Its combined budget exceeds one billion dollars per year and it includes lobbying powerhouses like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which alone had $229 million in income in 2017, supporting more than 200 employees. It exists only to promote Israeli interests on Capitol Hill and throughout the United States with an army of lobbyists and its activities include using questionably legal all expenses paid “orientation” trips to Israel for all new congressmen and spouses.

McCarthy and the other stooges in Congress deliberately sought to frame the argument in terms of Ilhan Omar having claimed that he personally was receiving money from pro-Israel sources and that money influenced his voting. Well, the fact is that such activity does take place and was documented three years ago by the respected Foreign Policy Journal, which published a piece entitled “The Best Congress AIPAC can Buy” as well as more recently in an al-Jazeera investigative expose using a concealed camera.

And Kevin McCarthy does indeed receive money from Israel PACs – $33,200 in 2018. The amount individual congressmen receive is dependent on their actual or potential value to Israel. Completely corrupt and enthusiastically pro-Israel Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey received $548,507 in 2018. In the House, Beto O’Rourke of Texas received $226,690. The numbers do not include individual contributions of under $200, which are encouraged by AIPAC and can be considerable. In general, congressmen currently receive over $23,000 on average from the major pro-Israel organizations while Senators get $77,000.

But, of course, direct donations of money are not the whole story. If a congressman is unfriendly to Israel, money moves in the other direction, towards funding an opponent when re-election is coming up. Former Rep. Brian Bard has observed that “Any member of Congress knows that AIPAC is associated indirectly with significant amounts of campaign spending if you’re with them, and significant amounts against you if you’re not with them.” Lara Friedman, who has worked on the Hill for 15 years on Israel/Palestine, notes how congressmen and staffs of “both parties told me over and over that they agreed with me but didn’t dare say so publicly for fear of repercussions from AIPAC.”

A good example of how it all worked involves one honest congressman, Walter Jones of South Carolina, who recently passed away. In 2014, “Wall Street billionaires, financial industry lobbyists, and neoconservative hawks” tried to unseat Jones by bankrolling his primary opponent. The “dark money” intended to defeat him came from a PAC called “The Emergency Committee for Israel,” headed by leading neoconservative Bill Kristol. Jones’ war views, including avoiding a war with Iran, were clearly perceived as anti-Israel.

And one should also consider contributions directly to the political parties. Israeli/U.S. dual nationals Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are the largest single donors to the GOP and to the Democrats, having contributed $82 million and $8,780,000 respectively in the 2016 presidential campaign. Both have indicated openly that Israel is their top priority.

If they have demonstrated fealty to Israel while in office, many Congressmen also find that loyalty pays off after retirement from government with richly remunerated second careers in Jewish dominated industries, like financial services or the media. And there are hundreds of Jewish organizations that contribute to Israel as charities, even though the money frequently goes to fund illegal activity, including the settlements. Money also is used to buy newspapers and media outlets which then adhere to a pro-Israel line, or, where that does not work, to buy advertising that is conditional on being friendly to Israel. So the bottom line is indeed “the Benjamins” and the corruption that they buy.

Karen Pollock of the Holocaust Education Trust said in January that “One person questioning the truth of the Holocaust is one too many.” That is nonsense. Any, and all, historical events should be questioned regularly, a principle that is particular true regarding developments that carry a lot of emotional baggage. The Israel Lobby would have all Americans believe that any criticism of Israel is motivated by historic hatred of Jews and is therefore anti-Semitism. Don’t believe it. When the AIPAC crowd screams that linking Jews and money is a classic anti-Semitic trope respond by pointing out that Jews and money are very much in play in the corruption of congress and the media over Israel. Terrible things are being done in the Middle East in the name of Jews and of Israel and it all comes down to those Benjamins and the silence they buy by accusing all critics of anti-Semitism. Just recall what the Israeli minister admitted, “It’s a trick, we always use it.”

