Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

“The Lobby” British Style

An undercover reporter secretly records how the Israeli Embassy directs local groups

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • October 17, 2017

One month ago, I initiated here at Unz.com a discussion of the role of American Jews in the crafting of United States foreign policy. I observed that a politically powerful and well-funded cabal consisting of both Jewish individuals and organizations has been effective at engaging the U.S. in a series of wars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests. This misdirection of policy has not taken place because of some misguided belief that Israeli and U.S. national security interests are identical, which is a canard that is frequently floated in the mainstream media. It is instead a deliberate program that studiously misrepresents facts-on-the ground relating to Israel and its neighbors and creates casus belli involving the United States even when no threat to American vital interests exists. It punishes critics by damaging both their careers and reputations while its cynical manipulation of the media and gross corruption of the national political process has already produced the disastrous war against Iraq, the destruction of Libya and the ongoing chaos in Syria. It now threatens to initiate a catastrophic war with Iran.

To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history.

There is undeniably a complicated web of relationships and networks that define Israel’s friends. The expression “Israel Lobby” itself has considerable currency, so much so that the expression “The Lobby” is widely used and understood to represent the most powerful foreign policy advocacy group in Washington without needing to include the “Israel” part. That the monstrous Benjamin Netanyahu receives 26 standing ovations from Congress and a wealthy Israel has a guaranteed income from the U.S. Treasury derives directly from the power and money of an easily identifiable cluster of groups and oligarchs – Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, Haim Saban – who in turn fund a plethora of foundations and institutes whose principal function is to keep the cash and political support flowing in Israel’s direction. No American national interest, apart from the completely phony contention that Israel is some kind of valuable ally, would justify the taxpayers’ largesse. In reality, Israel is a liability to the United States and always has been.

And I do understand at the same time that a clear majority of American Jews, leaning strongly towards the liberal side of the political spectrum, are supportive of the nuclear agreement with Iran and do not favor a new Middle Eastern war involving that country. I also believe that many American Jews are likely appalled by Israeli behavior, but, unfortunately, there is a tendency on their part to look the other way and neither protest such actions nor support groups like Jewish Voice for Peace that are themselves openly critical of Israel. This de facto gives Israel a free pass and validates its assertion that it represents all Jews since no one important in the diaspora community apart from minority groups which can safely be ignored is pushing back against that claim.

That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle, associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to “godfather” approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel’s Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel’s “shomer” or guardian in the U.S. Senate.

A recent regulatory decision from the United Kingdom relates to a bit of investigative journalism that sought to reveal precisely how the promotion of Israel by some local diaspora Jews operates, to include how critics are targeted and criticized as well as what is done to destroy their careers and reputations.

Last year, al-Jazeera Media Network used an undercover reporter to infiltrate some U.K. pro-Israel groups that were working closely with the Israeli Embassy to counter criticisms coming from British citizens regarding the treatment of the Palestinians. In particular, the Embassy and its friends were seeking to counter the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which has become increasingly effective in Europe. The four-part documentary released late in 2016 that al-Jazeera produced is well worth watching as it consists mostly of secretly filmed meetings and discussions.

The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It also confirms that tagging someone as an anti-Semite has become the principal offensive weapon used to stifle any discussion, particularly in a country like Britain which embraces concepts like the criminalization of “hate speech.” At one point, two British Jews discussed whether “being made to feel uncomfortable” by people asking what Israel intends to do with the Palestinians is anti-Semitic. They agreed that it might be.

The documentary also describes how the Embassy and local groups working together targeted government officials who were not considered to be friendly to Israel to “be taken down,” removed from office or otherwise discredited. One government official in particular who was to be attacked was Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Britain, unlike the U.S., has a powerful regulatory agency that oversees communications, to include the media. It is referred to as Ofcom. When the al-Jazeera documentary was broadcast, Israeli Embassy political officer Shai Masot, who reportedly was a Ministry of Strategic Affairs official working under cover, was forced to resign and the Israeli Ambassador offered an apology. Masot was filmed discussing British politicians who might be “taken down” before speaking with a government official who plotted a “a little scandal” to bring about the downfall of Duncan. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the first head of a political party in Britain to express pro-Palestinian views, had called for an investigation of Masot after the recording of the “take down” demand relating to Duncan was revealed. Several Jewish groups (the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students and We Believe in Israel) then counterattacked with a complaint that the documentary had violated British broadcast regulations, including the specific charge that the undercover investigation was anti-Semitic in nature.

On October 9th, Ofcom ruled in favor of al-Jazeera, stating that its investigation had done nothing improper, but it should be noted that the media outlet had to jump through numerous hoops to arrive at the successful conclusion. It had to turn over all its raw footage and communications to the investigators, undergoing what one source described as an “editorial colonoscopy,” to prove that its documentary was “factually accurate” and that it had not “unfairly edited” or “with bias” prepared its story. One of plaintiffs, who had called for critics of Israel to “die in a hole” and had personally offered to “take down” a Labour Party official, responded bitterly. She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a “precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life.”

The United States does not yet have a government agency to regulate news stories, though that may be coming, but the British tale has an interesting post script. Al-Jazeera also had a second undercover reporter inserted in the Israel Lobby in the United States, apparently a British intern named James Anthony Kleinfeld, who had volunteered his services to The Israel Project, which is involved in promoting Israel’s global image. He also had contact with at least ten other Jewish organizations and with officials at the Israeli Embassy,

Now that the British account of “The Lobby” has cleared a regulatory hurdle the American version will reportedly soon be released. Al-Jazeera’s head of investigative reporting Clayton Swisher commented “With this U.K. verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter. I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won’t take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate.”

Americans who follow such matters already know that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) swarm over Capitol Hill and have accomplices in nearly every media outlet. Back in 2005-6 AIPAC Officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were actually tried under the Espionage Act of 1918 in a case involving obtaining classified intelligence from government official Lawrence Franklin to pass on to the Israeli Embassy. Rosen had once boasted that, representing AIPAC and Israel, he could get the signatures of 70 senators on a napkin agreeing to anything if he sought to do so. The charges against the two men were, unfortunately, eventually dropped “because court rulings had made the case unwinnable and the trial would disclose classified information.”

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. And ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy and, most recently, Cynthia McKinney, what happens to your career when you appear to be critical of Israel. And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli ambassador pushes potential war to elite U.S. powerbrokers

Israeli ambassador pushes potential war to elite U.S. powerbrokers

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer gives address Sept. 12, 2017 to Washington D.C. movers and shakers: Wolf Blitzer and other journalists, government officials, think tank heads, philanthropists – almost all with significant ties to Israel (see list below).

By Alison Weir and Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew | October 5, 2017

A select assembly of Washington D.C. heavy hitters recently attended a Rosh Hashanah event at which Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. spoke. Ron Dermer discussed alleged dangers posed by Iran, Syria, and Russia. In some places Dermer appeared to be laying out a rationale for another Israeli war.

According to JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), the event is an annual affair “to which the embassy invites the U.S. Jewish leadership.” Dermer’s speeches typically seem intended to create a feeling of shared concern for Israel, saying, for example, “Let us all raise a glass and toast the fact that the Jewish people are voiceless no more. Israel has provided us with a shofar, with a sovereign voice among the nations.” Dermer himself was born and raised in the U.S.

Among those attending the invitation-only gathering this year were approximately 20 journalists, many connected to top U.S. print and broadcast media (including Wolf Blitzer, Eli Lake, Cliff May); numerous government officials and politicians (Congressmen, diplomats, White House insiders, senior staff, political operatives); and heads of major U.S. national organizations, philanthropists, and influential religious leaders (see list with biographical details below).

Dermer’s speech began on a convivial note – “Remember, on Rosh Hashana, you’re allowed to eat, drink and even laugh”– but soon became serious as he gave dire warnings about alleged dangers Israel faces, and the need for Americans to help.

Iran was the main villain to be protected against, with Syria and Russia allegedly dangerous abettors that also need to be addressed.

“The past year has posed many critical challenges for Israel,” Dermer intoned. “Foremost among those challenges has been the rising power of Iran.”

(This is very much in line with Israeli thinking; Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper recently reported: “Iran is the primary target of the Mossad’s actions, which number in the hundreds and thousands each year.” Netanyahu reportedly calls the Mossad Israel’s “synchronized fist.”)

Dermer claimed that the Iran deal had been a “double jackpot” for Iran (many U.S. analysts disagree, including some Israel partisans and top U.S. generals). Dermer charged that the deal had enabled Iran to spend “much of the past year consolidating its power across the Middle East.”

Next came the not-so-subtle call to action.

“Israel hopes that the coming weeks will bring about a dramatic change in the trajectory of that deal that will ultimately either fix it or cancel it,” Dermer said, making clear what was required of Americans who care about Israel.

Dermer and Debbie Wasserman Schultz at 2014 Israel Embassy Rosh Hashanah event; Dermer also warned about Iran at that event.

Dermer also focused on Syria, speaking of a potential Iranian “terror front against Israel” being established in Syria.

“Iran has been feverishly working  to win the spoils of the imminent defeat of ISIS,” Dermer said, suggesting that such a defeat could be harmful to Israel.

Dermer’s statements reflect Israeli concern about U.S. efforts to end the war in Syria, leaving Russia, Assad – and by extension Hezbollah – in place. As JTA explains:

The Netanyahu government has been wary of what the end-game could be of U.S. efforts to end the war in Syria. There is a concern among Israelis — articulated most often by the defense minister, Avigdor Liberman — that the Trump administration might defer to Russia, which is allied with the Assad regime. Russia’s Assad alliance means it is in a de facto alliance with Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, because they also are allied with the Assad regime.

Recent ongoing efforts in the U.S. to force the Trump administration to avoid diplomatic ties with Russia (despite the paucity of evidence for the accusations) may help remove that obstacle to keeping the U.S. in Syria.

Dermer said that Netanyahu had set “red lines” regarding Syria and that Israel will enforce them: “Israel will act to prevent Iran from supplying game changing weapons to Hezbollah. And Israel will act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror front against Israel in Syria.”

Israel has been stating these red lines for several years, and its escalating sabre rattling suggests that it may be planning another of its wars. Israel analyst Larry Derfner recently published an article entitled “A plea to Israel: Don’t start the third Lebanon War.”

Derfner states: “By continuing to bomb Syrian arms destined for Hezbollah – which Israel has admittedly done nearly 100 times in the last five years – as well as periodically killing Hezbollah and other pro-Syrian fighters along with the occasional Iranian general, Israel is making the next very, very ugly war in the north a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

A recent article in the very pro-Israel Atlantic (editor Jeffrey Goldberg served in the Israeli army) states: “for nearly two years now, Israeli military and intelligence officials have been warning every American official who comes through Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that the next war is coming. Israel has methodically prepared its allies—and most especially the Americans— for a very, very ugly war on the horizon.”

These wars have created massive carnage and suffering. even the Atlantic acknowledges that the 2006 Israeli assault “leveled entire neighborhoods in Beirut.”

Beirut, August 20, 2006. 1,100 Lebanese civilians died, 4,000 were injured, and over one million were temporarily displaced; 116 Israeli soldiers & 43 civilians died. Researchers found pro-Israel bias in U.S. media coverage of the war.

While Dermer tried to sell his audience on the claim that Israel is at existential risk, Derfner points out: “The idea that Hezbollah, Iran and Syria are itching for a war with Israel, that they’re just waiting to attack, is a delusion. Absent Israeli provocation, such an attack would have no parallel in the world or in history.”

Nevertheless, some influential media reports largely purvey Israeli spin, and it’s likely that Dermer’s speech was intended to influence the many journalists at his reception to take a similar line. As a Foreign Policy article reports: “When it comes to Washington, Israel’s task is to locate or induce a more coherent American strategy to counter advance of the Iranians in the Levant.”

This is particularly important, since some Trump officials don’t always march to the Israeli tune. U.S. National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster recently told Israeli officials that Hezbollah was not a terrorist group. (Other reports claim he has called Israel an occupying power.)

Another point Dermer made to his audience was the value of U.S. strategies to help Israel bring some Arab countries into an alliance against Iran.

Dermer called the new allignment a “silver lining” and said he was “deeply grateful” to the current administration for “methodically working to advance a serious process that can move the entire region forward” – i.e. in Israel’s direction.

Dermer is no doubt pleased that, as in the past, the U.S. negotiator for Israel-Palestine is an Israel partisan; he called for applause for Jason Greenblatt, who he noted was present – one of the many “senior officials from all three branches of the U.S. government” attending the event.

