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The Fall of Eliot Engel: Israel-Firster Defeated in Congressional Primary

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | June 26, 2020

Sometimes listening to the morning news on television is a bit like entering into an alternate universe. Last Wednesday, the day after primary elections in New York State, CBS News reported that New York Congressman Eliot Engel was “facing a challenge” from Democratic Party challenger Jamaal Bowman. NBC News reported that Engel was “trailing.” The reality, according to the New York Times tally of the results that morning was that Bowman had beaten Engel by a margin to 60.9% versus 35.6% with more than 82% of votes counted. Even though it posted the numbers, the Times felt compelled to describe the apparently impending lopsided loss as if it were something less than that, as a “stiff challenge” for Engel.

The media deference to Engel derives from the fact that he is a protected species, possibly the leading Israel-firster in Congress. In 2003, Engel supported the invasion of Iraq and in the following year he organized a group of fellow congressmen to demand cuts in the U.S. contribution to the United Nations office that assists Palestinian refugees. He attended the infamous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address to Congress in 2015 that many other Democratic lawmakers boycotted due to the insult to President Obama and afterwards called Netanyahu’s speech “compelling.”

Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo and Nancy Pelosi all had endorsed Engel, who has been in Congress for going on 32 years and currently heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Clinton explained that Engel “… is deeply committed to working with our allies to maintain American leadership on the global stage.” She was, of course, referring to Israel.

Engel was also endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus even though Bowman is black, a demonstration of how politics in Washington works. Engel will in any event likely be replaced to chair the Foreign Affairs committee by a similar Jewish Israel-firster Brad Sherman of California, but his imminent defeat has already sent a shockwave through the centers of pro-Israel power in the United States.

Bowman, a progressive so-called Justice Democrat, is on record as favoring cuts in aid for Israel based on its human rights record. He has attacked Engel for being on the dole financially from defense contractors and also for being an active promoter of a military attack on Iran, even though the Iranians pose no threat to the United States. He has, in fact, made Israel something of an issue in his campaign, pointing out that Engel had been one of the few Democratic members of the House of Representatives to vote against President Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015. The JCPOA was the major foreign policy achievement of the Obama Administration and it set up a framework to prevent Iran from taking steps to produce a nuclear weapon. It was strongly opposed by Israel and its American lobby even though the agreement enhanced U.S. national security.

In 2016, after the Obama administration abstained on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, Engel responded with a House resolution condemning the U.N. Engel often in his career has boasted about his close relationship with Israel. Speaking at the 2018 national convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the U.S.’s principal Israeli lobby, he boasted how “There’s a bunch of legislation coming out of the Foreign Affairs Committee. I want to tell you that I sit down with AIPAC on every piece of legislation that comes out. I think it’s very, very important. In the past 30 years I have attended 31 consecutive AIPAC conferences in March, I haven’t missed one.” Some might suggest that serving in one country’s legislature and working for the interests of another country amounts to treason.

The other good news coming out of New York was that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her district with 72.6% of the vote. AOC, controversial to be sure but no friend of the Israel Lobby, was running against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a CNBC reporter. As is often the case, there is considerable back story to the two races and that back story is Jewish money, lots of it, intended to re-elect Engel and get rid of Ocasio-Cortez. Engel received more that $1.5 million from one group alone, the so-called Democratic Majority for Israel and also obtained large sums bundled by the AIPAC-tied group Pro-Israel America as well as from other Jewish groups. AOC was opposed by the not surprisingly well-funded Caruso-Cabrera, whose money largely came from pro-Israel and Jewish affiliated organizations

And more bad news appears to be coming from the Hudson Valley district currently held by yet another Israel-first congresswoman Representative Nita Lowey, who is retiring. Mondaire Jones, a gay Harvard-educated lawyer, has the lead based on early returns. Jones calls himself a progressive and he is unlikely to emerge as a cheerleader for Israel if he is elected.

Representing parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City, Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the Oversight and Reform Committee, is meanwhile maintaining a small lead over Democratic challenger Suraj Patel. Maloney describes herself on her website as a strong supporter of Israel and Jewish issues. In fact, she goes far beyond that, actively sponsoring and otherwise promoting legislation favorable to Israel and the Jewish community, most recently being the sponsor of the waste of taxpayer money in promoting the holocaust myth through H.R.943, the Never Again Education Act. Maloney is hanging on to a slim lead against Patel, though numerous postal and absentee votes have not yet been counted and the outcome could go either way. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a shock to the Israel Lobby that a completely reliable Maloney might be in danger of losing her seat.

