Archive for March 7th, 2011

Israel lobbyist funds US Presidents, Israeli Nukes, AIPAC disinformation – IRmep

The Israel Lobby Archive releases today the declassified FBI file of Israel lobbyist and nuclear weapons funding coordinator Abraham Feinberg.

Feinberg’s first run-in with law enforcement occurred when he enlisted the help of a private company to dodge the WWII draft.   Feinberg is best known for funding President Harry S Truman’s “whistle stop” campaign, saving Truman’s 1948 election bid from almost certain defeat.  In an interview, Feinberg summarized his long success in US politics:  “My path to power was cooperation in terms of what they needed–campaign money.”

According to new histories of Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program including “Israel and the Bomb” by Avner Cohen (1998), Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion secretly named Feinberg his chief nuclear weapons fundraising coordinator in 1958.  According to Michael Karpin’s “The Bomb in the Basement” (2007) Feinberg and 25 others contributed $40 million to the Israeli nuclear weapons program against opposition from presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.

A newly released 1952 file reveals the FBI’s early awareness of Feinberg’s many secret meetings with Israeli foreign agents:  “Feinberg has been in contact with Colonel Ephraim Ben-Arazi, former Israeli Military Attaché to the United States; Theodore H. Kollek, Israeli Minister in Washington; Reuben Shiloah [founder of Mossad], personal advisor to the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs; Nahum Bernstein, Secretary of Israel Speaks.  All of these individuals are known to have been active in the Israeli Intelligence Service.”

In 1952 Feinberg was ordered to register as an Israeli agent conducting foreign propaganda through a bimonthly publication called Israel Speaks the successor to Haganah Speaks.  Feinberg briefly considered selling Israel Speaks to the Jerusalem Post before shutting it down to avoid registration under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The FBI files also document meetings between Abraham Feinberg and Rudolph Sonneborn.  Sonneborn organized a massive clandestine smuggling network to purchase or steal US WWII surplus armaments for Jewish fighters in Palestine in violation of arms export controls and the Neutrality Act.  The Israeli government tasked Feinberg to intervene in the criminal prosecutions of apprehended US members of the smuggling network.  The FBI file notes, “There were 70 people involved on the West Coast…On April 1, 1949 Eliahu Elath, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, was advised by his government that it was agreed that the matter relating to Schwimmer and other people under indictment should be taken to the ‘highest level’ in order to ‘squash it once and forever’….one of several courses of action suggested…was to have Abe…take it up with his friends…”  In the end few members of the network were ever arrested, prosecuted or convicted of arms smuggling.  Those low level operatives that were (Adolph Schwimmer, Hank Greenspun, and Charles Winters) later received presidential pardons.

All released documents are now available in PDF format from the Israel Lobby Archive.  The Feinberg section of the archive cross-references a separate Senate investigation archive revealing Feinberg’s year 1960 financial contributions to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.  Simultaneously, the Near East Report (now affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC) released stories into the US media such as “No Bombs Possible” that denied Israel had a secret nuclear weapons program even as AIPAC’s founder closely tracked US news coverage of the issue.

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Israel grouped with Iran, North Korea as world’s least popular countries

Israel grouped with Iran, North Korea as world’s least popular countries

Monday, March 7, 2011 7:37 AM
From: General (Ret) James David (who is mentioned on the cover of the third edition of the former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book about the power of the pro-Israel lobby on the US political system and media):
General (Ret) James David wrote:

Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine harms it’s world opinion.  The arrogance it shows by pretending to be better than the rest of the world doesn’t help either.  I think that the U.S. has a lot to do with this negative image of Israel.  We act like parents awarding a spoiled child everything the child demands.  
Germany ranks as the most popular.  This should tell us something. This article comes from Israel’s major newspaper, Haaretz.
Israel grouped with Iran, North Korea as world’s least popular countries – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
Published 10:28 07.03.11 Latest update 10:28 07.03.11

Israel grouped with Iran, North Korea as world’s least popular countries

BBC poll surveying 27 countries shows that Israel is viewed as having a negative influence in the world; negative opinions in U.S. and U.K. increased over past year.