Attendees

Jewish Insider provided a list of opinion makers spotted at the event, which included both liberals and conservatives, members of both political parties, and representatives of diverse positions along the pro-Israel spectrum. Below is the list, with added information on each.

We have listed each individual under one category below, although in many cases they would fit into several sectors given the revolving door that often exists between media, government, and pro-Israel organizations.

Journalists/Media Pundit

Wolf Blitzer, CNN lead political anchor, anchor of The Situation Room and Wolf. Blitzer began his career in 1972 with Reuters in Tel Aviv, before becoming a Washington DC correspondent for Israel’s Jerusalem Post. He also worked as editor of AIPAC’s monthly newsletter and edited “Myths and Facts 1976, A Concise Record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” (Near East Research, AIPAC’s monthly publication), a volume described by Mondoweiss as “one piece of Zionist propaganda after another [that] denounced Palestinian views of [events surrounding the 1948 war] as ‘spurious myths.’”

Blitzer authored Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter’s Notebook (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Territory of Lies (Harper and Row, 1989), about Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, of which reviewer Robert I. Friedman wrote in the New York Review of books that Blitzer played down the damage caused by Pollard. Friedman stated:  “Senior Israeli Defense Department officials are understandably pleased with Blitzer’s book about Pollard.” Friedman reported: “Currently, he travels the American TV talk show circuit as the ‘voice of Israel.’ Territory of Lies is a slick piece of damage control that would make his former employers at AIPAC (not to mention Israel’s Defense Ministry) proud.”

In 1990 Blitzer went to CNN, where his career skyrocketed. During Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza, Blitzer covered the conflict by embedding with the Israeli army. As part of “the most trusted name in news,” he maintains a pro-Israel bias (see this and this, for example). In 1989 he took part in a debate in which he largely repeated Israel’s talking points.

Sam Feist, CNN Washington Bureau Chief and senior vice-president. He oversees daily operations, leads all newsgathering and Washington-based programming, as well as campaign and election coverage. Feist was the founding executive producer of Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room, and has produced and managed CNN political programming including Crossfire, The Capital Gang, and State of the Union. He has been with CNN since 1991.

Danielle Heyman Feist, wife of Sam Feist. Director of Camp Rodef Shalom, a Virginia day camp that has a number of activities related to Israel, including a program in which scouts from Israel “run their own specialty area during camp, playing Israeli games, teaching a few Hebrew words, and helping bring their Israeli culture all the way to Virginia!”

Howard Friedman is director of Sinclair Media, the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations. He has served on the board of pro-Israel lobbying organizations such as AIPAC.

Howard Friedman has served on boards for many foundations, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (which advocates for Israel and brought “tens of thousands” of its members and “hundreds of rabbis” to lobby Congress against the Iran deal). He was twice named by Washington Life Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Washington DC. Formerly he was President of JTA – The Global News Service of the Jewish People.

Perhaps most significantly, Friedman is currently Director of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations, and likely to become even larger, as it is in the process of buying Tribune Media for $3.9 billion.

Sinclair insists on conservative content on its local news programs, and even produces its own commentary pieces as “must-run” segments on every one of its stations . These include a daily “Terror Alert Desk” segment, which was recently exposed by political humorist John Oliver  as an occasional vehicle for conflating terrorism with Islam. The “newscasters” include regulars from the Fox News Channel (like Sara Carter), contributors to conservative publications like the Washington Examiner (like Mark Hyman), and at least one former Trump staffer (Boris Epshteyn – see below).

Sinclair already owns 170 TV stations, which gives it access to 38% of American households—just shy of the cap of 39% put in place by Congress in 2004. Tribune Media is set to hand over another 42 stations (which includes stations in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles), which would give Sinclair access to a full 72% of US households—nearly double what is allowed by law. This was made possible thanks to a move by Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai, heir apparent to the chair of the FCC, was wooed by Sinclair starting right after Trump’s election. Soon after his appointment, Pai unexpectedly revived an outdated regulatory loophole. About two weeks later, Sinclair announced its acquisition of Tribune.

Norman Eisen currently works with think tank Brookings Institution, does political commentary on CNN, and chairs Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a Democratic Party leaning nonprofit he co-founded in 2003 with Louis Mayberg, a financier who donates to Jewish causes (his wife says: “I invest in Jewish people” and partners with the Israeli Ministry of the Diaspora to bring thousands of women from 25 countries on visits to Israel). Previously, Eisen served as special council for ethics and government reform to President Obama. From 1985 to 1988, he was Assistant Director of the ADL’s Los Angeles office, where he investigated anti-semitism and other civil rights issues, promoted Holocaust education, “and advanced US-Israel relations.” He backed Tom Perez over Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee chair, citing Perez’ “warm feelings for Israel.” As a student he had worked for Israel partisan Alan Dershowitz, who once said: “Our union was made in heaven. He was a natural guy for me to hire because he was brilliant and shared many of the same liberal democratic, pro-Israel values that I did and that he still represents.”

Eisen has also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, during which time bilateral trade between the U.S. and the Czech Republic almost doubled. Earlier in his career he was a partner in the Zuckerman Spaeder law firm, where he worked on cases such as Enron and Whitewater. Washingtonian Magazine listed Eisen as one of Washington’s top lawyers.

Talk show host Tom Rose (right) volunteered for the Israeli military during the first Gulf War. In 2014 he travelled to Israel with his longtime friend Mike Pence (left), in the company of Ambassador Dermer.

Tom Rose, journalist and unofficial Vice Presidential surrogate. Formerly editor/publisher of the Jerusalem Post, during which he and his family lived in Israel. Although he is an American citizen, during the Gulf War he volunteered for service in the IDF. More recently, he has co-hosted a Sunday morning satellite radio program with conservative Christian Gary Bauer. Their show, The Bauer & Rose Show, is known for its “robust defense of Judeo-Christian civilization, the US/Israel alliance, and the need for a strong America in the world.” The show ended in April 2017 when Rose took a position as assistant and advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, Rose’s “closest personal friend for 25 years.” In 2014, Rose and Pence visited Israel together, in the company of Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

Kenneth Weinstein, President and CEO of the Hudson Institute, which honored PM Benjamin Netanyahu with the Herman Kahn Award (see Roger Hertog entry below)—which is conferred on “leading public servants who exemplify a commitment to Western alliances as the bedrock of global security, prosperity, and freedom.” Hudson “seeks to guide public policy makers and global leaders in government and business.” It frequently holds conferences on topics such as defense, international relations, and economics (dozens of which have been pro-Israel) and disseminates research and analysis articles (hundreds of which have been pro-Israel). Weinstein is President and CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), whose mission is “to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.” BBG oversees U.S. government civilian international media: Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

AP reporter Josh Lederman began his journalism career working in Israel, where he had spent a year as a child. He credits that year and his attendance at Tucson Hebrew Academy, whose core values include “supporting Israel,” with informing his reporting.

Josh Lederman, Associated Press reporter; started his journalism career in the AP Jerusalem bureau; he had previously lived in Israel in seventh grade (it is unknown whether he has Israeli citizenship). Lederman credits that year, combined with his education as student at Tucscon Hebrew Academy (among its “Core Values” is “Supporting Israel: We support Israel and foster close relationships with Israeli students and educators”) with helping him “connect the dots” as he reported on Israel. Now based in Washington DC, Lederman covers foreign affairs, national security and U.S. diplomacy for AP ; appears frequently on television and radio, including on MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and others. He covered 2012 presidential campaign for The Hill newspaper in Washington. From 2013 to 2017, Lederman was a White House reporter for AP. He also writes for the Times of Israel.

Media pundit Cliff May founded Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative organization created “to enhance Israel’s image in North America.”

Clifford D. May, weekly “Foreign Desk” columnist of The Washington Times, and frequent analyst on diverse TV and radio news programs. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, USA Today, The Atlantic and other publications. May is the founder of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a pro-Israel neoconservative organization – May said its purpose was “to enhance Israel’s image in North America.” Some suggested it was the new Project for a New American Century. Right Web reports:

FDD grew out of a right-wing pro-Israel initiative launched in early 2001 called EMET. Reports Slate: “On April 24, 2001, three major pro-Israel donors incorporated an organization called EMET (Hebrew for ‘truth’). In an application to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status, [FDD president Clifford May] explained that the group ‘was to provide education to enhance Israel’s image in North America and the public’s understanding of issues affecting Israeli-Arab relations.’”[3]

“… Shortly after its founding, FDD quickly became a prominent member of a group of neoconservative think tanks and advocacy groups—including the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute—that were influential in shaping the early foreign policy priorities of the George W. Bush administration. At the height of the “war on terror,” FDD also absorbed the Committee on the Present Danger, a Cold War-era anticommunist group that been reconstituted to push for hardline policies in the Middle East.”

“FDD’s president, Clifford May, is a former writer for the New York Times who once served as director of communications for the Republican National Committee. May is also a former editor of the party’s official magazine (Rising Tide), a former vice chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger.”

“FDD has been a vocal advocate of confrontational policies on Iran.”

Slate reports that FDD runs tours of Israel for American academics (with most of their expenses paid) similar to those run for journalists and politicians by AIPAC and other groups.”

May was an advisor to the Iraq Study Group; served on the Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion (2007-2009), reporting to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; served on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the entity responsible for all U.S. government and government sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting; and on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2016).

Evan May, bio is unavailable, probably  relative of Cliff May.

Boris Epshteyn, an investment banker; born in Russia and came to the U.S. in 1993 at the age of 11. Previously, he worked on Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He was a top communications aide for Donald Trump’s campaign; appeared as a Trump surrogate over 100 times on major TV networks between the election and the inauguration. In April, Epshteyn left the White House and became chief political analyst for Sinclair Broadcast Group (see Howard Friedman, above), a conservative company that owns a multitude of local TV stations.

Lauren Gorlin Tanick, wife of Boris Epshteyn, a strategy executive at Google.

Journalist Eli Lake speaks at event organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Aug. 13, 2014. Observers describe him as a neoconservative “pro-Israel” ideologue.”

Eli Lake, Bloomberg journalist, former senior national security correspondent for The Daily Beast and Newsweek. He worked for a range of news outlets, including The Daily BeastNewsweekThe Washington TimesThe New Republic, New York Sun. Lake has often worked with and shared bylines with Josh Rogin (see entry below); known as extremely pro-Israel. Below are exerpts from Right Web:

Eli Lake is a well-known writer and columnist whose track record on U.S. foreign policy has led some observers to describe him as a neoconservative and “pro-Israel” ideologue. …

His writings focus on national security issues, particularly with respect to the Middle East, and he has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies in the region. One commentator has quipped that Lake has a “career pattern of credulously planting dubious stories from sources with strong political agendas.”

A frequent subject of Lake’s writings is U.S. policy on Iran. Generally hawkish in his critiques of U.S. engagement with Tehran… most observers agree [that his analysis] is really intended to kill negotiations…

After a nuclear agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, Lake went on the attack…. In a March 2015 commentary, Lake criticized Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, a Western educated diplomat widely regarded as a moderate within Iran’s establishment… Former British diplomat Peter Jenkins criticized Lake’s article on Zarif as taking “many liberties with the truth.”

… Lake was “an open and ardent promoter of the Iraq War and the various myths trotted out to justify it, contributing to the media drumbeat that helped the Bush Administration sell the war to the public and to Congress.” Leading up to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Lake reported extensively on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons mass destruction and ties to Al-Qaeda…

After the war and the subsequent failure to discover any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Lake contended that the weapons had been moved to Syria…

In a December 2001 article for the National Review, Lake argued that with its invasion of Afghanistan completed, the United States should move on to take military action against Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia. “There are very good arguments why all three should be the next target,” he opined. “Iraq after all has been developing nuclear and biological weapons …

In 2009, Lake gained notoriety for his role stirring up opposition to the nomination of Chas Freeman, a veteran diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to be the chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman ultimately withdrew his name from consideration and blamed the controversy over his nomination on the “Israel lobby.”… [See Freeman’s statement.]

Josh Rogin, Journalist who often works closely with Eli Lake, sharing bylines on news articles. He is a CNN political analyst and columnist on foreign policy and national security for Bloomberg View. Previously, Rogin covered foreign policy and national security for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Federal Computer Week and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun. His work has been featured on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, NPR, PBS, and several other outlets. He is married to Ali Weinberg (see below); their wedding guests included journalists Eli Lake, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s Jake Tapper, NPR’s Michael Goldfarb, NBC News Political Director and Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, Jamie Kirchick, Jonathan Karl, and NBC’s Alex Moe.

