Archive for March, 2011

The J Street Scam

The J Street Scam

Posted By Philip Giraldi On March 9, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 34 Comments

J Street is seductive.  Americans have been bombarded with propaganda about Israel ever since the foundation of the country over sixty years ago.  More recently, the United States has been designated by the media and the chattering classes as the protector of the Jewish state with little regard for those actions undertaken by Tel Aviv that impact negatively on US interests.  This is because the Israel Lobby is the most powerful foreign lobby in the United States by far.  The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has become the ugly side of the Lobby, has rightly drawn criticism for its bullying tactics and its alignment with extreme right-wing parties in Israel.  Progressives and some conservatives in the United States who support Israel as a homeland for the world’s Jews have been eager to find a more respectable alternative lobby.  That alternative is J Street.

J Street, which recently completed its third annual conference in Washington, is a self-proclaimed kinder and gentler advocate of Israeli interests.  It favors peace on equitable terms with the Palestinians and also with Israel’s Arab neighbors.  It opposes expansion of the Israeli settlements on the West Bank because they are an obstacle to peace.  It calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-American, and pro-peace.”  If one judges by the enemies it has attracted, including nearly all leading neoconservatives, J Street has to be considered a breath of fresh air and the best option for sustainable peace in the Middle East.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But somehow the parts don’t quite add up.  J Street really only differs from AIPAC in tone, not in substance.  It advocates continued and unlimited United States support for Israel, militarily, economically, and politically.  J Street wants Israel to have an overwhelming military advantage over its Arab neighbors and it wants that margin to be provided by Washington.  It wants Republicans and Democrats together to provide political cover for Israel when it attacks Lebanon or bombs the Gazans.  It does not object when Israel exercises a military option against its neighbors. In spite of the fact that the United States is in deep trouble economically while Israel is one of the richest countries in the world and is enjoying an economic boom, J Street was one of the first organizations to complain when Senator Rand Paul called for an end to all foreign aid. 

J Street also believes that Israel is and should be a Jewish state with unlimited right of “return” for Jews from anywhere in the world and no such rights for Christians or Muslims who lived in the country before 1948.  A Jewish state, by definition, would have limited rights for the 20% and growing segment of the current Israeli population that is Christian or Muslim.  J Street quixotically supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, even though it knows that the half million Israeli Jews living in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank cannot be moved and will make two states impossible.  It does not accept a one-state solution, the only one likely to work, that would make the followers of all religions equal citizens in a unified state embracing both Arabs and Jews.  J Street’s Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami has called a one-state solution a “nightmare.”

J Street seems a lot better than AIPAC, but much of what it advocates sounds familiar.  Ben-Ami has criticized the highly acclaimed John Mearsheimer-Stephen Walt book on the Israel Lobby for its scholarship and refers to the authors as anti-Semites. J Street opposed Israel’s bloody incursion into Gaza, but only because it was disproportionate, and then rejected the UN’s Goldstone report that detailed the war crimes that were committed.  When Israeli commandoes killed nine Turkish citizens on the Mavi Marmara ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza, J Street mourned the loss of life but blamed the victims for deliberately “using the media coverage to further damage Israel’s standing in world opinion.”  J Street supports military action against Iran as a “last resort” to incapacitate the country’s nuclear program and denies to Tehran the right to enrich uranium for any purpose.

Supporters of J Street claim that its positions will become more nuanced as its influence grows, but one of the panels at the just-concluded convention debated “Is the Settlement Enterprise Destroying Israel’s Democracy?”  One might well ask why there was a question mark at the end since it is well documented that the settlements bring with them every imaginable evil. Fifteen months ago, J Street sponsored a speaking tour by an Israeli general Danny Rothschild who was advocating a two-state solution with the Palestinians.  He made the rounds in Washington arguing that demographics and common sense dictate that Israel must come to some kind of settlement.  But then, he added, there is “Islamofascism” and also Iran, genuine threats that must be dealt with by force.  So what was the real message, peace with the Palestinians (on Israel’s terms, it might be added), or expand the war against extremism while bombing Iran?

But the real problem with J Street is that it exists at all.  Why should there be a new and powerful lobby in Washington composed of American citizens arguing for a special relationship with any country?  Why should the United States be providing unlimited support to a nation that claims to be a democracy but which limits rights based on religion?  If J Street truly wants to fix Israel it should be working in Israel, not in the United States, because the settlers and hardline right-wing parties are Israeli problems. J Street knows perfectly well that Congress, the White House, and the media will not challenge the Israel status quo so, at best, it is a bit of scam designed to support Israel while making progressives feel more comfortable in lining up behind the effort.

The United States already has too many special interest lobbies promoting policies that do absolutely nothing good for the American people.  If Israel has become a rogue state, which it has, the problem must be resolved by the Israelis themselves and the diaspora Jews who believe that they have a stake in the outcome.  If the latter really want to have an impact, they should turn in their US passports and move to Israel.  From the American perspective, which should be the only one that matters to US citizens, the best policy for the United States is to disengage from the Arab-Israel conflict, not to become even more deeply involved from another, slightly more palatable perspective offered by J Street.

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Ron Paul: US going broke paying for Iraq and Afghan wars

Ron Paul nails it again on MSNBC about US going broke paying for Iraq and Afghan wars as he also mentioned that we don’t need another one with Libya as well!:

Ron Paul Still Considering A Presidential Run, Says Congress Not Serious About Deficit

Margolis: You Want War? Pay for It:

US influence in the Arab world (by Patrick J. Buchanan)

Warning: Neoconservatives Are Pushing Their War Agenda in the Middle East (be sure to watch/listen to the youtubes that play automatically after the first one finishes)
Call for Pat Buchanan on Riz Khan’s AJE broadcast from D.C. yesterday at 5 minutes and 38 seconds into it:
Riz Khan – US influence in the Arab world
Here is the youtube of the above broadcast (again simply go to the five minute and 38 second mark)!:
Following is the article by Pat Buchanan that Riz Khan referenced during the broadcast:
It’s Their War, Not Ours (by Patrick J. Buchanan)
Whose War (Israel’s war!)? article  mentioned by the first caller for Pat Buchanan  at 5 minutes and 38 seconds into the above posted youtube:
After the Revolution (by Patrick J. Buchanan)

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Johnny Depp voice support for Israel boycott

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Johnny Depp voice support for Israel boycott

Roger Waters: My Journey to BDS

Message from Roger Waters of Pink Floyd to President Obama, media & the world about Gaza & Palestine


Walls of division
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters adds his voice to the calls for Israel to remove its separation wall. 

Inspired by Gaza Blockade, Roger Waters Records New Version of “We Shall Overcome”

EXCLUSIVE…Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters… Speaks Out in Support of Gaza Freedom March, Blasts Israeli-Egyptian “Siege” of Gaza

Israel Attacks Gaza, Silence from Mainstream Media about Israeli Violations of International Law

What Motivated the 9/11 Hijackers? See testimony most didn’t!:

Why is Israel Aid Exempt (as US States go Broke!)?!

Why is Israel Aid Exempt

As US fiscal conservatives cut food programmes for poor children, military aid for Israel is left untouched.

Israel may ask U.S. for $20 billion more in security aid, Barak says

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/influence of the pro-Israel lobby on the US political system and media) sent through the following this morning:

General (Ret) James David wrote:

They need only to ask, and there won’t be but a few in Congress to vote against it.  It’s just a matter of time before Israel gets this additional $20 billion.  The Amercan taxpayers have only themselves to blame.  Our elected Congress and President have been in the pockets of the Israeli lobby for decades and the American people are the ones who will pay for this corruption.


Israel may ask U.S. for $20 billion more in security aid, Barak says – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
Published 09:12 08.03.11 Latest update 12:01 08.03.11

Israel may ask U.S. for $20 billion more in security aid, Barak says

Defense Minister tells Wall Street Journal that Israel must be on guard considering the unrest sweeping the Arab world, adding increased aid could help make Israel a ‘stabilizer in such a turbulent region’.

By Haaretz Service and News Agencies

Israel may request an addition $20 billion in military aid from the United States in light of the unrest sweeping the Arab world, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday.

Barak deemed the changes in the region a “movement in the right direction”, and said that in the long run, Israel should not fear the “movement of Arab societies toward modernity.”

Ehud Barak Emil Salman 17.1.2011 Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Photo by: Emil Salman

But in the more immediate future, he told the WSJ, Israel would have to contend with the fact that Iran and Syria “might be the last to feel the heat” and join the trend of unrest.

In addition, Barak said, Egypt’s new leaders may adhere to the country’s 32-year peace treaty “for the time being,” but could eventually succumb to popular pressure against it.

He also told the WSJ that a top Egyptian official recently warned him that the new government in Cairo was likely to change its attitude toward Israel unless the latter made serious efforts for peace with the Palestinians.

“He told me, ‘We’re going to have a really open election….Civic parties will hire advisers from the U.S. and Europe and find immediately that what can bring them voters is hostility to America and Israel,” Barak said in the interview.

While Israel did not face an immediate threat to its security, Barak told the WSJ, “The issue of qualitative military aid for Israel becomes more essential for us, and I believe also more essential for you [the U.S.].

“It might be wise to invest another $20 billion to upgrade the security of Israel for the next generation or so,” he said, adding: “A strong, responsible Israel can become a stabilizer in such a turbulent region.”

Barak also told the WSJ that Israel was likely to offer Palestinians a state within temporary, detailing for the first time an emerging Israeli plan for breaking the deadlocked peace negotiations.

Though the Palestinians repeatedly have rejected provisional statehood, Ehud
Barak told The Wall Street Journal that Israel or the United States would have to give assurances that a full-fledged agreement on permanent statehood would follow.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to offer the Palestinians a state with temporary borders, he said. Only afterward, would the two sides would resolve key issues of the conflict, such as competing claims to Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees, Barak added.

No details of the plan were given.

With the popular protests shaking up the Mideast, Netanyahu is under fierce international pressure to prove he is serious about getting peacemaking moving again, especially after the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s West Bank settlement construction last month.

In the past week, Israeli officials have said Netanyahu was considering a phased approach. Although that was widely interpreted to mean a temporary state, they would not say so explicitly. Barak was the first to publicly spell that out.

Government spokesman Mark Regev said Barak’s remark can stand on its own.

The prime minister is said to be planning a speech – possibly to be delivered in Washington – in which he will outline his plans.

It is not clear that the U.S. would support the idea of an interim accord, given the Palestinians’ categorical rejection of the notion.

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.

Israel Lobby Archive:

Radio interview about Israel lobby prosecutorial immunity:

News release: 

Permanent URL:

Friends and colleagues may subscribe and receive Archive
updates at:

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