By Haaretz Service Tags: Israel news

A poll conducted by the BBC revealed Tuesday that Israel is one of the most negatively viewed countries in the world, ranking at the bottom of the chart along with Iran, North Korea and Pakistan.

In 2011, 22 out of 27 countries leaned toward a negative view of Israel, headed by Egypt, Turkey, and Indonesia. The countries which had the most positive view of Israel were the United States, Russia, Ghana, and China.

BBC poll of Israel world ranking  
Photo by: BBC

Participants were asked in a questionnaire, “Please tell me if you think each of the following countries is having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world,” giving the options “mainly positive, mainly negative, depends” and “neutral.”

The order of popularity of the 16 countries, based on 27 countries that were surveyed, was Germany, UK, Japan, Canada, France, U.S., Brazil, China, South Africa, India, South Korea, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran.

Despite Israel’s extremely low ranking, it has actually made a slight improvement in its world standing since 2010, and a more significant improvement since 2007. According to the poll, positive views of Israel increased by 2% while negative views remained mostly same as in 2010.

However, while positive ratings by the U.S. have remained stable in the poll since 2010 at about 43%, many more Americans chose to rate Israel negatively in 2011, marking an increase of 10% since 2010.

Moreover, negative perceptions of Israel grew stronger in Britain, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, Portugal, Spain, and Kenya.

Anti-Israel protesters in Barcelona Anti-Israel protesters in Barcelona last year.
Photo by: AP


Uncle NED Comes Calling

Uncle NED Comes Calling

Posted By Philip Giraldi On March 2, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 20 Comments

It is difficult to conceive of how a nation that was founded to defend individual rights and liberties has moved so far from its moorings that it has now embraced exporting democracy and nation building worldwide as its principal raison d’etre.  Common sense and human decency together dictate that Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, having suffered so much, should be allowed to establish their own forms of government.  But if you had hoped that the United States would just let the Egyptians and others get on with the process and elect a representative parliament, you would be wrong. When President Barack Obama speaks of a transition in North Africa he really means a guided journey to a form of government that has all the politically correct safeguards that he esteems modeled on western democracy combined with little or no room for any party that has “Islamic” in its name.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was interviewed by Rachel Maddow several weeks ago and revealed that Washington has already begun meddling.  Albright denounced Egyptian ex-president Mubarak because “Beating people up is not the way to do it,” and then confirmed that the National Endowment for Democracy was already hard at work in Egypt, even though Mubarak had not yet stepped down, building up infrastructure and supporting party development.  Recall for a moment that Albright believes that a heavy fist is an essential part of diplomacy and that US interests always trump whatever suffering local people have to endure.  She once said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to sanctions were worth it, so she apparently is not completely removed from the “beat them up” school of thought as long as she doesn’t have to do it herself.

Those who are aware of the insidious activities of the National Endowment for Democracy or NED, an ostensibly private foundation that spreads “democracy” and is largely funded by the government, will not be surprised to learn that it is already active in North Africa because it is almost everywhere.  NED, which has a Democratic Party half in its National Democratic Institute, and a Republican Party half in its International Republican Institute, was the driving force behind the series of pastel revolutions that created turmoil in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism.  Remember when the Russians and others complained about the activities of NGOs interfering in their politics?  NED was what they were referring to.

Albright is in charge of the NED Dems while John McCain leads the NED GOP.  Which is not to say that there is much in the way of adult leadership as neither Albright nor McCain in any way supervises NED’s activities.  That is probably a good thing as neither has ever demonstrated anything like a gentle touch or a shred of compassion.  NED has its own budget and is free of any real government or media oversight because it was carefully designed to be half Republican and half Democratic, while spreading democracy and human rights would seem to be objectives that are more-or-less consensus issues for most congressmen and not subject to much scrutiny.