Ali Rogin (aka Ali Weinberg), ABC journalist, married to Josh Rogin. She is the daughter of Max Weinberg (see below). Her Linkedin entry reports that she covers the State Department for ABC News, producing pieces for broadcast and reporting for ABCNews.com and ABC News Radio. She formerly worked at NBC.

Max Weinberg, Drummer for Bruce Springstein and on Conan O’Brian show, father of journalist Ali Rogin (see above). His net worth is reportedly $35 million.

Joel Mowbray, Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 2005-2014; formerly syndicated columnist with articles in Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, NY Post, The New Republic, L.A. Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, San Diego Union Tribune, Las Vegas Review Journal, Sacramento Bee, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Investors Business Daily, Arizona Republic, San Francisco Chronicle, and FoxNews.com. In 2002, Mowbray founded Fourth Factor Consulting, LLC: “Fourth Factor advises Silicon Valley tech companies and pro-Israel and national security-oriented think tanks. The bulk of the work is strategic government affairs, which supplements lobbying efforts by being proactive instead of reactive.” He was a Hudson Institute Adjunct Fellow from 2003 – 2005, where he “conducted research into terror networks and Islamic radicalization, investigated Saudi influence in America, and scrutinized State Department’s handling of national security.” Mowbray is the author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America’s Security.” His Linkdin bio lists AIPAC as one of his interests.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at the 2012 “Christians United for Israel” conference. Newsweek lists Boteach as one of America’s “most influential rabbis.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of The World Values Network, “the leading organization spreading universal Jewish values and defending Israel in American media” (see video); frequent guest on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the BBC, NBC, CBS, as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Breitbart News, and The Washington Post. Rabbi Boteach’s personal site pictures him with his book: “The Israel Warrior: Fighting Back for the Jewish State from Campus to Street Corner.” Newsweek has repeatedly listed him in “The 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America. He ran for Congress in New Jersey, receiving an endorsement from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. His site states:

“Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom is for many the very face of Judaism in global media.

“The international best-selling author of 31 books, Rabbi Shmuley’s works have been translated into 20 languages. A world-renowned relationships expert, his book Kosher Sex is regarded as a modern classic and he has won numerous awards including The London Times Preacher of the Year Competition, The National Fatherhood Award, and The American Jewish Press Association’s Highest Award for Excellence in Commentary…

“Labeled ‘a cultural phenomenon’ by Newsweek and a man with ‘his scholarly finger on the pulse of the nation’ by Slate, Rabbi Shmuley is revolutionizing the place of Judaism and spirituality in modern culture and politics, and is one of the world’s most accomplished defenders of the State of Israel.”

At the 2015 Israel Day Concert In New York City Boteach said, to loud applause: “We are connected to Israel because it’s Jewish… we love Israel because Israel is good. We love Israel because it is the foremost protector of human rights in the world’s most troubled region. There is a war going on. There is a battle for the future of the Jewish state and each and every one of you is a soldier in that fight.”

Noah Pollak, Pollak’s bio describes him as a “political writer on foreign policy, Israel, and the Jewish people.” Pollak has written for Commentary, the Weekly Standard, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Politico, and appeared on Fox News, PBS Newshour, and CNN. He is executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, a neoconservative political advocacy organization whose board members include neocons William Kristol and Rachel Abrams, wife of Elliott Abrams. Pollak helped promote the Taylor Force Act.

Ron Kampeas’ Linkedin entry reports: “Ron Kampeas is JTA’s [Jewish Telegraphic Agency ] Washington bureau chief, responsible for coordinating coverage in the U.S. capital and analyzing political developments that affect the Jewish world. He comes to JTA from The Associated Press, where he worked for more than a decade in its bureaus in Jerusalem, New York, London and, most recently, Washington. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Bosnia and West Africa. While living in Israel, he also worked for the Jerusalem Post and several Jewish organizations.” Kampeas graduated from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Nathan Guttman, the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. Guttman was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of Hebrew University.

Government, Politics

Congressman Eliot Engel has been in Congress since 1988 as a Democrat representing the Bronx. He has traveled to Israel many times, and says, “I remain committed to the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.” On another occasion, he opined, “We don’t want one party to be pro-Israel; we want both parties to be pro-Israel” because the state is “our best friend in the Middle East, and – I’d even argue – in the world.” Engel favors recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, and is uncritical in his support.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (right), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, meets in his Washington, DC office with Yoav Kisch, member of the Israeli Knesset, Feb. 1, 2017.

Congressman Lee Zeldin previously served in the New York State Senate, and is now in the U.S. House of Representatives. As Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, he spoke on the issue of the U.N. “anti-Israel resolution” of December 2016: “Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel nations are continuing their fanatical efforts at the United Nations to delegitimize [Israel]… Their disparaging, divisive and dangerous tactics will be met with zero tolerance. Continued unilateral concessions by Israel in exchange for no promises or follow through towards peace on the part of others would be as ill-advised as it is unfeasible.” Zeldin also wrote, regarding the U.N. resolution, that it “further cements President Obama’s legacy as one of the worst presidents in the history of the United States… [He] chose to embrace a pro-Palestinian attempt to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.” Zeldin is also passionately in favor of moving Israel’s capital to Jerusalem.

Congressman Henry Waxman, Democratic Congressman from southern California, 1975 – 2015. The Forward calls him “one of the most influential liberals, and one of the most skilled legislators, of his generation.” In the Times of Israel report, “Jewish lawmaker, who maintains close ties to Israel, has represented Los Angeles district for 40 years,” Waxman was named “the dean of Jewish lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Waxman said that he had “worked throughout my career to strengthen the US-Israel relationship. I have traveled to Israel on numerous occasions…” Waxman once stated: “…it is with pride that I have seen my daughter thrive in Israel and my grandchildren serve in the Israeli army.”

Janet Kessler, Waxman’s wife; founder of Congressional Wives for Soviet Jewry.

Jason Greenblatt, formerly executive vice president and chief legal officer to Trump and the Trump Organization, and his advisor on Israel; currently special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for President Trump, charged with facilitating “the ultimate deal.”  According to NPR, Greenblatt once studied in a  yeshiva – a Jewish religious seminary – in a West Bank settlement. He has recently met with senior settler leadership in preparation for negotiations. In fact, Greenblatt and Trump’s administration are more sympathetic toward settlements than any previous administration, much to the delight of Israel. The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, is not optimistic: Greenblatt has yet to even commit to helping create a Palestinian state.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (left) meets with Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan, March 2017. The Israeli government has used Shulkin to build a closer relationship between Israel and the U.S. After the meeting, the VA purchased medical equipment from an Israeli company.

David Shulkin, current U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs; he was recommended to President Trump by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, even though Shulkin is not a veteran. (Veterans had wanted the position to be filled by a military veteran, the normal procedure; some lobbied for then VA Secretary Robert McDonald to be named.) Israel sees veterans affairs as a new means of bringing the U.S. and Israel closer together, as JNS (Jewish News Service) reports: “While US-Israeli military ties have long focused on foreign aid packages, intelligence-sharing and jointly developed missile defense technology, veterans affairs could become a major new frontier in that relationship.” JNS writes that the selection of Shulkin, “a Jewish doctor and administrator,” for Secretary of veterans affairs, was an important development in the process. Within weeks of Shulkin’s confirmation, the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister asked Shulkin for a meeting. The meeting was the first of its kind between American and Israeli officials responsible for the care of injured and released soldiers. After the meeting, Veterans Affairs purchased Israeli medical equipment. U.S. officials sometimes provide Israelis the opportunity “to make presentations during international conferences at which Israel is not yet participating.” JNS notes: “Such opportunities will allow the Israelis to showcase their knowledge on a world stage to which they have, until now, largely been denied access.’

Shulkin and his wife Merle Bari (below) are currently under investigation for taxpayer funding of a recent trip to Europe.

Merle Bari, wife of David Shulkin, physician specializing in general and cosmetic dermatology. Recently she has been criticized for reports that “the government covered the cost of Bari’s airfare and gave her a per diem for meals” when she accompanied her husband on a trip to Europe. She seems to have close ties to Israel. In 1977 Bari was a youth participant in Israel’s Maccabiah Games, and in 2013 her daughter similarly participated in the Games during a year she spent in Israel, and was a delegate to the AIPAC national convention.

Aaron David Miller worked at the State Department for 25 years as a Middle East negotiator and adviser on Arab-Israeli affairs. He is currently a vice president at the Wilson Center; he says he believes “in the importance of a strong U.S.-Israeli relationship.” In an article for the Washington Post Miller admitted that he and other U.S. mediators had actually like “Israel’s lawyer.”

“With the best of motives and intentions, we listened to and followed Israel’s lead without critically examining what that would mean for our own interests, for those on the Arab side, and for the overall success of the negotiations. The “no surprises” policy, under which we had to run everything by Israel first, stripped our policy of the independence and flexibility required for serious peacemaking.”

“What we ended up doing was advocating Israel’s positions before, during and after the summit.”

Matt Nosanchuk was Jewish Liaison under Obama; said he had very strong relationships with pro-Israel organizations across the political spectrum. He has worked in the White House, Congress, the State Department, Justice Department, and Homeland Security on a range of domestic and foreign issues arising at the intersection of policy, law, advocacy, legislation, strategic communications, and outreach and engagement. He described President Obama’s views (and said he agreed with them):

“The president [Obama] said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of the Jewish community in Chicago. He believes in Zionism. He believes we have shared values. He shows strong, unwavering support for Israel. He says he did the Iran deal partially to protect Israel’s security, that it would be a ‘moral failing’ not to protect Israel’s security.”

(L-R) Aaron Keyak, William Daroff and Steve Rabinowitz at the launch of Bluelight Strategies, a consulting group at the “nexus of political Washington and the Jewish and pro-Israel world.” Keyak was previously a senior Congressional staffer and executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.”

Aaron Keyak, Co-owner of a Washington DC PR firm; he was a senior staffer for some Congressional representatives and communications director and interim executive director for the National Jewish Democratic Council. Keyak has said that strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship is one of the values he most cares about. Washington Jewish Week reported about the 2015 launch of Keyak’s public relations firm:

“The official announcement was made at the “Latkes & Vodkas” party at their swanky downtown office on Dec. 15. Steve Rabinowitz, founder and president of the mostly progressive and Judeocentric Washington, D.C.-based political public relations firm, Rabinowitz Communications – the former Clinton White House staffer who produced the famed photograph of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shaking hands on the White House South Lawn – would no longer be flying solo. Aaron Keyak, 29, would become his partner in a new PR company called “Bluelight Strategies.”

“… recently, communications director and senior Middle East policy advisor for Jewish Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who represents one of the most heavily Jewish districts in the country. He previously served in a similar role with Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.).

“According to Keyak, the idea for the partnership arose out of the successful working relationship he and Rabinowitz enjoyed during the 2012 presidential election, when the two collaborated on a venture they called the “Hub,” an effort aimed to organize Jewish voters for Democratic candidates.”

Avi Goldgraber, wife of Aaron Keyak, is manager at Accenture; previously she was confidential secretary to Deputy Secretary, Department of  Health and Human Services. Goldgraber attended Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received her B.A. from Washington University in Political Science and Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies. She is the  daughter of Moshe B. Goldgraber who endowed a fellowship for Israeli physicians.

Josh Raffel currently leads the communications team for Jared Kushner and is his principal spokesman. Raffel is “often the primary route for delivering Mr. Kushner’s message to the news media, and he also handles communications on issues like Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.” He was formerly a publicist, whose clients included Hollywood horror films, Glenn Beck, and Jared Kushner’s family business.

Top Democratic strategist Ann Lewis declared that “the role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel.”

Ann Lewis, leading Democratic Party strategist and communicator. In one public meeting of Jewish leaders before the 2008 election, Lewis declared that “the role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties.” This was after some discussion that “there’s something wrong with Senator Obama’s views about Jews, about Israel” – referring to Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s, preaching that Israel is committing “state terrorism against the Palestinians,” as well as Obama’s apparent sympathy for Palestinians. Lewis’ pro-Israel clout as leading Democratic Party strategist and communicator is clear in how she was able to change the Israel policy of the Center for American Progress, a powerful progressive research and advocacy organization. She made it clear that criticism of Israel, AIPAC, and American Jewish groups is forbidden. CAP was quick to self-censor, removing or cleaning up tweets and articles.