February 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC

By Thomas L. Knapp | Garrison Center | February 15, 2019

Washington’s political establishment went berserk when US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) publicly noted that US-Israel relations are “all about the Benjamins”  — slang for $100 bills, referring to money shoveled at American politicians by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Omar was accused of antisemitism — immediately by Republicans, shortly after by members of her own party — and bullied into apologizing. She may or may not be prejudiced against Jews,  but even if she is, that wasn’t her real offense.

Her real offense was  publicly mentioning the irrefutable fact  that many members of Congress take their marching orders from a foreign power’s lobbying apparatus (an apparatus not, as required by law, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act), at least partly because those marching orders come with promises of significant donations to those politicians’ campaigns.

AIPAC itself doesn’t make direct donations to political campaigns. But AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups like Christians United For Israel punch well above their weight in American politics, largely by motivating their supporters to financially support and work for “pro-Israel” candidates in general elections and help weed out “anti-Israel” candidates in party primaries.

By the way, “pro-Israel” in this context always means “supportive of the jingoism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party,” and never “supportive of the many Israelis who’d like peace with the Palestinian Arabs.”

One AIPAC supporter  alone, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, spent $65 million getting Republicans elected, including $25 million supporting Donald Trump, in 2016.  But that $25 million was only put into action after Trump retreated from his early position of “neutrality” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, publicly prostrated himself to AIPAC in a speech at one of its events, and pronounced himself “the most pro-Israel presidential candidate in history.”

But: We’re not supposed to talk about that. Ever. And it’s easy to see why.

If most Americans noticed that many  members of Congress (as well as most presidents) are selling their influence over US policy to a foreign power, we might do something about it.

For decades, howling “antisemitism” any time the matter came up proved an effective tactic for shutting down public discussion of the “special relationship” under which Israel receives lavish foreign aid subsidies, effective control of US foreign policy in the Middle East, and lately even state (and pending federal) legislation requiring government contractors to sign loyalty oaths to Israel’s government.

The Israeli lobby’s power to prevent that discussion seems to be slipping, however. Why? In part because the lobby’s money and political support, which used to be spent buying both sides of the partisan aisle, has begun tilting heavily Republican in recent years, freeing some Democrats to not “stay bought.” And in part because the newest generation of politicians includes some like Ilhan Omar who aren’t for sale (to Israel, anyway).

Decades of unquestioning obedience to the Israel lobby has drawn the US into needless and costly conflicts  not even remotely related to the defense of the United States. We’ll be better off when the “special relationship,” and the corruption underlying it, ends.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

February 16, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

NPR misleads public in report on AIPAC vs Ilhan Omar

NPR misleads public in report on AIPAC vs Ilhan Omar

Washington D.C. headquarters of NPR, National Public Radio

NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ segment underreports AIPAC’s finances, uses only Israel partisans as commentators, minimizes power of AIPAC, ignores Palestinians, and fails to inform listeners of the full scope of the Israel lobby

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | February 15, 2019

A recent NPR report, “Unpacking What The American Israel Public Affairs Committee Does,” misleads listeners on several points.

The report is in response to freshman Democratic Congress member Ilhan Omar’s tweet that AIPAC is the cause of U.S. politicians’ support for Israel over U.S. needs and principles. Omar has come under numerous attacks ever since.

NPR’s report, broadcast Wednesday, substantially downplays the power of AIPAC. In doing so, it suggests that Omar’s comments were “antisemitic,” while failing to interview anyone with different views.

The report was on NPR’s All Things Considered, which says it is “the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country.”

NPR’s only commentators are Israel partisans

The report largely features comments from two members of the Israel lobby: Josh Block, former AIPAC spokesman and current CEO of the Israel Project, and Ben Shnider, National Political Director for JStreetPAC, which calls itself “the largest pro-Israel PAC in the country.”

No one else is interviewed.

The show does not mention that Block was the center of a scandal several years go when it came out that he had been encouraging neoconservative journalists and pundits on a private email list to smear staffers at two progressive think tanks as supposedly “antisemitic.”