To be sure, Congress continues to be Israeli occupied territory, as Pat Buchanan once put it. Last week 116 out of 198 Republican congressmen signed a letter to President Donald Trump asserting their support for Israel’s annexation of much of the West Bank, due to start shortly. The letter stated that the annexation was justified “based on the critical premise that Israel should never be forced to compromise its security,” indicating very clearly that actual U.S. national interests had nothing to do with it.

What is surprising about the Republican letter is that it was not unanimous, and the loss of Engel, replacement of Lowey and possible defeat of Maloney could be indications of a real shift among voters regarding what has been an assiduously cultivated overwhelmingly positive view of the Jewish State. Recent opinion polls suggest that a majority of Americans do not support either Israeli expansion or its form of apartheid.

Israel is feeling somewhat vulnerable. Its Lobby stalwarts in the media and in politics are working hard to disengage the current anti-racism turmoil in the U.S. from any mention of Israel, which trained American police in their “anti-terror” tactics. The Jewish state also practices a far more virulent and brutal racism than anything prevailing in America, something that is becoming increasingly clear to the public. It is early days to be hopeful, but the New York primary election results, coming as they do from a state where Jewish groups wield enormous power, just might be an indication that some things are about to change.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests.

June 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 3 Comments

‘Zionist’ Biden in His Own Words: ‘My Name is Joe Biden, and Everybody Knows I Love Israel’

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | March 14, 2020

“I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” current Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, said in April 2007, soon before he was chosen to be Barack Obama’s running mate in the 2008 elections.

Biden is, of course, correct, because Zionism is a political movement that is rooted in 20th century nationalism and fascism. Its use of religious dogmas is prompted by political expediency, not spirituality or faith.

Unlike US President, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders, Biden’s only serious opponent in the Democratic primaries, Biden’s stand on Israel is rarely examined.

Trump has made his support for Israel the cornerstone of his foreign policy agenda since his inauguration into the White House in January 2017. The American President has basically transformed into Israel’s political genie, granting Tel Aviv all of its wishes in complete defiance of international law.

Sanders, on the other hand, came to represent the antithesis of Trump’s blind and reckless support for Israel. Himself Jewish, Sanders has promised to restore to the Palestinian people their rights and dignity, and to play a more even-handed role, thus ending decades of US unconditional support and bias in favor of Israel.

But where does Biden factor into all of this?

Below is a brief examination of Biden’s record on Palestine and Israel in recent years, with the hope that it gives the reader a glimpse of a man that many Democrats feel is the rational alternative to the political imbalances and extremism of the Trump administration.

August 1984: Palestinians and Arabs are to Blame

Biden’s pro-Israel legacy began much earlier than his stint as a vice-President or presidential candidate.

When Biden was only a Senator from Delaware, he spoke at the 1984 annual conference of ‘Herut Zionists of America’. Herut is the forerunner of Israel’s right-wing Likud party.

In his speech before the jubilant right-wing pro-Israel Zionist crowd, Biden derided the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Arab governments, for supposedly derailing peace in the Middle East.

Biden spoke of “three myths (that) propel U.S. policy in the Middle East” which, according to the American Senator, are, “the belief that Saudi Arabia can be a broker for peace, the belief that King Hussein (of Jordan) is ready to negotiate peace, and the belief that the Palestine Liberation Organization can deliver a consensus for peace.”

April 2007: ‘I am a Zionist’ 

Time only cemented Biden’s pro-Israel’s convictions, leading to his declaration in April 2007 that he is not a mere supporter of Israel – as has become the standard among US politicians – but is a Zionist himself.

In an interview with Shalom TV, and despite his insistence that he does not need to be Jewish to be a Zionist, Biden labored to make connections with the ‘Jewish State’, revealing that his son is married to a Jewish woman and that “he had participated in a Passover Seder at their house,” according to the Israeli Ynet News.

March 2013: ‘Qualitative Edge’

This commitment to Israel became better articulated when Biden took on greater political responsibilities as the US vice-president under Obama’s administration.