David Milstein, Research Analyst for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), primarily focusing on issues related to Israel. “He played a leadership role with an organization called Young Jewish Conservatives whose mission is to build a community of politically conservative young Jews who strongly support Israel; co-organized its annual Shabbat Event at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the largest annual gathering of conservative activists.”

ThinkTanks, NGOs, Funders

Morton Klein has been national president of the Zionist Organization of America for 24 years. When President Obama abstained from voting in the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, Klein opined, “Obama has made it clear that he’s a Jew-hating anti-Semite.” He agreed with candidate Trump’s plan for profiling Muslims: “We should adopt the same profiling policies as Israel and be more thorough in vetting Muslims,” adding, “it’s not the worst thing to do.” Klein criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for using the word “Palestine,” claiming that it sends a message to the Arab world that “this administration is biased to their side.” Going even further, Klein called for Tillerson to be fired when the State Department published its annual terror report, which suggested (as it had the previous year) that Israeli settlements and Palestinian hopelessness are factors contributing to Palestinian terrorism. Klein indicated that the State Department had “put out reports that give excuses for Palestinian murder of Jews.” The ZOA organized a letter opposing the Iran deal.

Abe Foxman worked at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for 50 years. After retiring he joined Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

Abe Foxman, former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League; currently ADL National Director Emeritus and fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a Tel Aviv-based think tank for issues of security and Middle East policy. He is also head of the Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. Foxman is known as the “Jewish Pope” thanks to his 28-year leadership of the Anti-Defamation League. INSS director Amos Yadlin called him “an undeclared leader of the American Jewish community and a leading global figure on matters of human dignity and moral conduct.” Foxman believes that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic “99% of the time.”

Stacy Burdett, Vice President, Government Relations, Advocacy & Community Engagement at Anti-Defamation League. He has participated in the international campaign to change the definition of anti-Semitism to include many statements about Israel.

Loribeth Weinstein, CEO of Jewish Women International (JWI) for over 15 years. JWI works to “end violence, ensure economic security, and spotlight leadership and mentoring.” She has also served American Jewish World Service, dedicated to “ending poverty and promoting human rights in the developing world.” Weinstein has also been on the Regional Council of the New Israel Fund, which includes as its mission statement, achievement of “equality for all the citizens of the state… protection of Palestinian citizens… opposition to all forms of discrimination and bigotry… a just society at peace with itself and its neighbors.” The New Israel Fund has supported B’tselem to the tune of $2.2 million over the last ten years.

Howard Kohr, executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Analysts write: “AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress.”

Howard Kohr, executive director of AIPAC since 1996. Under his supervision, Congresspeople have been given all-expenses-paid trips to Israel to “discover their own personal connection to the land…and to understand the issues more clearly.” Kohr has turned AIPAC into “the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization” in Washington, and promises to keep it that way with the help of 4,000 pro-Israel student leaders across the country. “Mr. Kohr [representing AIPAC] has helped to navigate congressional passage of the annual U.S. Foreign Aid bill by historic, record-breaking margins — accomplishments achieved often in the midst of a hostile, budget-cutting environment.”

In his testimony to Congress in April 2017, as Kohr requested $3.1 billion in foreign military aid, he reminisced about the “close strategic relationship between the United States and Israel” that began with sharing of key intelligence in 1967 – the same year that Israel attacked the USS Liberty with napalm, gunfire, and missiles, even machine-gunning three lifeboats. The Moorer Commission found that the attack constituted “an act of war against the United States.” Professors John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard state: “AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress.”

Fortune magazine has ranked AIPAC the number two most powerful lobbying group in Washington D.C., after the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

Bob Cohen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee), former President of AIPAC (2014). Cohen is considered one of AIPAC’s six key leaders.

Jason Isaacson of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) speaks at the National Leadership Assembly for Israel at the National Press Club, July 28, 2014. (Video here.)

Jason Isaacson, Director of Government and International Affairs at the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The AJC website announces:

“Around the world—from the hallways of the U.N. in New York, to the corridors of the European Union in Brussels, and to the countries of Asia—AJC advocates for Israel at the highest levels. And when Israel is under assault, whether from the terrorist organizations on her doorstep or the global BDS movement, AJC helps bring the world the truth about Israel.”

The AJC is an American nonprofit organization. Donations to it are tax-deductible.

Daniel S. Mariaschin, CEO of B’nai B’rith International, “a national and global leader in…Israel advocacy.” His B’nai B’rith bio reports: “Mr. Mariaschin has met with countless heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers, opposition leaders, influential members of the media and clerical leaders. Each time, his goal has been to advance human rights, help protect the rights of Jewish communities worldwide and promote better relations with the state of Israel.” Mr. Mariaschin represented the organization at numerous international conferences, many of which helped to establish a new, Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism, including the International Conference on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research; and the State Department’s 1998 Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets. Mariaschin served as part of the U.S. delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference on anti-Semitism in Vienna in 2003; was public advisor to the U.S. delegation at the 2004 conference in Berlin, the 2005 conference in Cordoba, Spain, and the 2007 meeting in Bucharest, Romania. In 2009 he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Warsaw Human Dimension Implementation meeting of the OSCE.

Mariaschin began his professional Jewish life in 1973 as community relations associate for the Jewish Community Council of Boston. Two years later, he became director of the New England office of the American Zionist Federation and Zionist House in Boston. In 1977, he joined the Anti Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith as director of its Middle East Affairs Department. From 1979 to 1986, he served as assistant to ADL’s national director, the late Nathan Perlmutter, and as director of its National Leadership division, responsible for ADL’s nationwide program of leadership development. He then became director of the Political Affairs Department of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he supervised political action activities and grassroots organization programs.

Prior to joining B’nai B’rith, Mr. Mariaschin served as director of communications and principal spokesman for former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr. during his 1987-88 presidential campaign.

Mariaschin has written numerous articles for such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times and Newsday, and appears frequently as a foreign affairs analyst on television and radio programs. He has lectured on foreign and defense affairs at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and at other military installations across the country. He has also worked as a radio announcer and news commentator and has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Shemtov has been called “the rabbi of Capitol Hill.” The Washingtonian states: “Rabbi Levi Shemtov is a Washington institution.” It reports that Shemtov

“is among the country’s best-connected and most politically savvy rabbis. Shemtov has supervised the koshering of the White House kitchen, lit the National Menorah alongside Vice President Joe Biden, and for more than two decades has run American Friends of Lubavitch (AFL), the Washington arm of the world’s most successful Jewish outreach organization.”

“It’s hard for me to think of any political Jewish person in Washington that doesn’t have a relationship with him,” says Steve Rabinowitz, a PR executive and longtime friend of the rabbi’s.”

His bio on the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington reports:

“Rabbi Shemtov is also the Executive Vice President of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and serves the daily governmental and diplomatic needs of the international Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the world’s largest and fastest growing Jewish network of educational and social service institutions, with over 3,500 centers in 49 states and over 80 countries. He maintains close relationships with numerous members of the United States Congress, senior Administration officials and leaders in the international community, including a number of heads of state and government. Rabbi Shemtov chairs the organizing committee of the International Chabad-Lubavitch Conference – Living Legacy, which facilitates high-level interaction between rabbis and communal leadership from around the globe and prominent US and international figures in the arenas of government, diplomacy, academia and the arts.

“Programs he organizes include several signature events such as the annual lighting ceremony of the National Chanukah Menorah drawing thousands to The Ellipse (across from the White House) every year, and seen by millions more via various media and the internet. In addition, he founded and directs the Capitol Jewish Forum, which is the largest (apolitical) Jewish group on Capitol Hill, designed to “create and enhance a sense of identity and community among Jewish Congressional staffers and members of Congress” and which enjoys strong support of the Leadership and members of both parties in the US Senate and House of Representatives. Rabbi Shemtov is often at the White House, Pentagon, United States Department of State and other venues in official Washington, seen by many as an effective, bipartisan unifier and premier Jewish resource.”

Shemtov is a passionate Israel defender who used the national menorah lighting awhile ago to complain about a U.N. resolution saying that Israeli settlements are illegal. In 2014 he gave a speech at a Stand With Us rally in Washington DC:

(Jared Kushner and Ivanka attend his synagogue.)

Nathan Diament previously served on President Obama’s Faith Advisory Council; his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Forward, and other publications, he has appeared on CNN, FOX News, NPR, and other broadcasts. Currently he is Executive Director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, “public policy arm of the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish organization‚ representing nearly 1,000 congregations nationwide.” One of its main issues is “supporting Israel.” The Orthodox Union website never uses the word Palestine when referring to the modern-day state, without using quotation marks (i.e. “Palestine”); it states that “historically, there was never an indigenous Palestinian people”; its Newsroom and Campus Life sections are anti-Palestine; and it features a Birthright travel agency. Diament himself is a strong advocate of an “undivided Jerusalem” as capital of Israel.

Roger Hertog, “strategic philanthropist” and chairman of the Tikvah Fund, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at a gala ceremony at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel where Netanyahu received an reward from the Hudson Institute.

Roger Hertog, vice-chair emeritus of Alliance-Bernstein L.P., an investment firm which was reportedly valued in 2002 at $100 billion that was investigated for “improper trading moves.” Hertog practices what he calls “strategic philanthropy.” He has funded many pro-Israel organizations: the Anti-Defamation League; American Friends of Shalva; Tikvah (he is chairman); in 2005, gave $5 million to Taglit-Birthright Israel; he founded Israel’s Shalem Center; is on the boards of Commentary magazine and the American Enterprise Institute; and is a member of what Ha’aretz called Netanyahu’s “billionaire’s club.” Inside Philanthropy reports:

“involved in philanthropy for decades. Hertog was previously chairman of New York Historical Society and the Manhattan Institute, each of which has received large support. As well, the couple has given tens of millions to the New York Public Library over the years. The Hertog Foundation has given away around $10 million annually in recent years, mainly toward Jewish causes, conservative policy issues, education (both higher education, and school reform), and arts and culture. The Hertog Foundation also runs educational programs for students in areas such as politics, war, and economics…

“served as chairman emeritus of the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute, as well as served on the board of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He was also a backer of the right-leaning New York Sun newspaper. Hertog and Susan have also supported outfits like the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the Alexander Hamilton Society, the Brookings Institution, the Hudson Institute, the Claremont Institute, the Washington Institute, and the Institute for the Study of War.

Involved in Israeli archaeology projects (for info on their agenda see this); funded an excavation by Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar and provided resources for multi-volume scholarship to interpret and publish the Temple Mount Excavation.

Hertog has also been involved in media ventures: he was co-owner of The New Republic for a period; supplied the seed money for the now-defunct New York Sun, and guaranteed the $2 million bail for pro-Israel media baron Conrad Black when he was charged for defrauding shareholders.

Lindsay Kaplan, wife of Norman Eisen, Georgetown University English Department.

Sander Gerber was a low profile New York hedge fund CEO and AIPAC national board member who heard about the death of American Taylor Force in Israel and investigated the Palestinian Authority’s budget with the help of a top intelligence Israeli general and an Israeli research institute. Gerber and his associates discovered the Palestinian Authority’s social safety net program which provides a stipend for families of men who have been injured, killed, or imprisoned by Israel.  He dubbed the program “pay to slay,” and began to lobby Congress and the media to stop the practice. The Taylor Force Act would slash aid to the PA unless it stops the stipend program for widows and children.

Israelis & Israeli media

Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs; formerly Israeli ambassador to the U.S. In 2005 Ayalon received the Brandeis award from the Jewish Community in Baltimore. He is the  founder of “Truth About Israel,” an Israeli organization known for its short videos, which is registered as a nonprofit, tax-deductible organization in the U.S., and is also present in Singapore. (We have not yet been able to find the organization’s 990 tax form, which suggests that it’s registered under a different name.)

Yarden Golan, Chief of Staff at the Israeli Embassy.

Ron Prosor, former Israeli ambassador to the UN.

Sarah Abonyi, Special Projects Manager for the Ambassador of Israel. From New Mexico.

Miriam Smallman, Director of Media Relations at Israeli embassy.

Michael Wilner, A native New Yorker who is the Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for Israel’s The Jerusalem Post. 


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. Her upcoming book talks are listed here. Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew. She recently wrote “How Israel Weaponizes Archeology.”

October 5, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars

Shouldn’t they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?