Block’s business partner publicly repudiated Block’s actions, and a Democratic-aligned organization expelled Block for using ‘mischaracterization or character attacks’.”

Wednesday’s NPR report was introduced by host Mary Louise Kelly announcing that Ilhan Omar had “repeated what are viewed as anti-Semitic characterizations” of AIPAC.

Kelly failed to mention that many people consider the accusation unjustified and Omar’s statement valid. Israel partisans regularly try to claim that proponents of Palestinian rights are “antisemitic.” An Israeli Knesset member has said that this is a frequently used “trick.”

Block and Shnider are then brought on as alleged experts on the issue. None of the groups and individuals who support Omar are quoted.

Underreports AIPAC’S budget

In the report, NPR gives AIPAC’s lobbying budget as $3.3 million, but leaves out the fact that AIPAC’s total 2017 income was over $229 million.

Commentator Josh Block emphasizes that AIPAC itself doesn’t directly donate to candidates, but doesn’t mention that AIPAC uses numerous other ways to deploy its millions of dollars to influence politicians.

NPR reporter Peter Overby briefly mentions one non-donation AIPAC activity and glancingly refers to what he terms “a small constellation of political action committees around [AIPAC],” but fails to give the full picture of AIPAC’s influence.

A fuller view of AIPAC’s power

Prominent international relations scholars John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt provide a much fuller description of AIPAC’s importance in their 2008 book on the Israel lobby, and in a London Review of Books article on the subject.

Mearshimer and Walt state: “AIPAC itself… forms the core of the Lobby’s influence in Congress. Its success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it.”

They quote a former AIPAC staff member, who states: “It is common for members of Congress and their staffs to turn to AIPAC first when they need information, before calling the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service, committee staff or administration experts.” He says that AIPAC is “often called on to draft speeches, work on legislation, advise on tactics, perform research, collect co-sponsors and marshal votes.”

AIPAC helped defeat Senator Charles Percy from Illinois, a potential presidential candidate.

The authors, senior professors at the University of Chicago and Harvard, state:

“Money is critical to US elections…. AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the many pro-Israel political action committees. Anyone who is seen as hostile to Israel can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to his or her political opponents. AIPAC also organises letter-writing campaigns and encourages newspaper editors to endorse pro-Israel candidates.

“There is no doubt about the efficacy of these tactics. Here is one example: in the 1984 elections, AIPAC helped defeat Senator Charles Percy from Illinois, who, according to a prominent Lobby figure, had ‘displayed insensitivity and even hostility to our concerns’. Thomas Dine, the head of AIPAC at the time, explained what happened: ‘All the Jews in America, from coast to coast, gathered to oust Percy. And the American politicians – those who hold public positions now, and those who aspire – got the message.’”

AIPAC, de facto agent for a foreign government

Mearsheimer and Walt state: “The bottom line is that AIPAC, a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on Congress, with the result that US policy towards Israel is not debated there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world……..  as Ariel Sharon once told an American audience, ‘when people ask me how they can help Israel, I tell them: ‘Help AIPAC. ”

Israeli Prime Minister General Ariel Sharon, known for his brutal military operations.

While today some other pro-Israel organizations are vying with AIPAC for power, American politicians still consider AIPAC so powerful that every top 2016 presidential candidate spoke at its annual convention.

Israel as ally?

During the NPR report, Block refers to the alleged “value” of the “U.S.-Israel alliance,” and Overby fails to challenge Block’s claim.

In reality, the value is on one side only.

Israel receives over $10 million per day from hard pressed American taxpayers (likely to soon to go even higher), and is shielded by the U.S. from international actions to end Israel’s numerous violations of international law and human rights. It also receives numerous trade perks and other benefits, including U.S. legislation that requires NASA to work with Israel’s space agency, despite allegations of Israeli theft of classified U.S. research.

