IN THE FINAL DAYS leading up to Maryland’s Democratic voters going to the polls on Tuesday to choose their U.S. Senate nominee, Rep. Donna Edwards has been barraged by ads and mailers from the Super PAC backing her opponent, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, called the Committee for Maryland’s Progress.
A television ad assails Edwards as “one of the least effective members of Congress,” contrasting her career with Van Hollen’s legislative record. It mentions no foreign policy issues, despite the dominant issue motivating one of the Super PAC’s largest funders.
Recently released disclosures reveal that $100,000 — a sixth of what the Super PAC has raised —comes from a single source: a donation by pro-Israel billionaire Haim Saban.
A “One-Issue Guy”
Saban, who made his fortune in the media and entertainment industry, has spent millions of dollars influencing the foreign policy establishment, including by sponsoring the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy and funding the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is also one of the largest donors to Hillary Clinton’s Super PACs. In a 2010 interview with the New Yorker, he described himself as a “one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”
Last year, he briefly teamed up with GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson to sponsor an effort to counter university boycotts and divestment from Israel’s occupation. “When it comes to Israel, we are absolutely on the same page,” he said of Adelson. “When it comes to this, there is no light between us at all.”
Following the Paris terrorist attacks, Saban called for “more scrutiny” of Muslims. “You want to be free and dead? I’d rather be not free and alive. The reality is that certain things that are unacceptable in times of peace — such as profiling, listening in on anyone and everybody who looks suspicious, or interviewing Muslims in a more intense way than interviewing Christian refugees — is all acceptable [during war],” he told The Wrap. “Why? Because we value life more than our civil liberties and it’s temporary until the problem goes away.”
Days later, he walked back his remarks, saying he “misspoke” and that all “refugees coming from Syria” should “require additional scrutiny,” regardless of religion.
A Maryland Divide Over Israel and the Palestinians
Last week, Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times wrote that the Maryland Senate race involves “slight differences in policy.” But on Israel and the Palestinians, Edwards has significantly departed from the status quo in votes and statements in ways that her opponent has not.
During “Operation Cast Lead,” the sustained bombing campaign of Gaza that began in late 2008 and lasted through the middle of January 2009, 390 members of Congress, including Van Hollen, voted in favor of a one-sided resolution affirming support for Israel’s conduct during the war; Edwards voted “present.”
In November of 2009, the House of Representatives voted 344 to 36 to call on the administration to oppose endorsement of the United Nations’ “Goldstone Report,” which described war crimes by both Israel and Hamas during the previous year’s war. Van Hollen voted with the majority, and Edwards was one of the few who voted no.
Following the 2010 deaths of activists aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the territory under Israeli blockade, Israeli officials and right-wing supporters of the government there denied that there was a growing humanitarian crisis in the territory.
“I think all international institutions have acknowledged a humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” Edwards told me at the time. “I have long said that I don’t think the blockade is really sustainable for the people of Gaza.” Van Hollen’s statement on the event — highlighted on AIPAC’s website — was more muted; it did not condemn the embargo but affirmed that the “U.S. must also continue to make sure humanitarian assistance is able to reach the people of Gaza.”
In November 2015, all but one member of the Maryland congressional delegation signed onto a House letter written to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemning the “recent wave of Palestinian violence in Israel and the West Bank.” By mid-October seven Israelis had been killed in stabbings and similar incidents, and dozens had been wounded. In the same time frame, almost 30 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli military attacks and nearly 2,000 had been injured.
Van Hollen signed the letter, Edwards did not. Asked by Washington Jewish Week why she did not sign the letter, she gave a brief statement condemning the violence as a whole, not just one side’s attacks:
I condemn the violence affecting the lives of Israelis and Palestinians, and urge both sides to return to the negotiating table to seek peace. It is critical that we ensure the State of Israel as a secure Jewish democratic state by making a two-state solution a reality, with the recognition of an independent Palestinian state that respects and recognizes the State of Israel.
“If you take their records side by side, she’s in the bottom 5 percent of the class and he’s up there, among the top,” Morris J. Amitay, a former AIPAC executive director, said in comments to the Baltimore Sun. “I’ve never seen such a disparity.”
Pluto-Zionism is the three-way marriage of plutocracy, right-wing Zionism and US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a serial war criminal, racist and servant of Wall Street. How did this deadly ménage-a-trois come about? The answer is that a stratospherically wealthy donor group, dedicated to promoting Israel’s dominance in the Middle East and deepening US military intervention in the region, has secured Clinton’s unconditional support for Tel Aviv’s ambitions and, in exchange, Hilary receives scores of millions to finance her Democratic Party foot soldiers and voters for her campaign.