NED’s involvement in developing and emerging countries reads either like a roll of honor or an indictment, depending on just how you look at it.  The list includes every country in Eastern Europe, Spain, France, Portugal, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Tibet, and China.  NED operates with a large degree of autonomy, funding groups and projects that it believes are promoting democracy, whatever that means at any given time and in any given place.  It has been heavily engaged in “democracy development” in the Ukraine, Georgia, and in the Balkans, often by selecting the candidate deemed to be most pro-American and giving him money and cell phones to help him Twitter and organize.  A pro-American is often determined by whether or not he speaks good English even if he generally is indistinguishable from his predecessors in terms of corruption.  The long-term results of supporting the pastel revolution “good guys” have been generally bad. 

Neoconservative Ken Timmerman has identified the core NED activity overseas as “training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques,” surely a polite way to describe interfering directly in other countries’ politics. But even when NED seems to be doing something unobjectionable it is notoriously a loose cannon on deck, wasting taxpayer money and supporting hare-brained initiatives that the State Department would be afraid to touch. When it meets with opposition politicians and parties it has little concern for other possible sensitivities and often sends signals that it represents the United States, which it does not. It embraced the fashionable Twitter- and cell phone-driven revolutions that developed after the fall of communism.  It was a major player in the Georgia fiasco that led to war with Russian over two years ago.  Now it will be doing its thing in the Arab world.

Regarding Egypt, NED will directly staff a large mission in Cairo and Alexandria, but it also funds other initiatives that are either designed purely for the edification of the Washington audience or are tone deaf.  It funds the Project on Middle East Democracy, which recently spent $45,300 to explore the feasibility of establishing a Cairo-based policy center.  POMED’s seventeen-person board is heavy with Washington political and academic personalities but includes only one Egyptian, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, and only two Arabic speakers.  Many of the academics on the board are “experts” on — you guessed it! – “democracy.” Curiously, one of POMED’s principles is that “The US must respect democratic outcomes. In the short term, free and fair elections may result in some governments that are less favorable to US interests. Regardless, America must respect democratic processes. The long-term benefits of improved credibility and democracy outweigh the short-term costs.” It is a principle that the Bush and Obama administrations have had some difficulty in embracing and one has to wonder if the principle includes Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.  The POMED website does not say, nor does the NED site.

The driving principle of NED is that Americans have a duty to spread democracy worldwide.  Wrong.  First of all, the Founding Fathers would be shocked at the language itself as they created a republic instead of a democracy precisely because they feared that democracy leads to mob rule.  Observing the throngs that cheer for Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, they were certainly correct in that judgment.  Nor are Americans real good at introspection or at analogies, but what do you think the response of George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson might have been if foreign advisors had arrived en-masse in 1783 to tell the thirteen colonies how to construct their new government?  What would have happened if the intruders had then organized demonstrations in the streets of Philadelphia to support their point of view?  It would have been throw the bums out or hang them from the nearest lamppost, I suspect.  In this case, Obama will be unable to resist the urge to meddle.  NED has done more damage to America’s good name worldwide than any other factor, excluding only the Bush Doctrine.  With NED on the move expect a repeat of the Eastern Europe experience — twenty more years of turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East.

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AIPAC Vetos U.N. Resolution on Israeli Settlements U.S. Casts the Actual Ballot

AIPAC Vetos U.N. Resolution on Israeli Settlements U.S. Casts the Actual Ballot

The Veto from Hell

The Veto from Hell

Posted By Philip Giraldi On February 23, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 59 Comments

Last Friday’s American veto of the United Nations Security Council resolution that would have called Israeli settlement activity on the West Bank illegal was not only shameful, it was possibly the low point of the already foundering Obama presidency.  To be sure, United States UN Ambassador Susan Rice accompanied the veto with a stirring rendition of “I’ll cry tomorrow” as she described how the Obama White House really is opposed to the settlements.  Really.  Rice argued that supporting or even abstaining on a resolution criticizing Israel, however mildly framed, might setback the peace process, which, as she well knows, died completely over six months ago.  But let’s not get hung up on the details.  Rice should have said instead that her boss in the White House is so afraid of the Israel Lobby that he has to ask permission when he goes to the bathroom.  At least that would have been completely credible, something you can believe in from an Administration that has otherwise delivered squat to the many voters who supported Obama in hopes that he might actually be interested in peace in our times.