Kristol

Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 19, 2017

I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.

And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in the New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq. The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens.

Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of the New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above cited hawks by name before describing them as “… a Who’s Who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking. If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last twenty years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”

And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives. And I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military – David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying.

So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews. Indeed, I would opine that most of the fury from Congress re Iran comes from the same source, with AIPAC showering our Solons on the Potomac with “fact sheets” explaining how Iran is worthy of annihilation because it has pledged to “destroy Israel,” which is both a lie and an impossibility as Tehran does not have the resources to carry out such a task. The AIPAC lies are then picked up and replayed by an obliging media, where nearly every “expert” who speaks about the Middle East on television and radio or who is interviewed for newspaper stories is Jewish.

One might also add that neocons as a group were founded by Jews and are largely Jewish, hence their universal attachment to the state of Israel. They first rose into prominence when they obtained a number of national security positions during the Reagan Administration and their ascendancy was completed when they staffed senior positions in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush. Recall for a moment Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Scooter Libby. Yes, all Jewish and all conduits for the false information that led to a war that has spread and effectively destroyed much of the Middle East. Except for Israel, of course. Philip Zelikow, also Jewish, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Iraq War, in his opinion, was fought for Israel.

Add to the folly a Jewish U.S. Ambassador to Israel who identifies with the most right-wing Israeli settler elements, a White House appointed chief negotiator who is Jewish and a Jewish son-in-law who is also involved in formulating Middle East policy. Is anyone providing an alternative viewpoint to eternal and uncritical support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime of racist thugs? I think not.

There are a couple of simple fixes for the dominant involvement of American Jews in foreign policy issues where they have a personal interest due to their ethnicity or family ties. First of all, don’t put them into national security positions involving the Middle East, where they will potentially be conflicted. Let them worry instead about North Korea, which does not have a Jewish minority and which was not involved in the holocaust. This type of solution was, in fact, somewhat of a policy regarding the U.S. Ambassador position in Israel. No Jew was appointed to avoid any conflict of interest prior to 1995, an understanding that was violated by Bill Clinton (wouldn’t you know it!) who named Martin Indyk to the post. Indyk was not even an American citizen at the time and had to be naturalized quickly prior to being approved by congress.

Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. Any American should be free to exercise first amendment rights to debate possible options regarding policy, up to and including embracing positions that damage the United States and benefit a foreign nation. But if he or she is in a position to actually create those policies, he or she should butt out and leave the policy generation to those who have no personal baggage.

For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g. Bill Kristol is “Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.” That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison – translating roughly as “ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril.”

As none of the above is likely to happen, the only alternative is for American citizens who are tired of having their country’s national security interests hijacked by a group that is in thrall to a foreign government to become more assertive about what is happening. Shine a little light into the darkness and recognize who is being diddled and by whom. Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it.

September 19, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Are you, or have you ever been, an RT or Sputnik pundit?

By Neil Clark | RT | September 19, 2017

The demands from the NATO/military-industrial complex-funded Atlantic Council and neocon hawks for RT and Sputnik to be forced to register as ‘foreign agents’ in the US, brings to mind similarly disturbing events which took place in the ‘Land of the Free’ in the early 1950s.

The question asked by the original McCarthyite witch-hunters to people who held the ’wrong’ views back in the era of Rosemary Clooney and the Andrews Sisters was “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”

Today, in the era of Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, the neo-McCarthyites ask: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a guest or pundit on RT or Sputnik?” The wording might be slightly different, (and the background music more in your face), but the aim is the same. Namely, to try and scare people from speaking out against a foreign policy which relies on war and the threat of war, for fear they’ll be branded a Soviet, or Russian ‘agent’.

A 79-year-old piece of legislation, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, initially passed to counter Nazi propaganda activities before the start of World War Two, is the latest weapon being utilized by the ‘Pro-Freedom and Democracy’ Imperial Truth Enforcers, in their campaign against news organizations which don‘t toe the line. All genuine supporters of free speech and media pluralism, whether or not they are fans of RT or Sputnik, should be alarmed at recent developments.

You don’t have to be the owner of a giant magnifying glass or possess the detective skills of Sherlock Holmes to see whose fingerprints are on the ’Get RT and Sputnik to register under FARA’ operation. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to understand why they are so keen to tarnish the RT and Sputnik brands.

Let’s go back to January 13th. On that day, the Atlantic Council, whose donors include leading US arms companies, NATO, several foreign governments, as well as lobby groups such as AIPAC, posted an article on its website entitled ‘US Should Require Russia’s RT to Register as Foreign Agent’ by one Elena Postnikova, a JD candidate at Georgetown University Law Center and a former DC Events and Outreach Officer at the US government-funded Freedom House.

Postnikova’s article of 13th January was republished by Newsweek and the Kyiv Post.

Then on 1st September, the Atlantic Council published a longer report by Ms. Postnikova entitled ‘Agent of Influence: Should Russia’s RT Register as a Foreign Agent?’

The Atlantic Coundil explained:

“In Agent of Influence, author Elena Postnikova, not only argues that RT should register with FARA but makes a legal case for it while laying out recommendations for policymakers. At a minimum, RT’s activities warrant a thorough investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ).”

You can just imagine Senator Joe McCarthy punching the air on hearing that last statement, can’t you?

In her paper, Postnikova mentions the benefits of the DOJ getting RT to register. “FARA registration means that RT would need to conspicuously label its information as ‘distributed by an agent on behalf of the foreign principal’ and include these statements on its website, social media accounts, and in all broadcasts.” This would, she says be “warranted to alert the US public about the origin of RT’s information.” Showing that she possesses a fine sense of humor, Postnikova claims that getting RT to register as a ‘foreign agent‘ would actually boost free speech. “The disclosure would serve the First Amendment by supplementing information about the agent and ensuring that the public is not misled that it represents a disinterested source.”

A week after the 1st September publication, the Atlantic Council held a special meeting in Washington to discuss the paper (giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘AC/DC‘).

Then a few days after that the news broke that the FBI was getting involved, to question an ex-Sputnik employee called Andrew Feinberg. Feinberg, it was reported, had handed over to the FBI a thumbnail containing hundreds of internal emails and documents.

The anti-Russian media crowd couldn’t conceal their excitement.

Jamie Kirchick, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, who had spoken at the 8th September Atlantic Council panel, and who had been high-fived by other neocons on social media for ‘ambushing’ RT live on air a few years back, tweeted triumphantly “Three days after our Atlantic Council panel both RT.com and Sputnik under investigation as foreign agents.”

If the McCarthyite hawks of the Atlantic Council get their way and the authorities in the US do force RT and Sputnik to register under FARA, under threat of a large fine and/or civil/criminal prosecution, then a disturbing precedent will have been set. FARA wasn’t designed to target bona fide news or press services not directly controlled by foreign governments, so to take action the authorities will have to find that RT and Sputnik aren’t kosher.

Of course, claiming that RT and Sputnik are not “proper newsgathering organizations” like CNN and the BBC and that the journalists who work for them are ‘fakes’ too, is standard fare for War Lobby propagandists and their fart-smelling groupies. If the robotic nature of these smears strikes you, then all you need to do is to turn to Sharyl Attkisson’s new book The Smear for an explanation. You can read my review of the book here.

Having aggressively pushed the case for FARA registration, those responsible are now keen to stress that it’s really no big deal. The Colombia Journalism Review ran a piece by one Jon Allsop, entitled ‘Concerns over FBI investigation into Russian ‘news’ are overblown.’ (Note how ‘news’ is put in inverted commas).

“FARA doesn’t add up to press censorship in this case: Outlets like Sputnik and RT aren’t conventionally seen as ‘the press,’ and the law in no way prohibits their activities,” Allsop explained. He cites Jamie Kirchick, who says “There is no concern about slippery slopes,” but there’s no mention that Kirchick described merely as “a journalist and writer who has covered Russia and the former Soviet Union,” was on the Atlantic Council panel that called for RT and Sputnik to be registered under FARA.

In similar fashion, a 9/11 Yahoo report on the Atlantic Council’s demands neglects to mention how the ‘Washington think tank’ is funded by NATO and the arms industry, and ironically enough given the subject matter, several foreign governments as well.

The move to get RT and Sputnik branded as ‘foreign agents’ is being presented by ‘mainstream’ outlets as a neutral process. In fact, it’s about as ‘neutral’ as General Franco refereeing a football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, or The Joker having the casting vote on a jury deciding on whether to indict Batman for speeding.

What we are witnessing is a well-coordinated, well-synchronized and well-oiled campaign to marginalize all dissenting views on foreign policy.

Think back to November, when a mysterious new anonymous website called ’Prop Or Not’  popped up to publish a list of US news sites which it accused of “reliably echoing Russian propaganda,” and called on the G-men to investigate them for espionage.

‘The List’ included RT and Sputnik, but also sites from across the political spectrum with absolutely no connection to Russia. Prop or Not’s blacklist was then promoted as the work of ‘experts’ by the neocon Washington Post.

Again you can imagine Senator McCarthy’s whoop of delight.

We’ve reached the stage now when, as in the early Fifties, anyone who opposes a hawkish foreign policy is accused of either being in the pay of Moscow, i.e. a Russian agent, or of ‘echoing Russian propaganda.’ Against the overthrow of the secular, Christian-protecting government in Syria? Then you’re a stooge of Vladimir Putin!

It’s not just Donald Trump who’s been smeared in this way, but the likes of Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader, and Labour’s left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn too. All you have to do is to say “I want to end the wars and have better relations with Moscow,” and you’ll get the label.

And if you want to lose the label? Well, you have to do what the War Lobby demands of you, like sign a bill imposing even more draconian sanctions on Russia, bomb a Syrian air force base, or publicly condemn ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine.

The great irony behind all of this is that the ’realist’ Russian line on foreign policy is far more in tune with public opinion in the US and UK than the actual policies carried out by the neocon influenced US and UK regimes. Russia opposed the illegal invasion of Iraq, which directly led to the rise of ISIS. It has also stood firmly on the side of government forces fighting ISIS and Al-Qaeda groups in Syria, instead of trying to undermine them, as the West has done.

It’s because people reject the fraudulent War Party narrative that people across the world are increasingly turning to networks such as RT and Sputnik which provide a very different perspective on world affairs. These organizations provide a platform to people from the left and the right, who are kept off the ‘mainstream’ networks because they don’t meet with establishment approval. I remember the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq when programs such as the BBC’s Newsnight trotted out a series of ‘think tank pundits’ who assured us that Saddam possessed WMDs which threatened the entire world. These ‘experts’ went largely unchallenged, and we got a disastrous war which led to the deaths of one million people. The cheerleaders for the Iraq invasion would love us to go back to the halcyon days of 2002/3 when they had control of the narrative and could dictate who could and couldn’t appear on television. It was much easier to sell illegal wars to the public without ’pesky’ stations like RT and Sputnik around, much easier to peddle WMDs-style BS, much easier to launch phony ‘humanitarian interventions’ against the governments of resource-rich [or AIPAC-targeted] independent countries.

Fake news and ‘foreign agents‘?

Physician heal thyself.


Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66

September 19, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

ADL Campus guide describes how to block events about Palestine

The ADL claims to oppose injustice, but spends much of its huge budget defaming Palestinians and their allies who work for an end to Israel’s human rights abuses.
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | September 13, 2107

The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has just launched a new initiative for college students called “ADL CAMPUS: Tools for Dealing with Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel Incidents on Campus.”

This resource contains much useful information about addressing anti-Semitism, endorses such valuable principles as freedom of speech and non-violence, and recommends that students talk to others who may hold different perspectives.

It also, however, contains some deeply problematic components for anyone who believes that human rights and justice should apply to all people without exception.

Unfortunately, the ADL does not share this belief. While it announces prominently, “We protect the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all,” in reality the ADL supports Israeli injustice against Palestinians.

Its recent campus resource exemplifies this, and distorts facts and words in order to do so.

First of all, ADL Campus conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Rather than meaning bigotry against Jewish people, the ADL’s use of the term anti-Semitism includes many forms of criticism of Israel. The Israeli government and certain of its partisans have been pushing this new, expanded definition in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

Below, this article will look in more detail at what kinds of criticism of Israel the ADL considers unacceptable, and why its parameters will include virtually all speakers truly critical of Israeli oppression of Palestinians. First, however, let us turn to the ADL’s advice on blocking events championing Palestinian human rights (and undermining free speech and academic inquiry).