Pluto-Zionism and Clinton
Pluto-Zionists comprise the leading financial backers of Clinton. Her million-dollar backers, among the most powerful financiers and media moguls in America, include: George Soros ($6 million), Marc Benioff, Roger Altman, Steven Spielberg, Haim and Cheryl Saban ($3 million and counting), Jeffrey Katzenberg, Donald Sussman, Herb Sandler, Jay and Mark Pritzker, S. Daniel Abraham ($1 million), Bernard Schwartz, Marc Lasry, Paul Singer, David Geffen, Fred Eychaner, Norman Braman and Bernie Marcus. Waiting in the wings are the Republican billionaire ‘king-makers’, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, the Koch brothers as well as the ‘liberal’ multi-billionaire, Michael Bloomberg who had contributed $11 million in 2012 elections. These erstwhile Republican funders are increasing frightened by the anti-‘free trade and anti-intervention’ rhetoric of their party’s front-runner, Donald Trump, and are approaching the solidly pro-Israel, pro-war and pro-Wall Street candidate, Madame Clinton.
Israeli-First Ideologues and Clinton
In addition to the powerful Pluto-Zionists, a vast army of Israel-First ideologues is behind Clinton, including ‘veteran’ arm-chair war mongers like Victoria Nuland Kagan, Donald and Robert Kagan, Robert Zoellick, Michael Chertoff, Dov Zakheim among so many other promoters of Washington’s continuous wars on many fronts. Ms Nuland-Kagan, as US Undersecretary of State for East European Affairs, openly bragged about using hundreds of millions of dollars of US taxpayer money to finance the right-wing Ukrainian coup. Michael Chertoff, as head of Homeland Security after 9/11, jailed thousands of innocent Muslims while freeing five Israeli-Mossad agents arrested by the FBI for suspected involvement or pre-knowledge of the attacks in New York after they were seen filming the collapse of the towers and celebrating the event from a warehouse rooftop in New Jersey!).
Pluto-Zionists and the Israel-First ideologues support Ms Clinton as a reward for her extraordinary military and economic activities on behalf of Tel Aviv’s quest for regional dominance. Her accomplishments for the Jewish State include the promotion of full-scale wars, which have destroyed Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan; economic sanctions and blockade against Iran (she threatened to ‘obliterate Iran’ in 2007; and her own repeatedly stated unconditional support for Israel’s devastation against the people imprisoned in Gaza, which has cost thousands of civilian lives and rendered hundreds of thousands homeless. (In a letter to her ‘banker’, Haim Saban, Hillary stated: “Israel didn’t teach Hamas (the people of Gaza) a harsh enough lesson last year”).
Clinton versus Trump: ‘Moderation’ is in the Eyes of the Deceiver
The Pluto-Zionists, Israel-First ideologues, the US mass media and their acolytes on Wall Street and the Republican and Democratic Party elite are all on a rampage against the wildly popular Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, labeling him as ‘a danger to everything America stands for. (sic)’ Apart from savaging his persona, the anti-Trump chorus contrast his ‘extremism’ with warmonger Clinton’s ‘pragmatism’.
A careful examination of the facts reveals who is the ultra-extremist and who deals with reality:
Madame Clinton’s much touted wars against the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya have killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of women and children and uprooted millions of households. This bloody and undeniable record of mayhem was cited by Donald Trump when he argued that his policies would be much better for women than the Feminist Clinton’s had been.
So far, Trump’s worst offenses against women are his crude rhetorical misogynist quips, which pale before Hillary’s bloody record of devastation.
Clinton is backed by the leading black politicians who have long fed out of the Democratic Party patronage trough while selling the Clintons to the black electorate as ardent protectors of civil rights. In fact, as Steve Lendman has written, Hillary had referred to marginalized black youth as “super predators (with) no conscience, no empathy”. During her husband Bill’s presidency, she was on record supporting his draconian ‘three strikes’ crime laws, leading to the mass incarceration of hundreds of thousands of young blacks; and she backed his ‘welfare reform’ program, which shredded the social safety net for the poor and forced millions of impoverished mothers to work for sub-poverty wages, further eroding the stability of black female-headed households. On the African front, ‘Sister’ Secretary of State Hillary’s war on Libya led to the displacement, rape and murder of tens of thousands of black women of sub-Saharan origin at the hands of her jihadi war-lord allies. Millions of black sub-Saharan migrants had lived and worked in Gadhafi’s Libya for years, tens of thousands becoming Libyan citizens. They endured the horror of rampant ethnic cleansing in Clinton’s ‘liberated’ Libya.
Trump, at worst, has done nothing of direct harm to African Americans and remains an enigma on black issues. He opposes Clinton’s war on Libya and has vividly blamed her policies as responsible for the chaos and human misery in post-NATO bombing Libya.
Under the Obama-Clinton administration almost 2 million Latino immigrants have been seized from their homes and workplaces, separated from their families and summarily expelled. As Madame Secretary of State, Clinton backed the Honduran military coup that overthrew the elected government of President Zelaya and led directly to assassination of over three hundred activists, including feminist, indigenous, human rights and environmental leaders, like Berta Caceres. Clinton actively backed unsuccessful coups against the democratically elected Bolivian and Venezuelan governments.
Trump has verbally threatened to extend and deepen the Obama-Clinton expulsion of whatever remains of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrant Latino workers after Obama’s expulsion of the 2 million and the hundreds of thousands who have voluntarily gone home. His ‘extremist’ vision is completely in line with that of his allegedly ‘pragmatic’ opponent whose State Department promoted the destruction of so many Latino families in the US.