At a packed AIPAC conference in March 2013, Biden elaborated on his ideological Zionist beliefs and his president’s commitment to ‘the Jewish state of Israel’. He said:

“It was at that table that I learned that the only way to ensure that it could never happen again was the establishment and the existence of a secure, Jewish state of Israel. I remember my father, a Christian, being baffled at the debate taking place at the end of World War II ..” that any country could object to the founding of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland.

“That’s why we’ve worked so hard to make sure Israel keeps its qualitative edge in the midst of the Great Recession. I’ve served with eight Presidents of the United States of America, and I can assure you, unequivocally, no President has done as much to physically secure the State of Israel as President Barack Obama.”

December 2014: ‘Moral Obligation’ 

In one of the most fiercely pro-Israel speeches ever given by a top US official, Biden told the annual Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington on December 6, 2014, that, “If there weren’t an Israel, we would have to invent one”.

In his speech, Biden added a new component to the American understanding of its relationship with Israel, one that goes beyond political expediency or ideological connections; a commitment that is founded on “moral obligation”.

Biden said, “We always talk about Israel from this perspective, as if we’re doing (them) some favor. We are meeting a moral obligation. But it is so much more than a moral obligation. It is overwhelmingly in the self-interest of the United States of America to have a secure and democratic friend, a strategic partner like Israel. It is no favor. It is an obligation, but also a strategic necessity.”

April 2015: ‘I Love Israel’ 

“My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel,” Biden began his speech at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration held in Jerusalem in April 2015.

“Sometimes we drive each other crazy,” the US vice-president said in reference to disagreements between Israel and the US over Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to halt construction of illegal Jewish settlements.

“But we love each other,” he added. “And we protect each other. As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because … you protect our interests like we protect yours.”

July 2019: US Embassy Stays in Jerusalem

In response to a question by the news website, AXIOS, which was presented to the various Democratic party candidates, on whether a Democratic President would relocate the American embassy back to Tel Aviv, the Biden campaign answered:

“Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv. But he would re-open our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians.”

October 2019: Support for Israel Unconditional 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on October 31, 2019, Biden was asked whether he agrees with the position taken by his more progressive opponent, Bernie Sanders, regarding US financial support to Israel and Jewish settlement.

Sanders had said that, “if elected president he would leverage billions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Israel to push Jerusalem to change its policies toward the Palestinians,” The Hill news website reported.

Biden’s response was that, “…  the idea that we would draw military assistance from Israel, on the condition that they change a specific policy, I find to be absolutely outrageous. No, I would not condition it, and I think it’s a gigantic mistake. And I hope some of my candidates who are running with me for the nomination — I hope they misspoke or they were taken out of context.”

March 2020: ‘Above Politics, Beyond Politics’ 

Biden’s fiery speech before the pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, at their annual conference in March 2020, was a mere continuation of a long legacy that is predicated on his country’s blind support for Israel.

Biden’s discourse on Israel – a mixture of confused ideological notions, religious ideas and political interests – culminated in a call for American support for Israel that is “above politics and beyond politics”.

“Israelis wake up every morning facing an existential threat from their neighbors’ rockets from Gaza, just like this past week .. That’s why I’ve always been adamant that Israel must be able to defend itself. It’s not just critical for Israeli security. I believe it’s critical for America’s security.”

Palestinians “need to end the rocket attacks from Gaza,” Biden also said. “They need to accept once and for all the reality and the right of a secure democratic and Jewish state of Israel in the Middle East.”

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 5 Comments

AIPAC confirms two coronavirus cases at Israeli lobby gathering attended by US elites & politicians

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks at the AIPAC convention in Washington, DC, March 2, 2020. © Reuters / Tom Brenner
RT | March 7, 2020

Two people from New York who attended the AIPAC conference in the US capital have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, raising the possibility that lawmakers in Washington, DC were exposed to the potentially lethal contagion.

“At least” two conference-goers who came from Westchester County, New York have tested positive for the virus, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said on Friday evening, adding that they’ve sent notice of this to the attendees, participants, speakers, administration staff and congressional offices.

AIPAC previously said that a group that traveled to the conference from New York “potentially” interacted with an individual carrying the illness beforehand. Almost two dozen cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in New York state.