And Obama has a lot to be afraid of, mostly from the old knife in the back trick from the Israel boosters in his own party.  “This is too clever by half,” said Representative Anthony Weiner.  “Instead of doing the correct and principled thing and vetoing an inappropriate and wrong resolution, they now have opened the door to more and more anti-Israeli efforts coming to the floor of the UN.” Representative Nita Lowey agreed, “Compromising our support for Israel at the UN is not an option.”

And over at the GOP side of the House, shortly before the veto, the new Chair of the Foreign Affairs committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen criticized the resolution: “Support for this anti-Israel statement is a major concession to enemies of the Jewish State and other free democracies.  Offering to criticize our closest ally at the UN isn’t leadership, it’s unacceptable.”  And just to make sure that Israel will have the money to expand its settlements, last Wednesday sixty-seven freshmen Republican House members sent a letter to their party’s leadership supporting full funding of aid to Israel.  The letter cited the lawmakers’ “recognition that the national security of the United States is directly tied to the strength and security of the State of Israel.”

Nice one, Anthony, Nita, Ileana and all those new congressmen who were elected because they promised to do some budget cutting, but I don’t detect anything about what the American national interest might be, just a bit of nonsense about “support for Israel,” “our closest ally,” and even more ridiculous bleating about how arming Israel makes America safer.  In fact, none of you even mentioned the United States.  Excuse me, I thought you dudes were serving in the US Congress, not the Knesset, but I might be wrong about that.

And lest anyone go wobbly on support of Israel there was the usual media claque screaming outrage because Rice had dared to criticize the settlements policy even though she was casting the veto.  Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post put it nicely   “The US representative, while reluctantly casting a veto, joined the pack of jackals that seek to make Israel the culprit for all that ills (sic) the Middle East.”

For those who have been asleep a la Rip van Winkle for the past twenty years, let us recap what has been going on in this country. There is an extremely dangerous domestic enemy out there, and it isn’t the naturalized Muslims that the redoubtable Congressman Peter King is investigating.  It is an organization that calls itself the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC. AIPAC is the most powerful foreign policy lobby in Washington, by far.  It was founded in the 1950s with the support of the Israeli Foreign Ministry to create an organization that would lobby for sustained American financial, diplomatic, and military support of Israel, but, curiously, it has never been required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act or FARA, which would require full public disclosure of finances – details of income and expenditures – as well as periodic reports on the nature of the relationship between the organization and the foreign government in question. 

AIPAC is the focal point of the Israel Lobby in the United States.  On its website it describes itself as “America’s pro-Israel lobby.”  It is located in Washington DC but has branches nationwide, has a budget of $70 million a year, and has several hundred full time employees.  It hosts an annual conference, this year in May, which attracts 6000 supporters and is a required stop for politicians and civic leaders from both parties, all attending to pledge their support for Israel.  Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, and congressional leaders all have spoken at the AIPAC conference.  Hundreds of congressmen regularly attend its sessions.  During the past two years the conference was focused on the issue of Iran as a threat to Israel and the world.

AIPAC wants the United States to have only one true friend in the world and that friend will be Israel.  That means that uncritically supporting Israeli interests has sidelined American foreign policy objectives and led to at least one war, against Iraq, in which thousands of Americans and some hundreds of thousands of foreigners have died.  If AIPAC is successful in its desire to convince Washington to solve the Iran nuclear problem by force if necessary, it could lead to another war that almost certainly would have catastrophic global consequences.

The point of all this is that AIPAC is why the UN veto took place.  AIPAC and its friends own Congress, the White House, and the mainstream media in its reporting on the Middle East. They are also powerful enough to set policy or overturn initiatives that they disapprove of.  AIPAC operates by forcing all American politicians at a national level to respond to various positions supported by the Israel Lobby.  Congressional candidates are carefully screened for their views on the Middle East and are coached to modify positions that are regarded as unacceptable.  Those who pass the test are then vetted on their degree of reliability and, if approved, become recipients of good press from AIPAC’s friends in the media and cash contributions from the numerous PACs that have been set up to support the pro-Israel agenda.  Once in office, the politicians are bombarded with AIPAC position papers, with visits from AIPAC representatives, and are expected to conform completely to the positions taken by the organization.  That is why resolutions in Congress relating to Israel generally receive nearly unanimous approval no matter how frivolous or injurious to the US national interest.  AIPAC lobbyist Steve Rosen once bragged that he could get the signatures of seventy senators on a napkin if he chose to do so. 

AIPAC’s influence over Congress and the White House is such that the centerpiece policy of successive US administrations, the so-called peace process with the Palestinians, has been essentially fraudulent.  Even though it is undeniably in the US national interest to broker some kind of peace agreement, Washington has instead never failed to lean heavily towards the Israeli point of view.  The recent discussion of developments in Egypt has frequently been framed in terms of what it means for Israel even though the proper line of inquiry for the US media and politicians should be what does it mean for the United States.  Other instances of AIPAC-supported policies that have damaged US interests have been the acceptance of occupations of and attacks on Lebanon, the acquiescence in the January 2009 bombing of Gaza, opposition to the Goldstone Report, and silence over last year’s Mavi Marmara incident in which a US citizen was killed.  By taking positions that are lopsided and ultimately untenable, Washington’s hypocrisy has been visible to the entire world and has rightfully done much to fuel mistrust of American policies in general.

Why do office seekers and congressmen put up with the pressure?  It is because they know that crossing AIPAC frequently means that the media will turn sour, funding will dry up, and a well-resourced candidate will suddenly appear in opposition at the next election.  Ask Congressmen Paul Findley and Pete McCloskey or Senators William Fulbright and Chuck Percy, all of whom were perceived as critics of Israel and all of whom were forced from office in exactly that fashion. Opposing AIPAC can be a political death wish.

Even the appointment of senior government officials to positions that in any way deal with the Middle East is subject to the AIPAC veto.  The blackballing of the highly qualified and outspoken Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council was orchestrated by AIPAC and its friends in Congress because Freeman had been critical of Israeli policies.  Candidates for Director of Central Intelligence and Director of National Intelligence regularly have their resumes examined to determine how they stand on the Middle East.

So if we Americans are ever to regain control over our destinies we have to start by removing the poison from our body politic.  A good start would be by first registering and then marginalizing AIPAC and any other organizations like it that represent pernicious foreign interests.  It would also be nice to send Weiner, Lowey, Ros-Lehtinen, and the 67 GOP freshmen representatives who want to keep shoveling money to Israel packing in the next election.  And also Obama and Susan Rice since they don’t appear to know what country they live in.  We really don’t need their kind of hyphenated patriotism anymore and we certainly don’t need vetoes at the UN that demonstrate to everyone that we are a nation of amoral hypocrites.

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How About a Clean Break – with Israel?

How About a Clean Break – with Israel?

Posted By Philip Giraldi On February 2, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 135 Comments

Back in 1996, a group of leading neoconservatives led by Richard Perle drafted a memorandum for then (as now) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recommending that Israel adopt a more aggressive and assertive policy towards its neighbors.  They called it a “Clean Break” to suggest that it would be a major shift in policy.  Today, as American foreign policy looks more like a shipwreck than a victory lap, there is perhaps a need for a Clean Break by Washington.  As the relationship with Tel Aviv has an impact far beyond Israel’s size and importance it should, ironically, be the first element in the foreign policy disaster that is examined.

Many Americans who indulge in the mainstream media believe that Israel is a close friend and ally to the United States and that when it is criticized the complaints are often unfair and might even in some cases be motivated by anti-Semitism.  Some Americans, mostly evangelical Christians, actually believe that Israel is a special nation either because it is the homeland of the Jewish people or anointed by God and that all other nations of the world should defer to it and protect it.  Still other Americans realize that Israel is a nation with good and bad aspects but are intent on using American power and wealth to nurture it because they share either ethnic or religious ties with it.

Some Americans look beyond the bumper sticker definitions to recognize that Israel is indeed like many other countries in most respects but that it is also a special nation in that it has as its protector the most powerful and wealthiest nation on earth.  Some think that role to be appropriate because the US has an obligation to guarantee Israeli security, while others would disagree.  Those who disagree frequently do so because they find the Israeli influence over the United States to be a dark force, sometimes leading Washington and its elected officials to endorse policies that do not serve the interests of the American people.  They would cite examples like the Iraq War, in which supporters of Israel played an enabling role, as well as the ongoing agitation to attack Iran, which would be a replay of Iraq only much much worse.

That Israel is able to control many aspects of America’s relationship with foreign nations is clear and the hubristic Israel Lobby makes virtually no effort to hide what it is doing.  On January 18th, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on the United States to veto any resolution in the United Nations condemning the Israeli settlements policy.  The settlements are illegal under international law and the pending resolution in the UN carefully uses the precise language previously employed by US administrations to criticize their expansion in an attempt to create an acceptable document and avoid a veto, but the result is not good enough for Gillibrand.  Joined by 15 other senators as cosignatories, Gillibrand maintains fatuously and falsely that any criticism of the settlements “hurts the prospects for a peace agreement and is not in the interest of the United States.”  In reality, as she well knows, it is US acquiescence in the settlements that damages the US standing in the world.

The past ten days has also provided several other examples of how Israel exerts a strongly negative influence on American foreign policy.  President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address urged support for democratic forces in Tunisia.  But he did not provide similar support for the democratic forces in Egypt and for the new government in Lebanon, which are both nations currently experiencing political unrest. Why?  Because both are frontline states with Israel, meaning that Washington can only consider its relationship to them in terms of whether their political developments are good for Israel or not.  This has been excruciatingly clear in the numerous comments by US government spokesmen relating to developments in Cairo:  Israel is almost invariably mentioned.  The United States prefers to give Cairo billions in aid and covertly support the dictatorial rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak because Egypt has kept the peace with Israel. Washington will likewise oppose any government in Lebanon that is beholden to Hezbollah, even if it does not threaten the US or American interests in any way, because Hezbollah is the enemy of Israel.

Looking at the Middle East region objectively, one has to question Washington’s actions. The US national interest is to have a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, which would require an end to the Israeli settlement policy. It also mandates non-hostile relations with Lebanon and Egypt, nothing more.  The Suez Canal is the only asset controlled by Egypt that has international significance and it is in Cairo’s interest, no matter what kind of government it has, to keep it open and bringing in revenue.  Egypt, Palestine, and Lebanon produce nothing that the US needs to have and they are not important markets for American goods.  None of them threatens any genuine American vital interest.

In another related development, last Wednesday newly elected senator Rand Paul said that he favors ending all foreign aid, including the aid given to Israel and Egypt, because the United States can no longer afford it.  Rather than encouraging anyone to debate the issue on its merits, the Israel Lobby, Democratic politicians, and a representative from Paul’s own Republican Party immediately attacked him, saying the proposal was unthinkable.  Well, think again.  Israel gets billions of dollars yearly from the US for no good reason beyond its ability to manipulate Congress and the media.  Paul’s opening the door to a serious discussion about ending that subsidy is long overdue. 

Senator Gillibrand’s excursion into fantasy, Rand Paul’s experience in opening Pandora’s box, and the developing situation in Egypt together illustrate how Israel is a United States national security liability and always has been.  The relationship narrows the options that US policymakers can pursue in dealing with problems relating to the Muslim world.  Arguments that Israeli and American foreign policies are and need to be identical based on shared opposition to international terrorism and other such “values” are fallacious and are based on constructs that are essentially false.

Israel’s bad relationship with its Muslim neighbors has led to frequent wars and more limited military actions since the founding of the country.  In a normal world, the onus would be on Israel to establish a modus vivendi with its neighbors, but it has regularly chosen to use the mailed fist as its first option.  Since it is a small country lacking in resources, it has only been able to accomplish this by seeking out what might be described as a force multiplier.  To that end it has opted to use its powerful lobby to shift US policy in its favor, relying on America as a source of funds and both political and military protection.  Its leading politicians have even bragged about how the United States does its bidding.  This has done extreme damage to the United States, which has initiated at least one war as a result, and has been engaged in what must be described as a nearly continuous and escalating conflict with the entire Muslim world on behalf of Israel.  This has trashed America’s reputation and has come at a real cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives.  The benefit to the American people has been zero.

In accomplishing its strategic objective of making the United States its permanent protector, Israel and its lobby have also corrupted both Congress and the White House and have created a permanent distortion in how Washington sees the world and responds to it.  Israel’s enemies, even if they do not threaten the United States in any way, have become America’s enemies.  This has made the US in the eyes of much of the world the enabler of Israeli actions and has in turn made Americans the targets of international terrorism.  Osama bin Laden was very clear on the subject, stating that the United States is a partner in the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.  The Israel relationship is a recruiting tool for those who seek to do harm to the United States.  Without the Israeli nexus, there would have been no 9/11 and there would be no hysteria about the danger from terrorists driving growth in government and the development of the anti-libertarian security state. 

And the relationship is expensive.  Israel seeks to militarily dominate its neighbors.  It does so with American-provided weapons and maintains its edge through US coproduction agreements that essentially fund jobs in Israeli defense industries that compete directly with US companies that sell the same products.  Even though Israel is one of the richest countries in the world, Washington gives it a vast array of advanced weaponry for free and also hands to it the technologies that enable it to eliminate American jobs.  As Israeli companies can bid on defense contracts just as if they were American companies, they frequently also wind up getting the work that would go to Americans.  Because of the high level of American direct aid plus unique tax breaks for American citizens who give money to Israel, Israelis have free medical care and university education, benefits that few Americans enjoy. 

And, finally, Israel is not afraid to bite the hand that feeds it.  It is annually rated by the FBI as the “friendly” country that is most aggressive in spying to obtain US defense secrets and advanced technology.  The mainstream media is complicit in not featuring stories that relate to Israeli espionage, but the cases number in the hundreds.  Several spies who have been caught in the act have received a slap on the wrist instead of real punishment.  One, Ben-Ami Kadish, was even able to continue to receive his government pension after stealing and passing on defense secrets.

Now I will be the first to admit that my narrative presented above reveals my own biases in that I am appalled at what Israel and its supporters have done to my country.  But I have to believe that by any objective standard, the relationship with Israel does nothing good for the United States and does, instead, a great deal of damage.  That leading policymakers are afraid to challenge the billions of dollars flowing to Tel Aviv while US senators line up to sign on to a letter that opposes their own country’s interests is a tragedy of epic proportions.  That Washington will define its own interests in the Middle East largely in terms of whether they are compatible with those of Israel is nothing short of betrayal of the Constitution, which established a national government that would benefit the American people and make them both safe and prosperous.  One hesitates to borrow rhetoric from the neoconservatives, but sometimes even they get something right.  It is indeed time for a clean break, but this time with Israel. 

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“Zionism Contra Democracy”

Stephen Sniegoski wrote:

My new article “Zionism Contra Democracy” can be found on the following websites (among others): 

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