Clinton has launched or promoted more simultaneous wars than any Secretary of State in US history. She was the leading force behind the US bombing of Libya and the brutal ‘regime change’ that has fractured that nation. She promoted the military escalation in Iraq, backed the violent seizure of power in Ukraine, ‘engineered’ the military build-up (pivot to Asia) against China and negotiated the continued presence of thousands of US troops in Afghanistan.
Clinton has repeatedly pledged to her supporter Haim Saban and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Victoria Nuland Kagan, Donald and Robert Kagan, Robert Zoellick, Michael Chertoff, Dov Zakheim that she will give Israel with “all the necessary military, diplomatic, economic and moral support it needs to vanquish Hamas” regardless of the many thousands of Palestinian civilian casualties. The ‘pragmatic feminist’ Hillary is a fervent supporter of the Saudi despotism and its genocide war against the popular forces in Yemen. Hillary tried to pressure President Obama to send US ground troops into Syria. She promotes the continuation of harsh trade sanctions against Russia.
Trump opposes any further direct US intervention in the Middle East. During his debate in South Carolina, he repeatedly denounced President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq – as based on ‘deliberate lies to the American people’, to the shock and horror of the Republican Party elite. He has rejected Pluto-Zionist financing, arguing that only as an independent ‘honest broker’, who doesn’t take the side of Israel in its conflict with Palestinians, can he be effective in brokering a ‘deal’. He opposes sending ground troops overseas to Europe or Asia, which imposes a huge financial burden on the US taxpayers. He has gone on to suggest that European and Asian powers can and should pay for their own defense. Trump argues that the US could work with Putin against radical Islamist terrorism and he regards Russia as a potential trading partner. His anti-interventionism has been labeled as ‘isolationist’ by the Pluto-Zionist ideologues and militarist warlords holed up in their Washington think tanks, but Trump’s ‘America First’ resonates profoundly with the war-weary and economically devastated US electorate.
Clinton has totally and unconditionally pledged to widen and deepen US subordination to Israel’s war aims in the Middle East and to defend Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and within apartheid Israel. As a result, Clinton has built a coalition made-up of unsavory mafia-linked, gambling, media and speculator billionaires, whose first loyalty is not to America but Israel. She denounces all critics of Israel as ‘anti-Semites’.
Trump has never been a critic of Israel but he has called for greater ‘evenhandedness’, which is anathema within Zionist circles. For that reason he has not secured a single Pluto-Zionist supporter. So far, he has not been labelled an anti-Semite…. perhaps because his own daughter converted to Judaism following her marriage, but his lack of effusive philo-Zionism has him marked as ‘unreliable’ to the Jewish State. As a subterfuge for his lack of servility to Tel Aviv, Democratic Party Zionist hacks emphasize his ‘racism’ and ‘fascist’ tendencies…
The Democratic Elections: The Real Muck
Clinton currently leads Sanders for the Democratic nomination mostly on the basis of non-elected delegates, the so-called ‘super delegates’, who are party loyalists appointed by the bosses and elite politicians. Sanders’ call for a “political revolution in America” has no traction unless there is first a political revolution within the Democratic Party. But the Democratic Party is like the Augean Stable – a clean up requiring a Herculean effort and a loud pugnacious leader with a big broom. Senator Sanders is no Hercules.
As a positive beginning, Sanders has mobilized grass roots support, raised progressive health, education and tax policies that adversely affect Clinton’s billionaire Wall Street backers (Big financier Jaime Diamond called Sanders ‘the most dangerous man in America’), and secured millions of contributions from small donors. But he has failed to target and demand the exit of the Pluto-Zionists, the Wall Street bankers and speculators and venal black politicians controlling the Democratic Party. They run the elections of US presidents and will make sure Hillary Clinton secures the nomination by hook or (more likely) crook.
Clinton is backed by this formidable authoritarian (profoundly anti-democratic) electoral machine. She is totally embedded in the process. Clinton has a track record of enthusiastic support for the barbarism of torture – laughing at and cheering on the torture-death of the wounded Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. In the pursuit of wars and war crimes, Hillary Clinton knows no limit and has borne no accountability. What makes Hillary so terrifyingly dangerous is that she could be ‘Commander in Chief’ of a great military power. While Clinton may be no Hitler, the US is vastly more engaged in world politics than Weimer Germany ever was. Her dictate would bring on global destruction.
If the Democratic primaries are as profoundly undemocratic as they have been in the past, the Republicans and their plutocrat partners are openly planning and plotting to ‘Dump the Donald’ and prevent Trump from obtaining an electoral victory. They have been discussing ways to use convention procedures to undermine a majority vote, and set up a ‘brokered convention’, where the ‘big-wigs’ jigger the delegates, rules and voting procedures behind closed doors robbing the populist front-runner of his party candidacy.