On the U.S. side, the alleged “value” is negative. U.S. support for Israel damages the U.S. in numerous ways: it drains money from the U.S. economy, subsidizes Israeli companies that compete with American companies, creates dangerous hostility to the U.S., pushes the U.S. into tragic and costly wars on behalf of Israel, and funds a foreign nation built on ethnic/religious discrimination that repeatedly spies on the U.S. and steals American technology.

As if that weren’t enough, Israel tried to sink a U.S. Navy ship, killing 34 Americans and injuring over 170, and then “compensated” the U.S. with a sum that was a small fraction of the destroyed ship’s worth.

What Palestinians?

Gaza following Israeli attacks, 2014.

Information about Palestinians and why anyone would oppose AIPAC’S support for Israel is missing from the NPR report. There is no mention of Palestinians’ forced expulsion to make way for a Jewish state, the ongoing Israeli violence against them, or the systemic discrimination inherent in Israel.

In fact, the word “Palestinian” is mentioned only once, when Shnider says that most Jewish Americans support “a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.” There is no mention about security for Palestinians, or that the “Palestinian state” being proposed consists of a tiny portion of Palestinians’ ancestral land.

AIPAC: tip of the iceberg

During the broadcast, Overby mentions pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson and a few other pro-Israel groups, implying these are largely the extent of the Israel lobby.

Overby and his guests fail to inform listeners of the full range and power of the Israel lobby in the United States: hundreds of organizations embedded in every state in the union and almost every campus, with a combined revenue of well over $6 billion.

Added to this are pro-Israel billionaire donors who regularly deploy their wealth on behalf of Israel, including Adelson and his Israeli wife Miriam, Israeli-American Haim Saban, Paul Singer, Norman Braman, and Larry Ellison, who have a combined net worth of close to $115 billion.

Wednesday’s report is not an isolated instance.

Analyses have shown that NPR has a long pattern of giving listeners Israel-centric reports that fail to give listeners the full, accurate picture of this profoundly important issue.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.”  Her articles have been published by MintPress News, The Link, Project Censored, Dissident Voice, Antiwar.com, CounterPunch, Z Magazine, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and others, including several anthologies.

H/T to the Dissident Veteran for Peace blog, which alerted us to the NPR program and the Mearsheimer-Walt excerpts quoted above.

February 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Kamala Harris Dons Progressive Mantle in Public, Strips it Off in Private as She Courts Israel Lobby

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | January 21, 2019

Confirming long-held speculation, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has announced that she will be running for president in 2020, pitting her against other Democratic senators such as Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as well as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Harris’ announcement has generated some buzz but surprised few, as she has been considered a likely 2020 contender for the Democratic nomination since early 2017. Harris first tweeted on Monday morning out her plans to run for president along with the Clinton-esque slogan “Let’s do this together.”

She then repeated her announcement on ABC’s Good Morning America, stating that “I am running for president of the United States. I’m very excited about it.” Harris, who decided to launch her campaign on the federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., later added, “I love my country. And this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are.”

However, despite the long-promoted “inevitability” of Harris’ campaign, she has failed to garner much enthusiasm from progressive voters, owing to her history of supporting neoliberal policies as well as her pro-Zionist leanings, which she has attempted to keep from public view.

Though hardly “progressive,” Harris – much like another 2020 hopeful, Elizabeth Warren – has sought to cast herself as such in recent years in an effort to unite a fractured Democratic party by publicly catering to progressives while also privately catering to special interests, including the Israel lobby.

In this two-part series, MintPress News will examine how Harris is set to emulate much of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign — particularly the distinction between her “private” and “public” positions — while using identity politics to her advantage. This has already begun, with Harris having courted past Hillary campaign staffers and millionaire donors alike. In addition, top establishment liberals like Joy Ann Reid of MSNBC and Clinton advisor Neera Tanden are claiming that legitimate criticism of, and a lack of enthusiasm for, a Harris presidential run on the part of progressives stem from “racism” and “sexism” among left-leaning Americans — reviving the Clinton campaign’s “Bernie bros” narrative that characterizes Bernie Sanders-supporting progressive voters as “all-white” and “all-male.”

One of the clearest examples of Harris’ practice of courting special interests in private while painting a different picture in public is her position on the Israel/Palestine conflict. While Harris once, in 2012 while serving as California’s attorney general, stood up to Israeli government pressure to persecute activists working with the pro-Palestinian rights movement Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS), she made a concerted effort to court pro-Israel interests as she began to pursue her higher political ambitions, namely when she kicked off her 2016 campaign for the Senate.

Since then, Harris has sought to keep a public persona of neutrality on the divisive issue by evasively responding to questions on the issue or avoiding them altogether. At the same time, Harris has been privately pandering to Israel lobby groups in “off-the-record” speeches and during trips to Israel that she and her staff chose not to publicize. This clearly reflects the image that Harris seeks to build of herself as a “progressive centrist” candidate, meaning one who cultivates a public persona of progressivism while also supporting many of the hallmark policies of establishment “centrist” Democrats and courting the mega-donors of the Democratic Party.

A quiet courtship

Once her 2016 Senate campaign was underway, Harris made it clear that she was willing to “look the other way” when it comes to the human-rights abuses regularly inflicted on Palestinians by the state of Israel. That year, in a questionnaire from Jewish News of Northern California, Harris asserted that “Lasting peace [between Israel and Palestine] can only be found through bilateral negotiations that protect Israel’s identity, ensure security for all people and include the recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” — i.e., a Jewish ethnostate that gives other ethnoreligious backgrounds an “inferior” status.

In that same questionnaire, Harris also praised Israel’s Supreme Court, which has helped to enshrine apartheid and also legalized the targeted assassinations of hundreds of Palestinians during intifadas (uprisings), as “a beautiful home to democracy and justice in a region where radicalism and authoritarianism all too often shape government.”

Harris went on to resoundingly reject the non-violent BDS movement, stating:

The BDS movement seeks to weaken Israel but it will only isolate the nation and steer Israelis against prerequisite compromises for peace. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise – especially in Europe – and the Middle East is growing increasingly unstable, I believe we should not isolate Israel, the only democracy in the region.”

In 2017, a few months after winning her Senate seat, Harris gave her first public address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in which she stated:

I believe Israel should never be a partisan issue, and as long as I’m a United States senator, I will do everything in my power to ensure broad and bipartisan support for Israel’s security and right to self-defense.”

Several months later, Harris quietly visited Israel, a trip that she did not post on her website or social media accounts but that was instead announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and another Israeli politician, Yair Lapid, via social media. During the trip, Harris also briefly visited 10 female students at Al-Quds University in the occupied West Bank, where she asked the students whether Israel’s massive separation wall posed “a real barrier” to their movement.

Though her trip to Israel and photo-op with Netanyahu raised some concern, Harris’ decision to court pro-Israel interests has since grown substantially. Much as with her Israel trip though, the California senator has sought to court these interests just out of public view. For instance, in March of last year, Harris spoke to the Israel lobby organization AIPAC at an event called “A Conversation with Senator Kamala Harris.” The event was not listed on the AIPAC conference’s program or website, nor was it promoted by Harris herself. AIPAC Director of Communications Beth Robbins later confirmed to the Intercept that Senator Harris’ remarks were part of “an off-the-record session.”

Though the transcript of her remarks was never made public, one anecdote shared by a participant in the session recounted how Harris had, as a child, helped fundraise for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) “to plant trees in Israel” as opposed to selling Girl Scout cookies or something similar. However, it’s unlikely that Harris mentioned at this gathering that JNF pine plantations are largely used to cover and effectively erase the bulldozed remnants of Palestinian villages that were destroyed by the state of Israel soon after its founding.

In addition to her AIPAC conferences and speeches, Harris’ national security adviser up until May 2018 was Halie Soifer, a long-time advocate for Israel who was also the Obama campaign’s Jewish outreach liaison in Florida in 2008 and a former advisor to former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Soifer was also previously a speechwriter for the Israeli ambassador to the United States and was a “Next Generation National Security Fellow” with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which is headed by Victoria Nuland, of the neo-conservative “Kagan clan,” and Richard Fontaine, former foreign policy advisor to John McCain.

Soifer is now the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, an Israel lobby organization that “actively promotes foreign and domestic policies consistent with socially progressive, pro-Israel, Jewish community values.”

Having it both ways

While being a pro-Israel senator is hardly uncommon in American politics, what stands out about Kamala Harris is that she has sought to obfuscate her courting of Israel lobby organizations and Israeli politicians. This shows that Harris is not only seeking to make inroads with the powerful pro-Israel lobby and win its support but is also seeking to construct a public persona that courts progressive voters.

However, if Clinton’s 2016 campaign is any indication, separating one’s “public” and “private” positions in order to win votes, while privately courting special interests, is a recipe for disaster — one that assumes progressive voters are easily duped and can be silenced by identity politics.

As the second part of this series will show, Harris’ Clintonesque construction of both a “private” and “public” platform is hardly a coincidence, since she has surrounded herself for much of her young Senate career with numerous Clinton campaign staffers and Obama administration officials and has been zealously courting Hillary Clinton’s former political patrons.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

January 21, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

First Senate bill of 2019 would give Israel billions of dollars, combat BDS, and rebut Trump’s Syria withdrawal

Marco Rubio’s career has been funded by pro-Israel billionaires such as Normal Braman, Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson, and Larry Ellison. (Photo from Politico )
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | January 6, 2019

According to Marco Rubio, the first bill the 2019 U.S. Senate will take up is one that is focused on Israel. His twitter announcement shows a number of people suggesting that he should instead focus on getting the U.S. government running.

The four-part bill, designated S.1, is composed of measures on behalf of Israel that Congress tried and failed to pass in 2018. Some were pioneered by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The first component is the “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2019” – the 2018 text can be seen here. This would give Israel $33 billion over the next ten years in addition to the $5.5 billion enacted in last year’s defense spending bill. This is reportedly the largest military aid package in U.S. history. The bill was held up by Senator Rand Paul, who threatened a filibuster against it. Most Americans feel the U.S. already gives Israel too much money.

Unlike the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the Obama administration negotiated with Israel in 2016, this would make the $38 billion a floor rather than a ceiling and cements it into law (an MOU is non-binding). It also provides Israel additional perks, including calling for NASA to work with Israel’s space agency, despite Israel’s alleged acquisition of classified U.S. research.

Another component of the bill is the “Combatting BDS Act of 2019” (the text of the previous version is here). This allows state and local governments to prohibit contracting with any entity that participates in BDS, the boycott of Israel over Israel’s violations of human rights and international law. Many groups and individuals oppose the bill on the ground that it violates freedom of speech. AIPAC is a strong supporter of such legislation.

A third component is “The United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act,” which would provide money to Jordan. Israel has long used U.S. aid packages to Mideast governments to enable Israel’s regional divide-and-conquer strategies.

Similarly, the fourth component is the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019” (2018 version here), which imposes sanctions on Syria. Roll Call reports that the bill “could serve as a rebuttal” to President Trump’s recent announcement that he was going to withdraw troops from Syria. NBC reports: “They can’t make Trump keep troops in Syria. They’ve asked for increased sanctions on Syria instead.”

Bill being fast-tracked

According to Roll Call, the composite bill, entitled “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019,” is being “expedited through a Senate procedure that allows for bypassing the committee process, and the new chairman of the committee of jurisdiction for most of the bills is on board with the approach.”

The chairman is Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. According to Open Secrets, one of Risch’s main sources of campaign donations is the pro-Israel lobby.

Image from video of Risch’s speech at AIPAC convention; view it here

It appears that none of the U.S. news reports on the legislation inform voters how much U.S. tax money the bill will give to Israel; many reports don’t even mention that aspect of the bill. This continues the media omission on this subject.


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

January 6, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 9 Comments