Archive for February 6th, 2010

U.S. Senator Lieberman: Impose sanctions on Iran or attack it

General (Ret) James David wrote the intro below as he is mentioned on the cover of the third edition of former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book (about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby on the US political system and media):

General David wrote:

Somebody should ask Senator Joseph Lieberman how many relatives he has serving in the U.S. military?  I know the answer.  The same number that Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other zionists who have taken this country into war.  The answer is zero.  They don’t care about the number of U.S. casualties involved is such a conflict nor do they care about the expense such a war would cost.  Their only concern is for the security of Israel, no matter what the cost in American blood and American money.  And what has Iran done to the United States that would justify another war?  These politicians should be required to pack their bags and get on an EL AL one way flight to Tel Aviv. 
 

U.S. Senator Lieberman: Impose sanctions on Iran or attack it – Haaretz – Israel News
Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010, 12:58 PM

The world faces a stark choice between imposing tough sanctions on Iran to stop its nuclear program, or attacking it, United States Senator Joe Lieberman said Saturday.

Lieberman is the influential chairman of the Senate committee on homeland security. He was speaking a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that his country was ready to accept an international swap of uranium, but only under certain conditions.

“We have a choice here: to go to tough economic sanctions to make diplomacy work or we will face the prospect of military action against Iran,” Lieberman told the annual Munich Security Conference.

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Top U.S. commanders are already working out how such a strike should be conducted, and although “no-one wants this to happen … unless we together act strongly and do more than talk that is exactly what will happen,” Lieberman said.

A nuclear-armed Iran would provoke chaos in the Middle East, send world oil prices soaring and end any hope of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lieberman said.

IAEA chief seeks ‘accelerated’ dialogue with Iran

Earlier Saturday, the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said, after talks with Iran’s foreign minister on a nuclear fuel swap plan, that he sought an accelerated dialogue with Tehran.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano told reporters after his talks in Munich with Mottaki that dialogue on Iran’s nuclear program is continuing.

Asked if he was confident of a breakthrough, Amano told reporters on the sidelines of an annual security conference in the German city “I prefer not to provide my perspective. Dialogue is continuing, this should be accelerated. That’s the point.”

Meanwhile, Mottaki described his meeting with the IAEA chief as “very good,” but repeated Iran’s insistence on determining the amount of fuel to be exchanged and said it might be less than the 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) which world powers have asked it to part with in one go.

In exchange, Iran would receive uranium of a higher grade which it could use to fuel a Tehran research reactor producing medical isotopes.

“It is very common that in business, the buyer talks and offers about the quantity, and the seller only offers the price,” Mottaki told reporters at the Munich Security Conference.

In the proposed swap, he said, “we determine the quantity on the basis of our needs and we would inform the parties about our requirements. Maybe it is less than this quantity you have already mentioned [1,200 kilograms] or a little more than the quantity we may need for our reactor.”

From the point of view of the United States and others, the proposed swap would reduce the risk of Iran enriching its low-grade uranium to the degree required for potential use in a nuclear weapon – an intention Tehran denies.

“We discussed and exchanged views on a wide range of issues – views about the proposal that is on the table,” Mottaki said.

“I tried to explain the views of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the Director-General,” Mottaki said.

He was elaborating on comments he made on Friday, suggesting an agreement was close. The United States and Germany on Saturday voiced skepticism about Iran’s intentions and said those remarks had not gone far enough.

Mottaki rejected a questioner’s suggestion that Iran’s leadership was divided over the proposed uranium deal.

“In Iran there is only one voice about the issue. And that is, the exchange of fuel has been accepted and recognized. As I told you before, there have been certain doubts about it, and efforts were made to remove these doubts,” he said.

Mottaki did not address the timing of a proposed swap, a problematic issue in negotiations. On Friday he spoke of a ‘simultaneous’ swap, whereas the six-power group wants Iran first to ship its LEU abroad and then receive it back when sufficiently enriched to use in Tehran reactor.

The IAEA’s last report in November said Iran had registered a total of 1,763 kilograms of LEU, a quantity experts say would be more than enough for one nuclear bomb if it were enriched to the level of 90 percent.

Pro-Israel Lobbies Work on Europe

Pro-Israel Lobbies Work on Europe

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50190

By David Cronin

BRUSSELS, Feb 2, 2010 (IPS) – Defenders of Israel’s aggressive stance have for many years been recognised as a powerful force shaping United States foreign policy. A less well-known fact is that the pro-Israel lobby has been making a concerted effort to strengthen its presence in Europe.

The lobby’s determination to make an impression on European Union policy-makers was exemplified by a new booklet published on Jan. 28.

Titled ‘Squaring the Circle?: EU-Israel Relations and the Peace Process in the Middle East’, the booklet advocates that EU should “rebalance its priorities” and pursue closer relations with Israel regardless of whether progress is made in resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.

Unlike the plethora of publications on EU affairs that quickly fade into obscurity, there are good reasons to believe that this one will not go unnoticed in the corridors of power.

First, it was published by the Centre of European Studies, the official think-tank for the network of Christian Democrat and conservative parties that dominate European governments.

Secondly, its author, Emanuele Ottolenghi, has already demonstrated his capability to catch the eyes of politicians by penning several pamphlets for Labour Friends of Israel, a group that boasts of the top figures in Britain’s ruling party among its members.

Ottolenghi is the director of the Transatlantic Institute. Also styling itself as a think-tank, this Brussels-based institute was set up by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in 2004.

“The AJC is the foreign policy wing of the Israel lobby,” says Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, a researcher in Scotland’s University of Strathclyde, who monitors the activities of hawkish pro-Israel groups for the website neoconeurope.eu “The two places that it has decided to focus on most are Latin America and Europe. This is because it has a sense that American power might be in decline.”

The AJC has been successful in convincing the EU that many criticisms of Israel can be considered as a general slur on Jews. In 2005, the EU’s Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (which has been subsequently renamed the Fundamental Rights Agency) published a working definition on anti-Semitism, admitting that it had been drawn up in consultation with the AJC and the like-minded Anti-Defamation League.

According to this definition says that criticisms of Israel, which contend that the establishment of that state was a “racist endeavour” or which compare Israel’s attacks on the Palestinians to the behaviour of the Nazis during the Second World War, should be considered as anti-Semitism. Ottolenghi’s new booklet invokes that definition to call on the EU to declare campaigners critical of Israel ineligible for funding from those sections of Union’s budget dealing with the promotion of human rights and democracy. It is “curious,” he argued that EU financial support has gone to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) “whose work depicts Israel as a racist society and an apartheid regime.”

“In other words, EU Commission money is helping certain NGOs spread a message that, according to another EU agency, is considered to be anti-Semitic and thus against EU values,” he wrote.

Ottolenghi has been active, too, in urging the EU to adopt a tough line against Iran’s nuclear ambitions. His book ‘Under a Mushroom Cloud,’ which was published last year, posited the theory that Arab leaders are unconcerned by how Israel had developed nuclear weapons of its own decades before Iran started work on its nuclear programme.

“Arab leaders sleep soundly under the shadow of Israel’s nuclear umbrella; it is Iran’s nuclear quest which gives them nightmares,” Ottolenghi wrote. “They know – they have always known – that Israel’s military prowess serves its survival and does not seek to impose a political diktat on its neighbours. The same cannot be said of Iran, with its hegemonic ambitions, and its desire to refashion the region.”

Yet since the book was published Arab governments sponsored a resolution on Israel passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The resolution noted that Israel is the only state in the region that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a 1968 agreement designed to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. This was the first such call directed at Israel approved by the IAEA, an official body of the United Nations, in 18 years.

Along with the AJC, several other pro-Israel lobby groups have opened new offices in Brussels over the past decade. These include the European Jewish Congress and B’nai B’rith. Another group, the European Friends of Israel (EFI), has been formed as a cross-party alliance of members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

During Israel’s offensive against Gaza last year, the EFI circulated briefing papers that defended the killing of Palestinian civilians. According to the EFI, it was impossible for Israel to avoid civilian deaths because Hamas, a Palestinian resistance movement, had ordered its members “to discard uniforms and dress in regular clothes that made them indistinguishable from the civilian population”.

Michael Gahler, a German Christian Democrat MEP who describes himself as pro-Israel, said that such lobby groups have “always been very influential” in Europe. Gahler argued, though, that the groups should not ignore the widespread opposition in Europe to Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territories. “They should be here and listen,” he told IPS. “They should not only be a loudspeaker.”

Luisa Morgantini, a former vice-president of the European Parliament and a veteran Palestinian solidarity activist, said that all forms of racism and anti-Semitism must be opposed.

But Morgantini also suggests that pro-Israel groups are exploiting the history of Jewish suffering in Europe to dissuade its modern-day politicians from taking robust action against Israeli oppression in Palestine. “They are using the holocaust as blackmail,” she said. “It is time for us to stop this blackmail.”

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“It’s a Trick, We Always Use It.” (calling people “anti-Semitic”)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUGVPBO9_cA&feature=player_embedded

AIPAC officials duplicated classified document before returning to Gov’t – IRmep

 

Subject: AIPAC officials duplicated classified document before returning to Gov’t – IRmep

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2010, 9:43 AM

Today IRmep’s Israel Lobby Archive publicly released on the Internet a declassified FBI investigation file into the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for espionage and theft of government property:

Document (PDF):  http://IRmep.org/ila/economy/FD302.pdf
News Release: http://www.cnbc.com/id/35237324

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AIPAC officials duplicated classified policy documents before returning to US government – IRmep

Washington – Top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee duplicated a stolen classified US government policy document before returning it under order of the US Trade Representative.  The newly released FBI form FD-302 is available for download at http://IRmep.org/ila/economy/FD302.pdf .

Testimony about AIPAC’s executive director and top lobbyist reveals AIPAC duplicated the classified report “Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty Free Treatment for U.S. Imports from Israel” after covertly receiving it from Israeli Minister of Economics Dan Halpern:

“REDACTED immediately called REDACTED at the USTR to make arrangements to return the document.  The report was subsequently returned to the USTR by a member of the AIPAC office staff.  Prior to returning this document, REDACTED asked to have a duplicate copy made so that the staff of the AIPAC could further examine the report….He stated that REDACTED retained the duplicate copy of the report and that the original report was returned to the USTR.”

The classified 300 page report contained business confidential information and trade secrets provided by 76 American industry and worker groups lobbying against a bilateral intergovernmental managed trade pact with Israel. The fight pitted Monsanto, the U.S. Bromine Alliance, Sunkist Growers Inc., the American Farm Bureau and the AFL-CIO against the Israeli government, AIPAC, and the American Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  After the trade deal passed, the US cumulative trade deficit with Israel grew to $71 billion; equivalent to 100,000 lost US jobs each year over the past decade.  The report is still considered so sensitive neither the USTR nor the International Trade Commission will release it under the Freedom of Information Act.

This warrants close public scrutiny according to IRmep director of research Grant Smith, “AIPAC is again pushing legislation that undermines American industries, workers, shippers, financial institutions and our most valuable trading partners.  These startling AIPAC testimonials to law enforcement officials, published online for the first time, reveal the subordination of US interests and our advice and consent democratic process of governance to the AIPAC and its foreign principals.”

The Israel Lobby Archive, http://IRmep.org/ila is a unit of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington. The Archive digitizes declassified documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act filings with law enforcement, economic, diplomatic and intelligence agencies. IRmep is a Washington-based nonprofit that studies U.S. Middle East policy formulation.
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