The US presidential primaries reveal in all their facets the decay and corruption of democracy in an era of imperial decline. The ascendancy of a financial oligarchy in the Democratic Party, backing a psychopathic militarist, like Hillary, cannot disguise her track record by labeling their candidate a ‘pragmatist’; the majority of Sanders supporters have no illusions about Madame Clinton. Panic and hysteria among an unsavory elite in the Republican Party and its efforts to block a sui-generis conservative Republican isolationist speaks to the fragility of imperial rule.
If the psychopathic war-monger Clinton is crowned the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, there is no way she can be considered the pragmatic ‘lesser evil’ to Donald Trump or any Republican – their bosses decide to spew out. At best, she might be the ‘equal evil’. In this case, more than 50% of the electorate will not vote. If, after being robbed of his growing movement for the Democratic Party candidacy, ‘Bernie’ Sanders does not break out with an independent bid for the White House, I will join the minuscule 1% who vote for Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein.
James Petras is author of The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East.
While those on the Republican side of the aisle are able to parade their support for the brutal, racist, and horrific Zionist settler state of Israel as a positive aspect of their campaigns, Democrats generally need to be a little more couched in terms of their position on Israel. This is not because the Democratic Party is any less dedicated to the facilitation of the Israeli campaign of extermination of the Palestinians, promotion of Israeli aggression in the Middle East, or any less beholden to AIPAC or the Israel lobby than the Republican Party. It is merely because a sizeable portion of the base of the Democratic party are either legitimately anti-war, opposed to genocide, or simply consumed with the desire to take up human rights causes (real or imagined).
Hillary Clinton, however, has been open in her unwavering support for the Zionist settler state on numerous occasions.
For instance, in 2000, when Clinton was running for New York Senate, she became embroiled in a Senate debate that essentially turned into a contest of who could placate and pledge allegiance to Israel the most. Clinton seems to have won that debate. Consider the brief exchange:
Q: In recent weeks, scores of people have been killed in the Middle East. In view of what’s happened, do you think there should be a Palestinian state now?
CLINTON: Only as part of a comprehensive peace agreement. That’s always been my position, that [it should] guarantee Israel’s safety and security and the parties should agree at the negotiating table. A unilateral declaration is absolutely unacceptable and it would mean the end of any US aid.
LAZIO: That’s a change of heart for Mrs. Clinton, because back in 1998 you called for a Palestinian state. You undercut the Israeli negotiating position. The people of New York want to have somebody who has a consistent record. For eight years I have been consistent and strong in my support for the security of the state of Israel. Without equivocation. Without a question mark next to my name.
CLINTON: There is no question mark next to me. There’s an exclamation point. I am an emphatic, unwavering supporter of Israel’s safety and security. 
Clinton has also supported the “West Bank Barrier,” a construction that is not so much a border fence as it is a Ghetto divider. “This is not against the Palestinian people. This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism,” she stated.
In 2006, Clinton attended a pro-Israel rally being held outside the United Nations headquarters in New York where she expressed support for Israel in the 2006 Lebanese-Israeli conflict. Clinton lumped Hamas and Hezbollah into the same category, condemning both, and expressing her undying love for the Israelis. “We are here to show solidarity and support for Israel. We will stand with Israel, because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones,” she said.
Clinton has long opposed steps by the Palestinian Authority to attempt to declare its own state and receive recognition of Palestinian statehood. While the standard American line on the conflict is that a two-state solution is the only solution, Clinton has consistently opposed Palestinian efforts to seek full membership with the UN. Instead, Clinton suggested that the Palestinians should negotiate one-on-one with the Israelis, a method of negotiation that has brought the Palestinians nothing over the last 80 years. Obviously, Clinton’s line is one that would have the Palestinians weighed down in attempt to reason with the unreasonable until the Israeli war of attrition and genocide is completed. Eventually, when there are no Palestinians left, there will be no more Palestinian conflict. The logic is there but the morals are not.
Clinton has also stated her support for “A strong Israeli military,” saying that it “is always essential, but no defense is perfect. And over the long run, nothing would do more to secure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state than a comprehensive peace.” In addition to supporting a strong Israeli military – courtesy of the American taxpayer – it is worthy of note that Clinton would likely find it difficult to recognize another country as a “Muslim” or “Christian” state.
In 2012, Clinton invoked the personal. She stated “protecting Israel’s future is not simply a matter of policy for me, it’s personal. I know with all my heart how important it is that our relation goes from strength to strength. I am looking forward to returning to Israel as a private citizen on a commercial plane.”
In 2014, Hillary offered strong support for the Israeli government, the state of Israel, and Benjamin Netanyahu when she stated in an interview with the Atlantic that “I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to Hamas rockets. Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command and control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult.” Clinton was referring to the Israeli bombing of Gaza which resulted in large numbers of dead civilians and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, all of which Clinton simply chalked up to the “mistakes” of war.
As Shadi Ashtari of the Huffington Post wrote regarding Clinton’s defense of Israel’s war operation,
The fog of war may be more of a Rorschach test, it turns out.
Here’s Hillary Clinton, on the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine: “I think if there were any doubt it should be gone by now, that Vladimir Putin, certainly indirectly … bears responsibility for what happened.”