ADL strategies to prevent events about Palestine

ADL Campus provides an entire section on how to block events on Palestine. The section starts out by assuring students that they have tremendous resources on their campuses to help them in this: faculty, Hillel, Chabad, J Street U, Stand With Us, The David Project, off-campus organizations like ADL, the Israel Action Network, Israel on Campus Coalition, AIPAC, and “your local Israeli Consulate.”

It provides an array of “Proactive Strategies to Prevent Anti-Israel Activity” – “steps you can take year-round to prevent an anti-Israel event from taking place on your campus, and to be prepared if and when an anti-Israel event does take place.”

They are advised to join – and lead, when possible – student organizations so that they can use this position to advocate for Israel and prevent campus activism on Palestine. The guide advises students to:

“Run for student government. Write for the campus newspaper. Join committees and other student organizations. Holding leadership positions on campus provides a great opportunity to meet new people, build coalitions, and exchange views with your peers. With a seat at the table, you can more effectively speak out (or even vote) against anti-Israel actions, including divestment resolutions.”

This is not a new idea. In 2010 an AIPAC official (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) said that AIPAC was going to take over student governments in order to block resolutions on behalf of Palestinian rights:

More recently, pro-Israel students have been working to insert an Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism into student governments. This then blocks university funding for student groups wishing to bring speakers on Palestine.

ADL Campus expands further upon the value of building relationships with other students as a strategy to prevent Palestine activism:

“Build coalitions with other student groups. Take the time to understand the needs and priorities of other groups and learn how to be an ally to other communities. Attend their events and meetings.  Join advocacy efforts for issues you care about. Think about opportunities for co-sponsoring events with these groups.”

Another suggested strategy is to put on Israel-related events; again the document suggests resources students can tap into:

“Hillel, the Israeli consulate responsible for the region in which your campus is located, ADL and other organizations, on campus and off, can help provide you with speakers and ideas.”

What to do if an event about Palestine is scheduled

If, despite their efforts, a program on Palestine is scheduled for their campus, ADL Campus tells students what to do next: investigate the speaker by contacting Hillel, ADL, ICC (Israel on Campus), or other organizations. (Some of these groups compile witch-hunt-like dossiers on Palestinian rights speakers which often contain inaccurate information, grossly exaggerated ad hominem attacks and claims that they are “anti-Semitic.”)

If they find that the speaker has engaged in alleged “hate speech, including anti-Semitic comments [sic],” ADL Campus tells them to contact the administration about it. Given that the ADL labels numerous valid statements about Israel “anti-Semitic (see below),” this could apply to virtually all honest and committed speakers on Palestine, and is often used in attempts to impugn the speaker’s integrity and block his or her talk. Such misrepresentations sometimes cause academic departments and other organizations to back out of sponsoring a lecture.

If an event does go forward with speakers that don’t pass ADL muster, ADL Campus tells students they should consider “an active, organized effort.” It advises them to “send a small contingent of pro-Israel students to the event to question the speaker about their views. Prepare some questions in advance based on what you’ve learned about the speaker [sic] in your research.”

ADL Campus also tells students: “Share information with fellow students attending the event about the speakers and organizations they’re about to hear from. Prepare fact sheets [sic] in advance that highlight how extreme the views of the speaker really are. ADL and other organizations make it easy to access information on extreme speakers who frequently appear on campuses.”

In reality, such “fact sheets” typically misrepresent speakers’ statements and contain non-factual information about Israel-Palestine in general and about the speaker in particular.

The ADL “deciphers” anti-Semitism

ADL Campus contains an entire section and video that claim to help students decipher when something is anti-Semitic or contains “anti-Israel bias” (the latter seems to be anti-Semitism’s almost equally objectionable sister sin).

According to the ADL, you are anti-Semitic if you who fail to affirm Israel’s alleged “right to exist as a Jewish state.”


Palestinians forced out in 1948 by Israel’s founding war

Affirming such a “right” may seem benign. In reality, it means affirming Israel’s “right” to have created its state through the violent expulsion of the majority indigenous population and confiscation of their land, simply because they were not Jewish. It also means you believe Israel has the “right” to prohibit these families from returning to their homes because they are of the “wrong” ethnicity or religion (even though returning to one’s home is an internationally recognized human right.)

In actuality, saying that Israel has a “right to exist as a Jewish state” entails the morally untenable position that universal human rights do not apply to the residents and indigenous people Israel does not want in its ethnically preferential state.

ADL Campus also states that BDS (Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions), the international nonviolent movement that works to require Israel to adhere to international law and end its violations of human rights, is “anti-Semitic.”

In fact, the ADL head has just endorsed legislation that would make Americans who support boycotts targeting Israel criminals to be punished by fines of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. Once again, we see the ADL turning morality on its head. Those who stand up for justice and who oppose oppression and discrimination are not bigots or criminals, they are human rights champions.

While the ADL Campus video allows in theory that “people can support the Palestinian cause without being anti-Israel,” it censures what the ADL claims is “illegitimate criticism.” As the narrator’s voice intones that this consists of “false accusations,” the screen shows the words apartheid, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.


Screenshot from ADL Campus video

Far from being “false accusations” and “illegitimate criticism,” however, all three characterizations of Israel and its actions are based on factual conditions and have been argued for by diverse scholars, institutions, and human rights advocates (see links below*).

ADL campus also decrees that statements comparing Israel to Nazis are “anti-Semitic” (reflecting the international redefinition of the term mentioned above). However, Israeli leaders themselves at times have referred to one another this way, beginning with Ben Gurion, who compared both Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky and future Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Hitler (Begin returned the epithet). An article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz is headlined: Calling your political rival a Nazi is a time-hallowed tradition in Israel.

And while such comparisons are exaggerated and imprecise, some years ago there was an uproar in Israel when an Israeli military officer suggested that studying how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto could be useful in finding strategies to use in seizing “a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the casbah in Nablus.” Author Melvin Goodman, describing the cruel situation in Gaza, concludes:  “Perhaps the comparison with the Warsaw Ghetto is not completely far-fetched after all.”

ADL helps mislead people, then calls them “anti-Semitic”

In one case, the ADL’s characterization of some statements about Israel as “anti-Semitic” may be legitimate. The ADL accuses individuals of being “anti-Semitic”– i.e. bigots – if they suggest that all Jewish people are responsible for the actions of Israel.

Such a conflation is erroneous and should be corrected. However, it is important to understand that the state of Israel itself and its strongest partisans, including the ADL, actively work to conflate Judaism and Jewish identity with Israel. This intentional conflation has gone on for decades. A century ago Supreme Court Justice and Zionist leader Louis Brandeis was known for specifically working to conflate Zionism with being Jewish at a time when most Jewish people were not Zionists.


Israeli flag featuring the “Star of David” Jewish identity symbol

Israel specifically calls itself “the Jewish state” and often claims to represent Jews worldwide, a claim specifically rejected by certain Jewish individuals and organizations.

The Israeli flag, which adorns tanks, helicopter gunships, and fighter jets that periodically attack Gaza civilians, consists of a star of David, thus working to symbolically conflate Israel and its actions with Judaism and Jews. Israelis regularly call the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. “the Jewish lobby.”

In addition, virtually every mainstream national Jewish institution in the U.S. publicly supports Israel, numerous synagogues and schools across the country exhibit the Israeli flag and affirm their attachment to Israel, and Jewish Community Relations Councils and Jewish Federations advocate for Israel in cities throughout the country.

The ADL’s 2015 Annual Report itself conflates Israel and “the Jewish people,” stating: “Since the founding purpose of ADL is to protect the Jewish people, our work on behalf of and in support of the State of Israel is a significant way of fulfilling that mission.” The ADL Campus video itself uses an image of a menorah, a religious symbol, to represent Israel.


Graphic featuring the menorah used in ADL Campus video

If some people critical of human rights abuses or other actions by the government of Israel or certain Israel partisans connect all Jews to Israel’s actions, this intentional conflation is part of the problem, not the solution. Those taken in by it are mistaken, not necessarily prejudiced.

ADL: Advocate for Israel

For many years the ADL has been held in high regard by many Americans who believe its purpose is to oppose bigotry and assist those being treated unfairly, and who are unaware of the ADL’s work to defame human rights defenders and maintain Israel’s power over Palestinians, one of the world’s most oppressed populations.

Through its own well-funded efforts combined with the support of media figures who may also be pro-Israel, the ADL has attained considerable power. Its frequent reports on alleged anti-Semitism are cited regularly as though they are the work of an objective, official, accountable entity.

In reality, the ADL is a non-governmental organization without public accountability whose work is non-transparent, lacks objective review, and which has a publicly stated goal of advocating for a foreign country—a nation whose system is antithetical to the principles held by most Americans, and whose actions are frequently harmful to the United States.

With its $142 million assets, the ADL crows that it helps “shape laws locally and nationally, and develop groundbreaking model legislation,” thus exerting influence from the highest levels of the U.S. government down to American campuses.

ADL Campus is its latest effort to maintain US taxpayers’ $10 million+ per day to Israel, and thus maintain Israel’s hegemony over Palestinians and others in the region.

Opposing bigotry, prejudice, and racism are noble actions that benefit everyone. Sadly, that’s not what the ADL is about.


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.  

* According to the ADL, statements suggesting that Israeli actions and/or policies have constituted apartheid, genocide, and ethnic cleansing are “false claims” and therefore constitute “anti-Israel bias,” a phrase that the ADL seems to suggest is tantamount to anti-Semitism. In reality, however, there is considerable evidence that such statements are accurate; at minimum, they are valid criticisms worthy of investigation. Below are a few of the many resources available on these topics:

Apartheid

Genocide

Ethnic Cleansing

September 13, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tillerson Caves, Will Appoint Special Anti-Semitism Envoy Who Monitors Criticism of Israel

Tillerson Caves, Will Appoint Special Anti-Semitism Envoy Who Monitors Criticism of Israel

Anti-Semitism Envoy Hannah Rosenthal adopted a new Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism and used it to train American diplomats.
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | August 29, 2017

After continuing pressure, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has announced that he will name a special envoy and maintain an office to monitor alleged anti-Semitism.

All three previous anti-semitism envoys have been fervent Israel partisans, two of them working for AIPAC. The first envoy endorsed a new definition of the word “anti-Semitism” to include criticism of Israel; the second adopted the new, Israel-centric definition; and the third helped to disseminate the definition world-wide.

This was part of an international campaign to expand the definition of anti-Semitism and embed this in governments and law enforcement agencies, potentially criminalizing support for Palestinian rights.

When it appeared in June that Trump might eliminate the office in a cost-cutting measure, he and Tillerson came under immediate attack by Jewish organizations and some others, including the Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to a letter from Tillerson to the Senate released yesterday, a number of similar special envoys and ambassadorships will be maintained, including the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations (currently filled by Frank Lowenstein), the Special Envoy as well as the Special Advisor for Holocaust Issues (which, among other things, works with Israel and supports the anti-Semitism envoy; currently the Special Advisor is Stuart E. Eizenstat), and the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom; Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a strong supporter of Israel despite its record of religious discrimination, has been nominated for the position.

Dozens of other special envoy positions are being eliminated or combined, including ones concerned with Tibet, disabilities rights, global food security, cyber issues, global youth issues, conflict diamonds, the closing of Guantanamo, and a number that focus on the environment.

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 10 Comments

Israel’s Chorus Sings Again

Less than total loyalty to Israel is un-American

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • August 15, 2017

Congress is on a one-month summer recess. You would think that given the recent turmoil over the bill to eliminate Obamacare and the upcoming debate over tax policy the nation’s legislators would be back in their home districts talking to the voters. Some are, but many are not. “More than fifty” Congressmen are off on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel to demonstrate that “there is no stronger bond with any ally we have.” Yes indeed, a congress which cannot pass legislation to benefit the American people finds that it has only one voice when it comes to our troublesome little client state that also doubles as the leading recipient of U.S. tax dollars in the world.

How do they do it? They do it by relentless courting of the congress critters and media talking heads, all of whom know how to repay a favor. Some readers might be asking how Congress (spouses included) can accept these free trips from a foreign government? The current trip is estimated to be costing $10,000 per person. Well, the answer is that they can’t do it directly, which would be illegal, so the clever rascals at the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have created an “charitable” foundation that pays the bills. It’s called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). AIEF is a tax exempt 501(c)3 foundation that had income of more than $80 million in 2015. As it is tax exempt that means that its activities are, in effect, being subsidized by the U.S. Treasury so the congressmen are being “charitably educated” while they are also being wined and dined and propagandized in part on the taxpayers’ dime. A couple of the congress critters hardly hit the ground before they were singing the praises of their hosts, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy crooning “We have shared values! Shared security interests! No stronger bond!” And plenty of feel-good all around as Israel is “The Only Democracy in the Middle East!”

Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who has had his head up the Israeli derriere for decades, was also quick on the uptake, enthusing how support for Israel is completely bipartisan, “We are not here as Democrats and Republicans, we are here as Americans who support Israel’s security, its sovereignty and the safety of its people.” And as if it is not enough to go around bragging how one is subordinating U.S. sovereignty to that of Israel, the gnomes are hard at work back at home preparing to pass into law the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which will criminalize for many Americans their First Amendment right to criticize Israel, and a completely bipartisan bit of new legislation being pushed by the Israeli government that will take away aid currently given to the Palestinians as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to provide subsidies to help support the families of those individuals being held prisoner by the Israelis. As most aid actually goes towards training Palestinian security forces that are intended to prevent terror attacks against Israelis, the bill is as wrong-headed as can be, but it just goes to show how far Congress will go to punish Arabs on behalf of Israel.

And finally there has been a series of Israel-centric attacks on leading members of the Trump Administration. A month ago, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2016. The report, as always, describes threats of violence in the Middle East from an Israeli perspective, but it was honest enough to also include two sentences that state that “Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians… and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive. The PA has [also] taken significant steps… to not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”

B’nai B’rith immediately blasted the report for “parroting the false Palestinian narrative” and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) demanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resign because the report was “bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel hating, error ridden.” ZOA went on to praise the co-chairman of the Republican Israel Caucus, Congressman Peter Roskam for demanding that the State Department correct the “numerous mischaracterizations” in the report.

Tillerson has long been a target of the American-Jewish media because of the perception that oil company executives are traditionally not friendly to Israel. There have also been claims that he is “less hard” on Iran than the Israel Lobby would like. But what Tillerson is really experiencing is the hard truth regarding Israel: that its Lobby and friends in congress are both unrelenting and unforgiving. Even when they get 90% of the pie they are furious over someone else getting 10%.

Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has also been under siege for the past several weeks and his “loyalty” to Israel is now under the microscope. McMaster made the mistake of firing three National Security Council officials that were brought in by his predecessor Michael Flynn. The three – Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey – are all regarded by the Israel Lobby as passionately pro-Israel and virulently anti-Iran. It was therefore inevitable that McMaster would take some heat, but the “speed and intensity” of the attacks has surprised even The Atlantic, which failed to note in its thorough examination of the development that while much of the anger flows from extreme right-wing sources there is also considerable pressure coming directly from friends of Israel.

It is interesting to note just how and by whom the argument against McMaster is being framed. Caroline Glick, an American-born Israeli journalist who might reasonably be described as extreme right wing, has led the charge in a posting that described McMaster as “deeply hostile to Israel.” She cites anonymous sources to claim that he refers to Israel as an occupying power and also has the audacity to claim that there once existed a place called Palestine. Oh, and he apparently also supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, as does Tillerson.

McMaster’s other crimes consist of allegedly altering the agenda of Donald Trump’s recent trip to Israel in ways that are somewhat arcane but which no doubt contributed to Glick’s sense of grievance. What is most interesting, however, is the unstated premise supporting Glick’s point of view, which is that the United States national security team should be subject to approval by Israel. Her view is not dissimilar to what lies behind the attacks on Tillerson and the real irony is that neither Tillerson nor McMaster has actually demonstrated any genuine animosity towards Israel, so the whole process is part of a perverse mindset that inevitably sees nearly everything as a threat.

We Americans are way beyond the point where we might simply demand that Israel and its partisans butt out of our politics. Israel-firsters are literally deeply embedded everywhere in the media, in politics at all levels, in academia, and in the professions. They are well funded and highly disciplined to respond to any threats to their hegemony. Their policy is to never give an inch on anything relating to Israel and their relentless grinding is characteristic of how they behave. The Israel Lobby controls Congress and can literally get any bill it wants through the legislature. And it also has its hooks in the White House, though the unpredictable Trump obviously makes many American Zionists nervous because it is rightly believed that once the president takes a position on anything he cannot be trusted either to understand what he has committed to or to stick with it subsequently.

So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

AIPAC video describes decades-long role in US laws against BDS

If Americans Knew – August 14, 2017

AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is a powerful Washington DC lobbying organization. In this 2016 video, AIPAC describes how it has successfully worked to create U.S. laws against boycotting Israel over its multitudinous violations of human rights and international law.

The video doesn’t mention the anti-boycott legislation working its way through Congress right now (S.720 / H.R. 1697) that AIPAC helped draft: iak.salsalabs.org/antiboycottbill

Such anti-boycott laws hurt everyone.

They interfere with Americans’ fundamental consumer rights and freedom of speech, often harm American businesses and thereby the U.S. economy, and damage American international relations.

They prevent peace and perpetuate violence in the Middle East. By helping to sustain Israel’s enormous power over Palestinians, they cause Israeli leaders to believe two things: they can ignore international law, and they don’t need to negotiate with Palestinians in good faith to reach a fair and lasting peaceful resolution.

Ultimately, AIPAC’s actions have hurt Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, and the many of others impacted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and by Israel’s various wars against its neighbors.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Canada’s NDP backs American Empire

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | August 10, 2017

Does the NDP consistently support a foreign policy that benefits ordinary people around the world? Or does the social democratic party often simply fall in line with whatever the American Empire demands?

Hélène Laverdière certainly seems to support the US-led geopolitical order. While the NDP foreign critic has called for stronger arms control measures and regulations on Canada’s international mining industry, she’s aligned with the Empire on issues ranging from Venezuela to Palestine, Ukraine to Syria.

Echoing Washington and Ottawa, Laverdière recently attacked the Venezuelan government. “On the heels of Sunday’s illegitimate constituent assembly vote, it’s more important than ever for Canada to work with our allies and through multilateral groups like the OAS to secure a lasting resolution to the crisis,” she told the CBC.

But, the constituent assembly vote wasn’t “illegitimate”. Venezuela’s current constitution empowers the president to call a constituent assembly to draft a new one. If the population endorses the revised constitution in a referendum, the president – and all other governmental bodies – are legally required to follow the new constitutional framework.

Additionally, calling on Ottawa to “work with our allies” through the OAS may sound reasonable, but in practice it means backing Trudeau’s efforts to weaken Venezuela through that body. Previously, Laverdière promoted that Washington-led policy. In a June 2016 press release bemoaning “the erosion of democracy” and the need for Ottawa to “defend democracy in Venezuela”, Laverdière said “the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro has invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter regarding Venezuela, and Canada, as a member of the OAS, should support his efforts.” But, the former Uruguayan Foreign Minister’s actions as head of the OAS have been highly controversial. They even prompted Almagro’s past boss, former Uruguayan president José Mujica, to condemn his bias against the Venezuelan government.

Laverdière has also cozied up to pro-Israel groups. Last year she spoke to the notorious anti-Palestinian lobby organization American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Months after AIPAC paid for her to speak at their conference in Washington, Laverdière visited Israel with Canada’s governor general, even participating in a ceremony put on by the explicitly racist Jewish National Fund.

The only Quebec MP to endorse Jagmeet Singh as next party leader, Laverdière has attended other events put on by groups aligned with Washington. She publicized and spoke to the weirdly themed “Demonstration for human and democratic rights in Venezuela, in solidarity with Ukraine and Syria.”

Laverdière supports deploying troops to the Russian border and repeatedly called for more sanctions on that country. She said the plan to send military trainers to the Ukraine “sounds good in principle” and only called for a debate in Parliament about sending 450 Canadians to head up a 1,000-strong NATO force in Latvia.

Since 2014 Laverdière has repeatedly called for stronger sanctions on Russia. In 2014 Laverdière told the Ottawa Citizen that “for sanctions to work, it’s not about the number of people but it’s about actually sanctioning the right people. They have to be comprehensive. And they have to target mainly the people who are very close to Putin. Our sanctions, the Canadian sanctions, still fail to do that.”

In May Laverdière applauded a bill modeled after the US Magnitsky Act that will further strain relations between Ottawa and Moscow by sanctioning Russian officials. “Several countries have adopted similar legislation and we are encouraged that the Liberals are finally taking this important step to support the Global Magnitsky movement,” she said.

In another region where the US and Russia were in conflict Laverdière aligned with the Washington-Riyadh position. In the midst of growing calls for the US to impose a “no-fly zone” on Syria last year, the NDP’s foreign critic recommended Canada nominate the White Helmets for the Nobel Peace Prize. A letter Laverdière co-wrote to foreign minister Stéphane Dion noted: Canada has a proud and long-standing commitment to human rights, humanitarianism and international peacekeeping. It is surely our place to recognize the selflessness, bravery, and fundamental commitment to human dignity of these brave women and men.”

Also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, the White Helmets were credited with rescuing many people from bombed out buildings. But, they also fostered opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime. The White Helmets operated almost entirely in areas of Syria occupied by the Saudi Arabia–Washington backed Al Nusra/Al Qaeda rebels. They criticized the Syrian government and disseminated images of its violence, but largely ignored those people targeted by the opposition and reportedly enabled some of their executions.

The White Helmets are closely associated with the Syria Campaign, which was set up by Ayman Asfari, a British billionaire of Syrian descent actively opposed to Assad. The White Helmets also received at least $23 million from USAID and Global Affairs Canada sponsored a five-city White Helmets tour of Canada in late 2016.

Early in the Syrian conflict Laverdière condemned the Harper government for failing to take stronger action against Assad. She urged Harper to raise the Syrian conflict with China, recall Canada’s ambassador to Syria and complained that energy giant Suncor was exempted from sanctions, calling on Canada to “put our money where our mouth is.”

Prior to running in the 2011 federal election Laverdière worked for Foreign Affairs. She held a number of Foreign Affairs positions over a decade, even winning the Foreign Minister’s Award for her contribution to Canadian foreign policy.

Laverdière was chummy with Harper’s foreign minister. John Baird said, “I’m getting to know Hélène Laverdière and I’m off to a good start with her” and when Baird retired CBC reported that she was “among the first to line up in the House on Tuesday to hug the departing minister.”

On a number of issues the former Canadian diplomat has aligned with the US Empire. Whoever takes charge of the NDP in October should think about whether Laverdière is the right person to keep Canadian foreign policy decision makers accountable.


Yves Engler is the author of A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘The Palestine Exception’: War on BDS is now a war on American democracy

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | August 7, 2017

There is something immoral in Washington D.C., and its consequences can be dire for many people, particularly for the health of US democracy.

The US government is declaring war on the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The fight to defeat BDS has been ongoing for several years, but most notably since 2014.

Since then, 11 US states have passed and enacted legislation to criminalise the movement, backed by civil society, which aims to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestine.

Washington is now leading the fight, thus legitimising the anti-democratic behaviour of individual states. If the efforts of the US government are successful, an already struggling US democracy will take yet another step back, and many good people could potentially be punished for behaving in accordance with their political and moral values.

Senate Bill 720 (S.720), also known as the “Anti-Israel Boycott Act”, was largely drafted by the notorious and powerful Israel lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

According to its own “2017 Lobbying Agenda”, AIPAC has made the passing of the bill its top priority.

The US Congress is beholden by Israel’s interests and by the “stranglehold” of AIPAC over the elected representatives of the American people.

Thus, it was no surprise to see 43 senators and 234 House representatives backing the bill, which was first introduced in March.

Although the Congress has habitually backed Israel and condemned Palestinians – and any politician or entity that dared recognise Palestinian rights – this time, the Congress is going too far and is jeopardising the very basic rights of its own constituencies.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution has been the pillar in defense of people’s right to free speech, freedom of the press, “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  This right, however, has often been curtailed when it applies to Israel. The Centre for Constitutional Rights refers to this fact as “The Palestine Exception”.

S.720, however, if it passes, will cement the new US status, that of “flawed democracy” as opposed to a full democratic nation that legislates and applies all laws fairly and equally to all of its citizens. The law would make it a “felony” for Americans to support the boycott of Israel.

Punishment of those who violate the proposed law ranges from $250,000 to $1 million, and/or 20 years in prison.

The bill has already had chilling effects on many groups in the country, especially among African American activists, who are fighting institutionalised racism. If the bill becomes law, the precedent will become the norm, and dissidents will find themselves standing trial for their mere opinions.