The conference held just outside of Washington on March 1-3 was attended by 18,000 people, including more than 3,600 students from campuses across the US, over two-thirds of Congress, as well as a number of attendees from abroad. The day after it concluded, Israel asked anyone who attended “international conferences abroad” to self-quarantine for 14 days, in hope of containing the infection to 15 cases reported so far.

Most of the fatalities from the virus are among people with underlying medical conditions and the elderly – which would apply to many members of Congress.

Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke at the conference, said he hadn’t heard of the coronavirus revelation when asked about it on Friday. Other speakers included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, current Democrat presidential front-runner Joe Biden, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).

DC health officials have not reported any confirmed coronavirus cases, but authorities in nearby Montgomery County, Maryland have already identified three. As of Friday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had registered 164 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in 19 US states, including 11 fatalities – ten in Washington state and one in California.

The novel coronavirus, designated COVID-19, first appeared in Wuhan, China in December last year. Most of the fatalities so far have been in China. The airborne pathogen has since managed to spread to Europe, the Middle East and the US despite strict quarantine measures.

March 6, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Israel says US will ‘punish’ those who boycott UN blacklist companies

MEMO | March 2, 2020

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN said on Sunday that the US will punish those who boycott companies and individuals on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) blacklist of those which profit from the occupation of the West Bank.

“This further attests to the strength of the bond of the US-Israel relationship and the alliance between the peoples,” explained Danny Danon at the 2020 conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC is the largest pro-Israel lobby organisation in North America.

Danon used his speech to criticise Democratic Party presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders for refusing to address the conference.

Sanders explained his decision by saying that he remains concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. “Sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country,” added the veteran US Senator.

The Israeli Ambassador insisted that nobody wants to see Sanders at AIPAC or in Israel. “Anyone who calls the Israeli Prime Minister a racist is a liar or an ignoramus, or a dangerous combination of the two,” Danon concluded.

March 2, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 12 Comments

With Grenell Appointment, the Israel Lobby’s Foothold on US Intelligence Grows Even Stronger

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | February 25, 2020

Last week’s appointment of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to the post of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) received criticism from both sides of the political divide, mainly for his lack of experience and history of outspoken and partisan political statements. Much more overlooked, however, are Grenell’s ties to the powerful American pro-Israel lobby and Israeli politicians alike, including organizations and individuals with a history of espionage and blackmail against the United States.

Grenell is merely the latest example in a series of appointments over the past few years that have seen individuals with deep ties to the pro-Israel lobby rise to top positions in the U.S. intelligence community, including the NSA’s current director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger as well as the leaders of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB).

With many of these posts directly involved in overseeing the security of the upcoming 2020 election, ostensibly to combat “foreign interference,” these connections are even more significant. Some of the Israel lobby groups in question have not only engaged in illegal espionage against the U.S. government, but are also openly meddling in the current Democratic party primary.

Beyond the potential effects on the upcoming election, these troubling ties between top U.S. intelligence officials and a foreign government do not bode well for American national security and will only advance the long-standing practice of American neoconservatives conflating Israeli national security interests with those of the United States.

Grenell’s many conflicts of interest

Richard Grenell’s appointment last Wednesday to the post of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) raised a number of eyebrows on the Beltway and drew sharp condemnation from former and current intelligence officials alike. Most of the concern was due to the fact that Grenell, who has been serving as the U.S. ambassador to Germany, has virtually no intelligence experience or background. Yet, he will now oversee and coordinate all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA and NSA, and will be responsible for briefing President Trump on intelligence matters of both domestic and international concern.

Grenell’s new position is not required to be confirmed by the Senate unless Trump decides to nominate him as a permanent candidate at the end of the temporary three-month period during which he can serve as acting DNI. There has not been a permanent DNI since Dan Coats resigned last August.

Grenell’s appointment was also criticized due to his brazen political approach towards his diplomatic post as U.S. ambassador to Germany, which he will maintain while coordinating and overseeing U.S. intelligence activities. In his two years as ambassador, Grenell has alienated numerous German politicians to the extent that prominent officials have refused to meet with him. Some German officials began calling for his resignation during his first month as ambassador.

One very valid criticism of Grenell’s appointment, however, has been glossed over, namely his ties to controversial lobbyists, political operatives and foreign politicians. For instance, Grenell used to work on behalf of Arthur Finkelstein and Associates, a firm of the late Republican political operative of the same name.

Finkelstein was one of the main architects of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first campaign in 1996. Finkelstein was placed in contact with the Netanyahu campaign by prominent Jewish American businessman and billionaire, Ronald Lauder — a close associate of Trump, then-top backer of Netanyahu (they have since had a falling out) and a member of the controversial “Mega Group.”

Finkelstein worked on numerous successive campaigns for far-right politicians in Israel, including former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He has been described as being “deeply committed” to and a “staunch supporter” of Israel and the hawkish Likud Party. He also spent numerous years on Likud’s payroll.

Grenell’s financial disclosures reveal that his consulting firm, Capitol Media Partners, received more than $5,000 from Finkelstein but does not specify the exact amount. ProPublica recently reported that Grenell, who has ties to Fox News and Newsmax, worked for Finkelstein as a “media consultant” in Eastern Europe, where Ronald Lauder has long held significant media interests. In that capacity, Grenell was paid to work on Finkelstein’s behalf for the now-disgraced Moldovan politician, Vladimir Plahotniuc, work that Grenell did not disclose, but should have according to experts.

Concerns over Grenell’s susceptibility to foreign influence are particularly troubling given his especially close relationship with Israel, despite nominally having served as U.S. ambassador to Germany, a position which ostensibly would require close ties to Germany (which Grenell lacks) as opposed to Israel. Soon after Grenell became ambassador to Germany, he requested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet him at the Berlin airport. After that meeting, Netanyahu told reporters that Grenell is a “big fan of Israel.” Grenell himself has stated that he views his support for Israeli “peace” (i.e. security) policy as a “biblical mandate” and has visited the country “more times than he can count.”

Richard Grenell, left, poses with Morton Klein, head of the Zionist Organization of America. Photo | ZOA

Though many intelligence community veterans and politicians in both major parties opposed Grenell’s appointment, the American Israel lobby was thrilled. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) “strongly praised” Grenell’s appointment as acting DNI, with ZOA president Morton Klein, stating:

I am proud to say that during my long personal friendship with Ambassador Grenell, it became powerfully clear to me that Grenell is a very talented and knowledgeable man whose commitment to America and its security is second to none. He is also a man who understands the importance of our country’s great alliance with Israel in promoting U.S. security interests. There has never been a better friend of a strong U.S-Israel relationship than Ambassador Grenell. (emphasis added)”

Klein previously announced his displeasure that Grenell had not been appointed to serve as U.S. ambassador to NATO after he had been given private “assurances” by the Trump administration that Grenell would be nominated to that post.

Grenell’s ties to political operatives like Finkelstein, his close friendships to Israel lobbyists Morton Klein and Israeli PM Netanyahu as well as his failure to disclose paid work done on behalf of foreign politicians make him susceptible to foreign influence or blackmail according to the official policy of the office of the DNI, which Grenell now leads.

That policy holds that “conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying” include “connections to a foreign person, group, government or country that create a potential conflict of interest between the individual’s obligation to protect classified or sensitive information or technology and the individual’s desire to help a foreign person, group or country by providing that information or technology.”

Given that Israeli politicians and officials, including Netanyahu, have actively used blackmail to influence sitting U.S. presidents and that the pro-Israel lobby has a history of espionage targeting the United States, it is telling that Grenell’s appointment to a sensitive intelligence post has not been criticized in the media over his close ties to the pro-Israel lobby, Arthur Finkelstein and Israel’s government.

Israel’s foothold grows

While Grenell’s appointment is troubling over his ties to the pro-Israel lobby, it is merely the latest such appointment made by the Trump administration as several top intelligence figures with deep ties to the pro-Israel lobby have recently risen to prominence.

For example, current NSA director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger is married to Yehuda Neuberger, who serves as chair of AIPAC’s executive council in Baltimore. Neuberger’s parents were rescued via the IDF’s “Operation Entebbe,” an operation led by Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, Yonathan Netanyahu. Neuberger was less than a year old at the time, but was not with her parents during the incident.

As Cybersecurity director for the NSA, Neuberger oversees a division of that agency that “unifies NSA’s foreign intelligence and cyberdefense missions” and works “to prevent and eradicate threats to national security systems and critical infrastructure,” including the country’s election infrastructure. Her family ties to AIPAC are therefore concerning given the powerful lobby groups’ propensity to meddle in this election’s Democratic primary. This is belied by the fact that AIPAC has, in the past, committed espionage against the U.S. government on Israel’s behalf on more than one occasion.

In addition to Neuberger, both the head and deputy chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) have close ties to foreign lobbies and intelligence services. According to the U.S. government, PIAB “exists exclusively to assist the President by providing him with an independent source of advice on the effectiveness with which the Intelligence Community is meeting the Nation’s intelligence needs, and the vigor and insight with which the community plans for the future. The Board has access to all information needed to perform its functions and has direct access to the President.” The government’s official description of the body’s role also states that PIAB has “immense and long-lasting impacts on the structure, management, and operations of U.S. intelligence.”

PIAB is chaired by Stephen Feinberg, the billionaire owner of Cerberus capital management, which owns scandal-ridden U.S. military and intelligence contractor DynCorp. Court documents cited by the New York Times accused Cerberus of “orchestrating secretive deals that transgressed legal and ethical boundaries,” making his role at PIAB at overseeing the often ethically-challenged U.S. intelligence community troubling. In addition, Cerberus was previously the owner of or majority stakeholder of a string of now-bankrupt companies that defrauded U.S. intelligence and the U.S. military on a massive scale during the George W. Bush administration, with much of that occurring while then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was invested in Cerberus.

Feinberg’s close relationships also raise some red flags. He is a close friend of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law whose family has a close friendship with Netanyahu, as well as Steve Bannon, who has close ties to the U.S. Israel lobby, particularly the ZOA. Feinberg is also a close associate of hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt, a “Mega Group” member whose father worked for the National Crime Syndicate. Steinhardt was instrumental in the controversial Clinton-era pardon of Mossad asset Marc Rich and is a major funder of pro-Israel organizations.

Feinberg was also one of the main shareholders in Israel’s then-largest bank, Bank Leumi, until he was pressured to sell his stake following the revelation that his partner in that investment, Ezra Merkin, played a key role in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Cerberus’ acquisition of those shares had originally been closely tied to a Likud party initiative to privatize Israel’s entire banking sector.

Companies owned by Cerberus have also been found to be closely tied to Saudi intelligence. The Washington Post reported last year that a U.S.-backed plan to “modernize” Saudi intelligence had been created by Culpeper National Security Solutions, a unit of Cerberus-owned DynCorp, along “with help from some prominent former CIA officials.” Another Cerberus-owned company called Tier 1 has also helped train Saudi Special Forces, some of whom were reportedly involved in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Though Feinberg says he divested his personal stake from these companies prior to chairing PIAB, they remain owned by his firm Cerberus and arguably still present a conflict of interest.

In addition to Feinberg, the PIAB’s current deputy chair — Samantha Ravich — formerly worked for the pro-Israel lobby group Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a spin-off of AIPAC that was created to shield the lobby organization from scrutiny, when it was investigated in 1984 for espionage against the U.S. government on Israel’s behalf.

Samantha Ravich speaks at Israel Bonds luncheon in Clevland in 2016. CJN | Screenshot

Ravich, who joined PIAB in 2018, is also a senior advisor to the group the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), which was revealed to work directly with Israel’s government in a since-censored Al Jazeera documentary on the Israel lobby. Ravich also worked for the consulting firm of Michael Chertoff, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security whose mother worked with Israel’s Mossad.

Ravich has specifically promoted a “cyber project” to the U.S. Senate that would protect member countries from cyber threats but exclude nations that endorse or fail to condemn the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that supports Palestinian rights and Israeli compliance with international law. Ravich also praised the Trump administration’s decision to partner with Israel’s government on “cybersecurity” in 2017, saying that “the U.S. cannot go it alone in its endeavor to safeguard the networks and systems upon which our economy depends.” As MintPress reported last month, several highly classified networks of the U.S. intelligence community and the military, including networks of the CIA, NSA, and DISA, now use cybersecurity software deeply tied to Israeli military intelligence, thanks in part to this U.S.-Israel partnership.

Now, with Richard Grenell overseeing all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, Israel’s influence in the U.S. intelligence community has reached new and troubling heights. Yet, his appointment is only the latest move by the Trump administration that places pro-Israel partisans in highly sensitive positions, suggesting that similar appointments are likely in the future, especially if Trump is reelected in November.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

February 25, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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