And here’s Clinton, on the bombing of a United Nations facility in Gaza: “I’m not sure it’s possible to parcel out blame because it’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war.”
The two remarks were made less than three weeks apart, and offer a window into how one’s view of how the world should be, can color how it’s seen — or at least how it’s relayed to the public.
In her July interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Clinton forcefully implicated the Russian leader in a strike that claimed the lives of 298 passengers after overwhelming evidence indicated that Russian-supplied rebels shot down passenger liner MH17.
A few weeks later, on July 30, five Israeli shells rained down on a U.N. school at the Jabalia refugee camp, killing more than 15 people, mostly women and children. The attack, which also wounded more than 100 civilians, marked the second time in a week that a U.N. school housing hundreds of homeless Palestinians had been targeted.
Indeed, Clinton has been vocal enough in support of Israel and its brutal treatment of Palestinians that Peter Beinart, an academic who regularly comments on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, once labeled her as “the Israeli government’s best spokesperson.”
Gary Luepp of Counterpunch describes Hillary’s position on Israel as by writing that,
She has been an unremitting supporter of Israeli aggression, whenever it occurs. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz described her last year as “Israel’s new lawyer” given her sympathetic view of Binyamin Netanyahu’s 2014 bombardment of Gaza and even his desire to maintain “security” throughout the occupied West Bank. She postured as an opponent of Israel’s unrelenting, illegal settlements of Palestinian territory in 2009, but backed down when Netanyahu simply refused to heed U.S. calls for a freeze. In her memoir she notes “our early, hard line on settlements didn’t work”—as though she’s apologizing for it.
In 1999 as First Lady, Hillary Clinton hugged and kissed Yassir Arafat’s wife Suha during a trip to the West Bank. She advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state. She changed her tune when she ran for the New York Senate seat. When it comes to the Middle East, she is a total, unprincipled opportunist.
It is this “opportunism” that Hillary is putting to good use when attempting to suck up money from wealthy Jewish donors. As Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti write for Politico in their article “Hillary Clinton Signals To Jewish Donors: I’ll Be Better For Israel,”
Hillary Clinton is privately signaling to wealthy Jewish donors that — no matter the result of the Iranian nuclear negotiations — she will be a better friend to Israel than President Barack Obama.
But, even as donors increasingly push Clinton on the subject in private, they have emerged with sometimes widely varying interpretations about whether she would support a prospective deal, according to interviews with more than 10 influential donors and fundraising operatives.
. . . . .
. . . . .
At a fundraiser last month at the Long Island home of Democratic donor Jay Jacobs, Clinton was asked by an Orthodox rabbi about threats to Israel’s security. “She did stress in no uncertain terms her full and fervent support of the state of Israel and the defense of the state of Israel,” recalled Jacobs. “And the people in the audience who heard it seemed to be comfortable with her answer.”
. . . . . .
Clinton’s allies are carefully monitoring the sensitivities of a handful of hawkish Democratic mega-donors for signs that the Iran talks may be influencing their willingness to write million-dollar super PAC checks. Chief among that group is billionaire Hollywood entrepreneur Haim Saban, who sources say has spoken multiple times with Clinton and her top aides about the deal.
In April, he strongly suggested that Clinton opposed the deal. “I know where she stands, but I can’t talk about it,” Saban told an Israeli television news channel, adding under questioning, “She has an opinion, a very well-defined opinion. And in any case, everything that she thinks and everything she has done and will do will always be for the good of Israel. We don’t need to worry about this.”
If one simply goes by Clinton’s campaign rhetoric and public speeches, then it is entirely justified to be unaware of Clinton’s position on the Iran deal, the State of Israel, or a possible plan for peace. If one follows the money and observes her past history, however, Hillary’s position on Israel is abundantly clear.
 “Hillary Clinton On War And Peace.” On The Issues. http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Hillary_Clinton_War_+_Peace.htm Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 “New York Senatorial Campaign Debate.” September 13, 2000. C-SPAN. http://www.c-span.org/video/?159214-1/new-york-senatorial-campaign-debate Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Benhorin, Yitzhak. “Settlements, Iran, and Hamas: Hillary Clinton’s Israel Policy.” YNet News. April 12, 2015. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4646394,00.html Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Benhorin, Yitzhak. “Settlements, Iran, and Hamas: Hillary Clinton’s Israel Policy.” YNet News. April 12, 2015. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4646394,00.html Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Benhorin, Yitzhak. “Settlements, Iran, and Hamas: Hillary Clinton’s Israel Policy.” YNet News. April 12, 2015. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4646394,00.html Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Ashtari, Shadi. “Hillary Clinton Twists Herself In Knots To Avoid Blaming Israel For UN Bombing.” Huffington Post. August 13, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/hillary-clinton-israel-gaza-school-bombing_n_5672881.html Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Merica, Dan. “With Vocal Support Of Israel, Clinton Rankles Pro-Palestinian Americans.” CNN. August 11, 2014. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/08/11/with-vocal-support-of-israel-clinton-rankles-pro-palestinian-americans/ Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Luepp, Gary. “The Warmongering Record Of Hillary Clinton.” Counterpunch. February 11, 2015. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/11/the-warmongering-record-of-hillary-clinton/ Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Crowley, Michael. “Iran Talks: 5 Key Things To Watch.” Politico. June 27, 2015. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/iran-nuclear-talks-geneva-john-kerry-5-things-to-watch-119482 Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Karni, Annie. “Clinton On Iran: ‘Diplomacy Deserves A Chance To Succeed.’” Politico. April 2, 2015. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/clinton-on-iran-deal-diplomacy-deserves-a-chance-to-succeed-116646 Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Crowley, Michael. “Hillary Clinton’s Secret Iran Man.” Politico. April 3, 2015. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/hillary-clintons-secret-iran-man-116647 Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 “Hillary Clinton: No Deal Better Than ‘Bad Deal’ With Iran.” Associated Press. May 14, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/14/hillary-clinton-iran_n_5323991.html Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Friedman, Naomi. “Saban Hints: Clinton Opposes Iran Deal.” The Hill. April 17, 2015. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/239091-saban-hints-clinton-opposes-the-iran-deal Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Goodman, Alana. “Top Pro-Israel Donor Unsure Of Clinton’s Position On Iran Deal.” April 21, 2015. http://freebeacon.com/politics/top-pro-israel-donor-unsure-of-clintons-position-on-iran-deal/ Accessed on September 8, 2015.
 Vogel, Kenneth P.; Parti, Tarini. “Hillary Clinton Signals To Jewish Donors: I’ll Be Better For Israel.” Politico. July 3, 2015. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/hillary-clinton-jewish-donors-israel-119705 Accessed on September 8, 2015.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President.
Brandon Turbeville’s new book, The Difference It Makes: 36 Reasons Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President is available in three different formats: Hardcopy (available here), Amazon Kindle for only .99 (available here), and a Free PDF Format (accessible free from his website, BrandonTurbeville.com).
Hillary Clinton has written a letter to Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban (left), pledging to speak out publicly against the BDS campaign aimed at Israel
American billionaire George Soros donated $6 million to a super-PAC financing US Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton last month, a report says.
Soros has now provided a total of $7 million in this election cycle to Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC which raised $41 million on behalf of Clinton in 2015, according to the committee’s statement issued on Sunday.
The super-PAC raised $25.3 million during the last 6 months, and Soros’s contribution accounted for almost a quarter of its funding haul.
Haim Saban, an Israeli-American media tycoon, and his wife Cheryl have contributed a total of $5 million to Clinton’s super-PAC.
Clinton has written a letter to Saban, pledging to speak out publicly against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign aimed at Israel.
Wealthy individuals, who are restricted by law from giving large amounts directly to candidates’ campaigns, donate to political action committees, commonly known as super-PACs.
American billionaire George Soros has contributed a total of $7 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign so far
In the 2010 Citizens United case ruling, the US Supreme Court allowed unlimited independent spending by corporations in elections.
According to a study published by the New York Times, wealthy individuals and corporations have begun to replace powerless people as direct beneficiaries of the US political system and the Constitution.
Clinton is maintaining a slim lead over Senator Bernie Sanders in Iowa, according to a poll released on Saturday.
Clinton beat out rival Sanders in the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll. She has 45 percent support, with Sanders at 42 percent.
On Saturday, The New York Times endorsed Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination, a potential boost for the candidate two days before the Iowa caucuses.
Times editors wrote that they chose Clinton over her main rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, due to her experience and policy ideas.
The editorial board described Clinton as “one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.”
Israeli-American tycoons Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson have vowed to punish those who boycott Israel, focusing their attacks first on US campuses.
The campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel over its apartheid policies toward the Palestinians has gained momentum globally in recent months.
This week, the French telecommunications giant Orange announced to withdraw its brand from the Israeli market.
In response, media mogul Haim Saban vowed on Saturday to fight back so forcefully against Orange that any other company thinking of boycotting Israel would reconsider it.
The French telecom giant Orange announced June 4 that it would terminate its relationship with its Israeli affiliate, Partner Communications. (Getty Images)
“We do have an anti-Semitic [sic] tsunami that’s coming at us,” said Saban of the international campaign to boycott and isolate Israel.
He said Israeli lobbies will create a climate that forces any business group considering boycotting Israel to revise its strategy.
Saban was speaking in a joint interview with the billionaire Sheldon Adelson on an Israeli television channel.
Adelson, for his part, added that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions global campaign and the increasingly popular anti-Israeli organizations in the US will be the first targets who’ll meet Israeli punishment.
He said his focus was to reverse the inroads being made by “the BDS… the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organizations [that] are making a lot of headway on the campuses in the United States.”
He said he would call on Jewish groups in the US to work against decisions taken by student campus groups to boycott Israel.
Israeli supporters in the US have said that the growing international campaign to boycott Israel over its atrocities against the people of Palestine is one of Tel Aviv’s greatest challenges.
The campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel has gained momentum in recent months.
Israel has faced the widening boycott campaign by several European businesses over its illegal settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian land.
Two of Europe’s biggest financial institutions have boycotted transactions with Israeli companies involved in the settlement construction.
The European Union has also blocked all grants and funding to any Israeli entity based in the illegal settlements.
The American Studies Association has also announced a decision to boycott Israeli institutions and academics over the discriminatory treatment of Palestinians.
Israelis are frustrated in the face of the growing boycott campaign. Israeli officials have held several meetings in an attempt to find a strategy to counter the boycotts.
It’s kind of one of those pictures that are “worth a thousand words,” don’t you think? What you’re looking at is Obama onstage with media mogul and Israeli dual national Haim Saban, who has stated previously, “I’m a one issue guy, and my issue is Israel.” The photo was taken last weekend at the Saban Forum, held in Washington. During the event Saban and Obama appeared together for what was billed as a “conversation” on the Middle East, but basically it was a one-on-one press conference—with Saban doing the grilling and Obama doing the answering. Do the facial expressions in the photo, the body language, suggest anything to you—like for instance which of the two figures is dominant and which is submissive?
Saban, of course, has lots of money. In 2002 he provided a $13 million grant which established the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, and which is part of the larger Brookings Institution think tank. Today he is a major funder of political candidates, particularly of the Democratic Party. You can go here and watch a 48-minute video of his “conversation” with Obama, which includes a few questions from the audience towards the end (all of the people selected to ask questions in that closing segment, coincidentally, happen to be Israelis). At one point, Saban jokingly remarks upon how “obedient” Obama is. A little later in the video, Obama states the following:
“The one thing I will say to the people of Israel is that you can be assured, whoever is in the office I currently occupy, Democrat or Republican, that your security will be uppermost on our minds. That will not change.”
Does it not strike you as a curious comment? Why would the security of a foreign nation be “uppermost” in the minds of the leaders of a supposedly sovereign country? But then maybe America is no longer a sovereign nation.
Obama indeed proves his “obedience” by never once bringing up Israel’s nuclear weapons. Much of the conversation is dominated by talk about Iran’s domestic nuclear energy program. The president at one point repeats the standard, stock-in-trade “options-on-the-table” remark—which in essence is nothing more than a threat to attack Iran—yet nowhere, in the entire 48-minute video, does the subject of Israel’s nuclear weapons come up.
A report on the Saban Forum was posted recently at the Mondoweiss blog. While the article mentions the “conversation” between Obama and Saban, much of the piece is devoted to the remarks of John Kerry, who delivered the keynote address for the event. Allison Deger, the author of the report, notes that Kerry expressed the view that Palestinians in the West Bank are deserving of “state institutions” (as opposed to an actual state) of their own, a comment which seems to have prompted Deger to draw the conclusion that “Palestinian statehood is not on the table in the current round of peace talks.” It is a not unreasonable conclusion to draw.
Kerry also referred to Palestinians as a “demographic time bomb” threatening to jeopardize Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state”—apparently the secretary of state’s first public expression of concern over the so-called “demographic threat.” But perhaps most interesting is what Deger reports on comments by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who also attended the event:
Even though Lieberman was amongst a crowd of Washington and Israeli officials familiar with his anti-Arab diatribes, audible gasps could be heard throughout the room when he called to expel Palestinian citizens of Israel. A diplomat from the Russian embassy seated next to me even choked. Another moment of discontent between the plated-dinner audience and Lieberman passed when the foreign minister made a forlorn pun at Sen. Joe Lieberman. Otherwise the foreign minister was amongst allies.
Much has been made of the recent bone of contention between Obama and Netanyahu over the negotiations with Iran, with some suggesting that the US president is beginning to assert himself and to defy the Israeli lobby on some key, important issues. Is it simply wishful thinking on the part of some commentators? I don’t pretend to know the answer to that, but if there was any note of defiance struck at last weekend’s Saban Forum, all I can say is it is extremely difficult to detect.
The following information on Saban comes from Wikipedia:
In March 2008, Saban was among a group of major Jewish donors to sign a letter to Democratic Party house leader Nancy Pelosi warning her to “keep out of the Democratic presidential primaries.” The donors, who “were strong supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign”, “were incensed by a March 16 interview in which Pelosi said that party ‘superdelegates’ should heed the will of the majority in selecting a candidate.” The letter to Pelosi stated the donors “have been strong supporters of the DCCC” [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and implied, according to The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, that Pelosi could lose their financial support in important upcoming congressional elections.
And also this:
Regarding Jane Harman AIPAC Controversy, in April 2009, New York Times, quoting anonymous sources, said a caller promised her that Saban would withhold campaign contributions to Representative Nancy Pelosi if she did not select Ms. Harman for the intelligence post.”
And additionally this:
Saban says his greatest concern is to protect Israel. At a conference in Israel, Saban described his formula. His three ways to influence American politics were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.
- John Kerry Is Israel’s Best Friend – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
Haim Saban and Barack Obama pay tribute to Hillary Clinton: “People can work together on behalf of the country they love”
Aired: November 30, 2012 on C-SPAN
The Saban Forum 2012 (which focuses on Middle East issues as related to U.S. foreign policy) kicked off with a keynote speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s remarks were immediately preceded by a tribute video to her career in service of the United States. President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and others are featured offering praise for Secretary Clinton’s life, career, and good works.
- Not Even a Star-Studded Tribute Can Convince Hillary Clinton to Run for President (Yet) (jezebel.com)
- The case against Hillary (salon.com)
- Hillary is Running: A Dispatch from the Saban Forum (newyorker.com)
Humanitarian Buffer Zones in Syria — How misinformation obscures the Israel lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy
A recent Russia Today report offers an insight into how misinformation on the internet helps to obscure the influence of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy. In an October 11 report on the widening Syria conflict, the Russian television channel’s website cited an interview with an independent journalist regarding news of the establishment of so-called humanitarian buffer zones on Syrian territory. According to the RT report, citing Nile Bowie, the idea originated with “US hawks”:
“The US think-tank – the Brookings Institute – in March 2012 published a report entitled ‘Assessing Regime Change Options in Syria,’ where they specifically cite the creation of a buffer zone or a humanitarian corridor as a means to base certain rebel groups in the region [and] to project force towards the Syrian government in an attempt to topple it. So that appears to be what is playing out at the moment.”
The facts above are basically correct. There is, however, a crucial omission. The report in question — actually entitled “Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” — was the work of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. The Saban Center was established in 2002 when Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban pledged nearly $13 million to the Brookings Institution. As Saban told an Israeli conference in 2010, establishing think tanks — along with making donations to political parties and controlling media outlets — is one of “three ways to be influential in American politics.” The billionaire’s sole motivation for wanting to influence policy in Washington is no secret. “I’m a one-issue guy,” Saban famously told the New York Times, “and my issue is Israel.”
It’s also worth noting that at least one of the co-authors of “Saving Syria” appears to share Haim Saban’s overriding concern for Israel. In 2006, Kenneth Pollack, currently director of the Saban Center, was mentioned in the indictment against Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman as one of the government officials who provided classified information on Iran to the then AIPAC employees charged with espionage.
Nile Bowie’s omission of the Israeli source of the regime change proposals for Syria appears to have been unintentional though. As recently as September 24, the Kuala Lumpur-based American journalist wrote about the pro-Israel connections of U.S. groups supporting the Malaysian opposition. So how did he miss the equally blatant Israeli connection behind the Saban Center’s blueprint for regime change in Damascus?
Bowie most likely learned of the Brookings report from “an alternative news blog based in Bangkok, Thailand covering geopolitics.” Run by a former U.S. marine by the name of Tony Cartalucci, the Land Destroyer blog (the second of ten sites linked to by Bowie’s blog) has written about “Assessing Options for Regime Change” perhaps more often than any other source. One of those pieces posted on October 3 entitled “Turkey Attempts to Trigger War Vs. Syria” even features an image of the Saban Center’s “Saving Syria.” The caption underneath the image, however, reads:
The Brookings Institution, Middle East Memo #21 “Assessing Options for Regime Change (.pdf),” makes no secret that the humanitarian “responsibility to protect” is but a pretext for long-planned regime change.
Apart from the Saban Center logo in the image, there is no mention of the pro-Israel think tank in the piece. While a site search for “Brookings” yields eight pages of results, there appears to be only one post that refers to the “Saban Center.” A search for “Haim Saban” yields no results.
In short, as long as people continue to trust dubious “alternative” sources of news such as Land Destroyer Report, the key role of the Israel lobby in pushing regime change from Damascus to Kuala Lumpur will remain obscure.
In the Saban Center for Middle East Policy’s newest Middle East Memo, “Security in the Persian Gulf: New Frameworks for the Twenty-First Century,” Kenneth Pollack proposes “a new security architecture for the region.” According to a summary on the center’s site:
Pollack analyzes security arrangements in other parts of the world and focuses on two options: expanding the GCC and turning it into a formal military alliance and creating an arrangement modeled on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. In weighing each option, Pollack finds that the latter can better furnish a path toward peace and security.
Any consideration of how likely Pollack’s CSCE model would contribute to “peace and security” in the Persian Gulf requires an understanding of whose interests the author and his employer represent.
The Saban Center was established in 2002 with a pledge of nearly $13 million from the Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban to the Brookings Institution. Having once admitted to the New York Times, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” Saban told an Israeli conference in 2010 that establishing think tanks was one of his “three ways to be influential in American politics” — along with making donations to political parties and controlling media outlets — so that he could “protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship.”
Before becoming a senior fellow at the Saban Center, Kenneth Pollack was a member of the U.S. National Security Council. While advising on American security, Pollack was mentioned in relation to the 2005 criminal indictment against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman as one of the government officials who provided classified information to the two former AIPAC employees about Washington’s Iran policy. Presumably, all three were motivated, like Saban, by their overriding concern for the security of the Jewish state.
In light of Saban and Pollack’s profound concern for Israel’s security, “Security in the Persian Gulf” should be seen as yet another attempt to advance Israeli interests in the region by influencing American politics.
- Media Propagates Myth of Israel’s Non-Involvement in Syria (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel formulates tripartite plot to destroy Syria (intrepidreport.com)