With regard to Israel, the US Congress is united. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers often act in ways contrary to the interests of their own country, just to appease the Israeli government. This is no secret.

However, the real danger is that such laws go beyond the traditional blind allegiance to Israel – into a whole level of acquiescence, where the government punishes people and organisations for the choices they make, the values they hold dear or the mere inquiry of information about an issue that they may find compelling.

On 17 July, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a letter calling on lawmakers who signed the Senate version of the bill to reconsider. The bill would punish businesses and individuals, based solely on their point of view. Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment ACLU stated.

Only one person, thus far, has reportedly reconsidered her support, junior Democratic Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand. She requested for her name to be removed from the list of co-signatories.

AIPAC’s reaction was immediate, calling on its army of supporters to pressure the Senator to reinstate her name on the list and to “reaffirm her commitment to fighting the international de-legitimisation of Israel.”

Dire as it may seem, there is something positive in this. For many years, it has been wrongly perceived that Israel’s solicitation of American support against Palestinians and Arabs is, by no means, a foreign country meddling or interfering in the US political system or undermining US democracy.

The “Israel Anti-Boycott Act”, however, is the most egregious of such interventions, for it strikes down the First Amendment, the very foundation of American democracy, by using America’s own lawmakers to carry out the terrible deed.

This bill exposes Israel, as well as its hordes of supporters, in Congress. Moreover, it presents human rights defenders with the opportunity to champion BDS, thus the rights of the Palestinian people and also the rights of all Americans. It would be the first time in many years that the battle for Palestinian rights can be openly discussed and contextualised in a way that most Americans find relevant to their everyday life.

Actually, this was one of the aims of BDS, from the start. While the boycott and de-legitimisation of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinians is at the core of the civil society-backed movement, BDS also aims at generating an urgent discussion on Israel and Palestine.

Although inadvertently, the Congress is now making this very much possible.

The bill, and the larger legislative efforts across the US – and Europe – are also a source of hope in the sense that it is recreating the very events that preceded the demise of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

The US and British governments, in particular, opposed the South African liberation movement, condemned the boycott and backed the racist authoritarian role of P. W. Botha to the very end. Former President, Ronald Reagan, perceived Nelson Mandela to be a terrorist. Mandela was not removed from the US terror list until 2008.

It is quite telling that the US, UK and Israel were the most ardent supporters of South Africa’s apartheid.

Now, it is as if history is repeating itself. The Israeli version of apartheid is fighting for legitimacy and refuses to concede. It wants to colonise all of Palestine, mistreat its people and violate international law without a mere word of censure from an individual or an organisation.

The US government has not changed much, either. It carries on supporting the Israeli form of apartheid, while shamelessly paying lip service to the legacy of Mandela and his anti-apartheid struggle.

Although the new chapter of the anti-apartheid struggle is called “Palestine”, the US and its western backers continue to repeat the same costly policies they committed against the South African people.

As for true champions of human rights, regardless of their race, religion or citizenship, this is their moment. No meaningful change ever occurs without people being united in struggle and sacrifice.

In one of his speeches, an American abolitionist and former slave, Frederick Douglass said: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

The US Congress, with the help of AIPAC, is criminalising this very demand of justice.

Americans should not stand for this, if not for the sake of Palestinians, then for their own sake.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Donald Trump Threw Peace and Prosperity Under an AIPAC Bus

By Phil Butler | New Eastern Outlook | 04.08.2017

Shortly after 11:00 AM, Wednesday August 2, 2017 US President Donald Trump declared full scale economic war on Russia. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is joined by millions of us who’ve now lost all hope of peace and reconciliation in the world. Cold War II is on.

Dmitry Medvedev attacked Trump’s decision to sign the bill in the same way most of us analysts will, chastising the US President after his clear bow to a US Congress unified in its hysteria against Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But the Russian Prime Minister did not delve into just “why” Trump is praying to the altar of neo-conservatism today. Trump feigned disagreement with sections of the law his team said are “unconstitutional”, but the force behind these sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea is hidden. Let me enlighten you on what is really taking place in Washington.

Two days ago, a close colleague of mine was on the line from Greenwich, Connecticut to discuss my upcoming book when the conversation turned to these new Russia sanctions. My colleague related a story from Capital Hill and an insider who explained the vote on the sanctions law. The gist of this insider’s revelation was that the overwhelming “yes vote” in Congress indicated one powerful player behind the curtain – America’s pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

When I heard AIPAC stood behind, my mind immediately reverted to images and sound bites of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Their mutual gratification society handshakes, the syrupy sweetness of the Israeli’s recollections on young Trump – and then I thought on the Saudi arms deal and the wider frame of the Arab Spring. Sorry to consolidate so many facets here, but if Trump and all of Washington has acquiesced totally to the will of AIPAC, then America is all done. Looking again at Russia’s Medvedev:

“Trump’s administration has demonstrated total impotence by surrendering its executive authority to Congress in the most humiliating way.”

The point of this new sanctions law is revealed simply. If AIPAC controls the Unites States Congress, and if the President of the United States has surrendered his executive authority to that body, then the Israeli lobby controls the Government of the United States – lock stock and barrel. In other words, a foreign sovereign nation and ideology rules America – and it rules it with impunity.

Turning to the law itself, even the Trump administration admitted there are sections that are “unconstitutional”, which means illegal. “Illegal!” Is a Barack Obama infused Supreme Court going to overturn the law? This question is rhetorical, for no justice will ever even read through this law. Looking at the Israel lobby and the Zionist influence on America overall, it’s becoming stunningly clear “legality” has little to do with American policy either internally or internationally. When I heard AIPAC was “all in” on this law, I did a two minute analysis of their digital and social media footprint. It’s important to run down the lobby’s online rhetoric here.

The website is replete with Trump administration ambassadors and evangelists for Israel “likes”, as well as Congressional “yes men” who I found to be key in pushing this law down our throats. The Twitter feed of AIPAC the last few weeks reads like an online gambling casino SPAM attack. And until this sanctions bill was signed by Trump, the scrolling Twitter message from AIPAC endeavored to lump Russia in with marginalized Iran and North Korea – today the feed reverts to bashing the Palestinians. With Russia now “punished” for foiling the “Syria plan” with more crippling sanctions, the Zionists are hot on the trail of destroying funding from America for Palestinians. The controversial AIPAC pressure to pass the so-called Taylor Force Act, is being pressed in order to ruin $300 million annually in U.S. economic support to the Palestinian cause. Reverting back to the Russia sanctions law though, the Israelis tout every supporter in Washington and aboard who bends to its will. A Tweet retweeted by AIPAC from Senator Bob Menendez‏ is emblematic:

“Russia, Iran & NK cant violate int’l order w/o consequence. Proud many sanctions I wrote included in bipartisan bill”

Menendez is a lunatic in my view. The New Jersey Senator’s efforts to please the Israel lobby in the bag today, the member of Foreign Relations Committee is out to strip Russia of the upcoming FIFA World Cup today. This Tweet reveals the deep state seemingly bent on all out war on Russia.

“#ICYMI FIFA must dismiss Russia as host of @FIFAWorldCup if forced labor reports are true. Ignoring them=complicity”ttps

Some may recall that Menendez is the senator who was indicted in federal corruption charges involving convicted South Florida Dr. Salomon Melgen, who was found guilty recently of sixty-seven criminal counts of fraud. Menendez was turned down this month in his attempt to have a September trial postponed. He’s accused of taking bribes from Melgen, who allegedly paid him over $1 million. Menendez gave a rousing speech at the 2017 AIPAC conference back in March. The last to speak at the Tuesday session of the conference, Menendez framed a future for us all without even meaning to. In his Netanyahu praising cap off, the New Jersey sellout offers this with regard to America’s intentions in the Middle East:

“I was proud to help secure our record breaking $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding you all advocated for it — an agreement that ensures that Israel’s defenses will remain unmatched in the region and that together, the United States and Israel will continue developing defense technologies of astounding sophistication, like Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the Arrow-3 missile defense systems.”

“Record breaking!” The arrogance and cutting clarity of that stinks of money, control, and a militarism these new Russia sanctions signal. Yes, Israel will be secure for a while, as secure as she was during the first Cold War. Armed to the teeth, with tentacles in every power structure in the western hemisphere and near Asia, a tiny nation is insulated from catastrophe, while surrounding neighbors burn. Donald Trump just sealed a “record breaking” deal for Saudi Arabia to blast neighbors to hell. Now Iran is the psychosis for AIPAC and Israel. So, Russia must be penalized, and North Korea must be glued to an evil axis in order that Americans can identify.

AIPAC has exerted a massive pressure, and the message could not be more clear, the Zionists who control Israel are at the wheel. Just read the list of speakers at the conference. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and Vice President of the United States Mike Pence stood tall in their unwavering support for Israel – no matter what. With the unseeing and deaf American public preoccupied elsewhere, a free democracy has been taken over by the agnostic hierarchy of Zion. And Judaism is used as the cloak of invisibility and viability for the most evil and biased ideas on Earth.

Donald Trump threw his constituents under the bus this week. But the American president’s crime will be registered when more trillions are spent uselessly on weapons, and when the souls of innocent dead reach God. This sanctions law ruined all of our work to restore moderation and peaceful calm to a crisis ridden world. I place fifty percent of the blame on the people behind this Israeli lobby, and the other fifty percent on the one man who might have prevented it.

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

AIPAC threat to free speech

By Ron Forthofer | Dissident Voice | July 26, 2017

There is a Senate bill, along with a companion bill in the House, working its way through Congress with strong bipartisan support, that poses a significant danger to free speech. One would think this bill would be a big deal but, surprisingly, the bill has not received much coverage in the mainstream media.

Fortunately the American Civil Liberties Union is alert to efforts undermining free speech. Thus, in a July 20th article on the ACLU website about S. 720/H.R. 1697, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, Bryan Hauss, Staff Attorney, wrote:

The bill would amend existing law to prohibit people in the United States from supporting boycotts targeting Israel — making it a felony to choose not to engage in commerce with companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Violations would be punishable by a civil penalty that could reach $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

Hauss continues:

The bill is aimed at advocates of boycotts targeting Israel, most notably the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement — a global campaign that seeks to apply economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with international law. Specifically, the bill sponsors intend the act as a response to the U.N. Human Rights Council’s 2016 resolution calling on companies to respect human rights, including in occupied Palestinian territories. No matter what you think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one thing is clear: The First Amendment protects the right to engage in political boycotts.

Amazingly, supporters of this bill seem to have a problem with calling on companies to respect human rights! Who would draft such a problematic bill that stifles free speech and nonviolent political action?

The Intercept website carried a July 19th article by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Grim that said:

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.” Indeed, AIPAC, in its 2017 lobbying agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year.

This AIPAC-influenced bill is consistent with AIPAC’s long-term pattern of advocating for the interests of a foreign nation, Israel. AIPAC is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C. and many members of Congress seem to automatically toe its line. Thus it is not surprising that 46 senators and 245 representatives have already signed on to the bill originally introduced on March 23rd.

Greenwald and Grim added that cosponsors include liberal Senators Ron Wyden, Richard Blumenthal, Maria Cantwell as well as conservative Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse. In the House, cosponsors include conservatives such as Jason Chaffetz, Liz Cheney, and Peter King as well as liberals Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell. Greenwald and Grim noted that these latter three members, who have built a wide public following by posturing as opponents of authoritarianism, are cosponsoring one of the most oppressive and authoritarian bills that has pended before Congress in quite some time.

Many of the cosponsors claim they were unaware of the penalties that could be applied in the bill whereas a few others state that they have a different reading of the bill, particularly related to the criminal penalties.

In addition to using AIPAC and other groups to lobby Congress, Israel previously directly inserted itself into our legislative process. For example, in 2015 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blatantly campaigned to derail the nuclear agreement with Iran. Also of concern, many U.S. and Israeli political experts thought Netanyahu clearly tried to sway the outcome in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

We must protect our free speech by opposing this highly questionable bill designed to benefit a foreign nation. In Colorado this means questioning Senator Bennet and Representatives Lamborn, Coffman and Buck, about their support for this appalling bill. We can also thank the other members of the Colorado delegation for not cosponsoring this terrible affront to free speech and the Constitution.

Ron Forthofer is a retired professor of biostatistics from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston and was a Green Party candidate for Congress and also for governor of Colorado.

July 27, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment