AIPACs Dangerous Grip on Washington
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Forum Name: Current Events
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Printed Date: 29 August 2015 at 4:38pm
Topic: AIPACs Dangerous Grip on Washington
Posted By: Hanan
Subject: AIPACs Dangerous Grip on Washington
Date Posted: 31 July 2006 at 10:24am
The congressional reaction to Hezbollah's attack on Israel and Israel's retaliatory bombing of Lebanon provide the latest example of why AIPAC's lock on US foreign policy in the Middle East must be examined.
In early March, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its forty-seventh annual conference in Washington. AIPAC's executive director spent twenty-seven minutes reading the "roll call" of dignitaries present at the gala dinner, which included a majority of the Senate and a quarter of the House, along with dozens of Administration officials. AlterNet http://www.alternet.org/story/39679/ - http://www.alternet.org/story/39679/
Posted By: Hanan
Date Posted: 15 August 2006 at 10:11am
Christians United for Israel: New Christian Zionism Lobby Hopes to Rival AIPAC
8.15.2006 -- In March of this year, a study on the role of the Israel lobby in US foreign policy caused an uproar in the academic community and in the media. The paper's authors, Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard University and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, argued the pro-Israel lobby has unduly influenced the United States to set aside its own security in order to advance the interests of Israel. The study emphasized the activities of the pro-Israel lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
Well, there's another side of the pro-Israel lobby that's drawing increasing attention -- and some say its far more influential. A new group was recently established called Christians United for Israel - CUFI. They're an evangelical organization that believes supporting expansionist policies of the Israeli government is: "a biblical imperative."
In a new article for The Nation, journalist Max Blumenthal reports group members have held several meetings with White House officials to talk about US policy in the Middle East. They've apparently lobbied the administration to adopt a confrontational posture toward Iran, refuse aid to the Palestinians and give Israel a free hand in its attack on Lebanon.
We're going to speak with Max Blumenthal in a moment but first, we hear from Christians United for Israel. Their inaugural event was held last month in Washington, DC. More than 3,000 people were in attendance to hear speeches from Israeli and American dignitaries. Among the speakers was Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback.
AMY GOODMAN: We are going now to speak with Max Blumenthal in a moment. But first, we turn to Christians United for Israel. Their inaugural event was held last month in Washington, D.C. More than 3,000 people were in attendance to hear speeches from Israeli and American dignitaries. Among the speakers was Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback.
SEN. SAM BROWNBACK: Thank you in your energy. Thank you in your prayers. Thank you for standing with Israel in this difficult time. I close with noting that the recently elected Prime Minister of Israel addressed a joint session of Congress about a month or so ago. And he spoke there, and I sat as I listened to him give an eloquent speech, uniting speech, thinking to myself, the United States doesn't have a closer partner in the world than Israel today. And it is true. And it's important for us, when our friend is in difficulty, Israel, that we stand by them in this difficult time. Thank you for being here. God bless you all. God bless the United States of America. And God bless the Israeli people.
AMY GOODMAN: Republican Senator Sam Brownback speaking last month at the inaugural banquet for Christians United for Israel. The group's founder, Texas television evangelist, John Hagee, also spoke.
JOHN HAGEE: We gather in Washington, D.C., tonight for one of the most dramatic moments in the history of American Christiandom. We gather here from every state in the nation. We gather here with more than 3,400 spiritual leaders. We gather for one purpose: to express our solidarity with the state of Israel and the Jewish people, because this historic event is being telecast across the nation and around the world; because this telecast is being seen in Iran, where a new Hitler, the President of Iran, threatens to annihilate Israel with a nuclear holocaust, saying Israel should be wiped off the map and saying, like it or not, the Zionist regime is headed toward total annihilation, to be ended with a sudden storm; because the enemies of Israel are doubtless watching this telecast and question our resolve as Christians to stand with Israel until Islamofascism is totally defeated; because this will be seen in Israel by a war-weary people who at this very hour are once again fighting Hamas terrorists whose covenant calls for the death of Jewish people and total destruction of Israel; because God in heaven is watching and has commanded us, keep not silent concerning Israel. Well, those of you in this audience who stand in solidarity with Israel, until victory comes, stand and send a message to the U.S. Congress, to the people of Israel, to the enemies of Israel: We are with you. We stand with you. Israel, you are not alone.
AMY GOODMAN: John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel. We're joined now by Max Blumenthal, who writes about Christians United for Israel in a new piece for The Nation. He's a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute. He's based in Washington, D.C. His pieces have appeared in The Nation, and Salon, American Prospect, Washington Monthly. His piece is called "Birth Pangs of a New Christian Zionism." Explain, Max.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Christian Zionism has been a force within the Christian right for over 20 years, and they've made -- the Christian Zionist movement, they've made themselves an asset to Israel by sending millions in aid money to Israel. They're a major source of Israeli tourism, especially during the Second Intifada. They were perhaps the only source of tourism revenue for Israel, which is a key source of revenue for the Israeli government. And on an individual basis, leaders of the Christian Zionist movement have lobbied the government, especially the Bush administration, which has had an open door policy to them. But never before has there been an official Washington lobbying organization for the Christian Zionist movement.
So now you have Christians United for Israel, which was founded in February by John Hagee, who commands a mega-church in San Antonio with 18,000 members. He's a huge force in Texas politics, a close, personal friend of Tom DeLay. And what this organization has done is they've convened all of the major Christian Zionist mega-churches in the country under one umbrella group, and they've hired a lobbyist. Hagee has a lot of money through his congregation. And their lobbyist is a guy named David Brog, who’s the former chief of staff to Arlen Specter, and he's Jewish, so this makes him a huge asset to this organization, because he can beat back criticism from other Jewish leaders that Christian Zionists harbor ulterior motives for supporting Israel, that they have an Armageddon-based agenda for supporting Israel.
And if you look at what John Hagee has written in his books, like Jerusalem Countdown, his most recent book, which cites 17 unnamed Israeli intelligence sources to claim that Iran is producing nuclear suitcase bombs and that Israel must engage in a "nuclear showdown" with Iran or risk committing national suicide, if you look at what he's written, he does have an Armageddon-based agenda. And so I think what this lobby does, it plays an instrumental PR role on behalf of the Christian Zionist movement in preventing legitimate criticism of their motives for supporting Israel, and they are bolstering what AIPAC is doing and possibly even radicalizing what AIPAC is doing, by providing them a grassroots base in the heartland.
The majority of America's 60 million evangelicals are premillenial dispensationalists. They believe that the end times could come at any moment, and they're looking for signs of that, so they're sympathetic to supporting Israel for these reasons. And so they provide a strong grassroots base. This is the Republican base. This is the only component of the Republican base that still supports Bush's policies in Iraq without question, unconditionally, and supports Israel's expansionism. While the American Jewish community is willing to, you know, stand for Israel and show solidarity for Israel, they also support a peace process, and they support a sovereign Palestinian state. But this group doesn't.
You know, for instance, Pat Robertson went on the 700 Club and said that Ariel Sharon's descent into a comatose state was punishment for dividing the land for the Gaza withdrawal, for pulling 9,000 extremist settlers out of a huge swath of land. And, you know, then last week, Pat Robertson was flown to Israel to pray with Ehud Olmert and go on the 700 Club and tell his viewership that the Lebanese civilians, the Lebanese society was harboring terrorists, and therefore, civilian casualties were justified. So they play a PR role on behalf of the extremist wing of Israeli political culture. They're very connected to people like Benjamin Netanyahu, who's positioning himself to succeed Ehud Olmert in the wake of Olmert's possibly imminent resignation. So I think there's a real danger here.
AMY GOODMAN: David Brog is someone you interviewed, Max Blumenthal?
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Right, right.
AMY GOODMAN: So you spent time with him. You said that he told you during the meetings with the White House, “CUFI representatives pressed White House officials to adopt a more confrontational posture toward Iran, refuse aid to the Palestinians and give Israel a free hand as it ramped up its military conflict with Hezbollah,” and that the White House instructed Brog not to reveal the names of officials he met with.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, we know in the past that Karl Rove and people in Karl Rove's shop, like Tim Goeglein and Elliott Abrams, who’s in the State Department, who’s traveling, you know, to Israel with Condoleezza Rice, have met with Christian Zionist groups, so this is not an anomaly. But this group has a much larger voice than any of the other groups that have met with the Bush administration, and they claim -- David Brog claimed to me that their principal achievement has been keeping a ceasefire off the table for the past month. So, their principal achievement has been essentially giving Israel a free hand and the IDF a free hand to kind of, you know, ramp up the war, and I think this has had catastrophic consequences for the Middle East and the peace process.
I’m not discounting the influence of AIPAC. I’m not saying that Christians United has anywhere near the influence of AIPAC, but in a Republican-dominated Washington, Christians United represents where the Republican base is at, and that's why you have Sam Brownback going to their banquet. That's why Ken Mehlman, the head of the RNC, spoke at their banquet.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to a clip of another prominent member of Christians United for Israel, television evangelist Rod Parsley. This is an excerpt of his television show, Breakthrough.
ROD PARSLEY: I was walking down the road the other day! A woman started screaming, sitting in a wheelchair! She said, “God told me that if I ever got near you, I was coming out of this chair!” I said -- I’m just walking down the street in my blue jeans! Didn't have a choir! Didn't have Wendell! I looked at her! “How long you been in that chair?” “20 years! Now get over here and put your hands on me!” I said, “Alright! Silver and gold have our number! Such as I have, not I can work up, not I can go pray down, such as I have, get ready, it's about to fall on you! Give I thee in the name of Jesus!” Before I could get my hand on her, she lifted up those legs, kicked the edges of that wheelchair open and went running down the road! And a police officer had to stop her! He said, “What happened?” She said, “God just brought me out of this chair!”
AMY GOODMAN: Evangelist Rod Parsley, an excerpt from his television show, Breakthrough. We're talking to Max Blumenthal, who has written a piece in The Nation called “Birth Pangs of a New Christian Zionism.” Can you talk about the Anti-Defamation League and CUFI and Brog?
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, but before that, I just want to kind of explain who Rod Parsley is. He's a really influential preacher in Ohio, and he's the leading force behind Ken Blackwell's campaign there. So I think he's someone who should be watched. He's not as well known as Jerry Falwell, but he's forming a political network in Ohio, and so he's an instrumental player in this movement and in politics in a swing state.
AMY GOODMAN: Also has a mega-church.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: And he has a mega-church. And I don't know what he was just talking about there, but he has a more of a crossover style, so he can reach out to people from the inner-city, and he can also reach out to people from the exurbs, who are Republicans, the traditional Republican base. So I think he represents a new generation of the Christian right.
Last year, Anti-Defamation League President Abe Foxman, the president of the largest American Jewish organization, kind of came out of nowhere and gave a speech attacking the Christian right as the greatest threat to American Jewish interests, to constitutional rights of American Jews. I think it was something that had been, you know, that a lot of American Jews had wanted him to do for a long time. ADL has principally focused in the past on supporting Israel and supporting Israel no matter what Israel does. And they've also had alliances. Abe Foxman has had alliances with people like Ralph Reed over Israel. He paid to reprint a Ralph Reed editorial supposedly supporting Israel in a full page of the New York Times in the late ’90s. So this represented a break from the past.
And Abe Foxman was immediately attacked by a chorus of Christian right criticism, including David Brog. David Brog was one of the first people to attack him, and he attacked him, of course, from a Jewish perspective, saying, you know, “Evangelicals saved Jews from the Holocaust. We owe them a lot. And they support Israel now.” In the Wall Street Journal in an op-ed, in the most influential op-ed section for the conservative movement, he was joined by most evangelical leaders in attacking Foxman, and every single one held Israel over Abe Foxman's head and said, “If you continue to criticize us, we will withdraw support for Israel.” So it just shows that their support for Israel, or their purported support for Israel, is completely conditional, and that they're using it to weaken the interests of American Jews domestically.
And since then, Abe Foxman has been pretty much silent, although he sends fundraising pitches out warning of the Christian right's machinations. He doesn't speak about it publicly anymore. And on Friday or Monday, the ADL ran these two, I thought, really ridiculous full-page ads in the New York Times saying, “Hezbollah must be stopped.” Well, the ceasefire had already happened, so they had been stopped. So I thought that was a complete waste of their money. And there's just a void right now in the Jewish community for saying that the Christian right is a threat.
AMY GOODMAN: Max Blumenthal, I wanted to end on the issue of rapture. Last month, Harper's magazine reported traffic on internet bulletin boards, talking about rapture or end times, greatly increased following the outbreak of violence in the Middle East. One person wrote online, "I've been having rapture dreams and I can't believe that this is really it! We're on the edge of eternity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Another person wrote, "I too am soooo excited!! I get goose bumps, literally, when I watch what's going on in the [Middle East]!!"
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, I was listening on July 21 to Janet Parshall, who’s one of the leading evangelical and Republican broadcasters. She can get Dick Cheney on her show in a heartbeat. And she said, “As soon as the missiles started flying between Israel and Hezbollah,” she said a voice just brimming with glee, “these are the times we've been waiting for. This is straight out of a Sunday school lesson.” So the Christian Zionists have a tendency to celebrate things that most Israelis consider tragic. You know, I question whether John Hagee agonizes over the dozens of deaths of Israeli soldiers. I question whether he agonizes over the Israelis, the thousands of Israelis who had to spend the last month in bomb shelters. I don't think he does agonize. I think what Hagee and the Christian Zionists want is to fight a battle to the last Jew.
AMY GOODMAN: Max Blumenthal, I want to thank you very much for being with us. His piece in The Nation magazine is called "Birth Pangs of a New Christian Zionism." Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=06/08/15/1326256
Posted By: Hanan
Date Posted: 29 August 2006 at 10:40pm
Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
Council on American-Islamic Relations
8.29.2006 -- Two international affairs experts discussed pro-Israel lobbying and its influence on U.S. attitudes toward the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Topics included Israel and international law, U.S. neutrality, defining terrorism, and $3 billion per year U.S. aid to Israel. They said there is a loose coalition of individuals and groups lobbying Congress for U.S.-Israel policy. They also said most mainstream media are strongly pro-Israel. U.S. aid to Israel in the recent Hezbollah-Israel military action was described. After their presentations the panelists responded to audience members’ questions.
Walt and Mearsheimer wrote an article in the March London Review of Books that raised questions about the power the Israel lobby wields over U.S. foreign policy, saying that the lobbyists try to prevent criticism by claiming anti-Semitism. Their article was also the cover story in the July-August issue of Foreign Policy Magazine.
08/28/06 Broadcast by C-Span - Runtime 90 Minutes http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14752.htm - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14752.htm
AIPAC, the Religious Right and American foreign policy
"Most citizens are unaware of the startling fact that for years our U.S. Middle East policy has not been crafted by seasoned experts who are committed to America's basic national interests." --Paul Findley, U.S. Republican Congressman, (1961-83)
“Thank God we have AIPAC, the greatest supporter and friend we have in the whole world,” --Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minister
"Either I make policy on the Middle East or AIPAC makes policy on the Middle East." --Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter administration National Security Advisor
8.29.2006 -- Nobody can understand what's going on politically in the United States without being aware that a political coalition of major pro-Likud groups, pro-Israel neoconservative intellectuals and Christian Zionists is exerting a tremendously powerful influence on the American government and its policies.
Over time, this large pro-Israel Lobby, spearheaded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has extended its comprehensive grasp over large segments of the U.S. government, including the vice president's office, the Pentagon and the State Department, besides controlling the legislative apparatus of Congress. It is being assisted in this task by powerful allies in the two main political parties, in major corporate media and by some richly financed so-called "think-tanks," such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, or the Washington Institute for Near East Policy .
AIPAC is the centerpiece of this coordinated system. For example, it keeps voting statistics on each congressional representative and senator, which are then transmitted to political donors to act accordingly. AIPAC also organizes regular all-expense-paid trips to Israel and meetings with Israeli ministers and personalities for congressmen and their staffs, and for other state and local American politicians. Not receiving this imprimatur is a major handicap for any ambitious American politician, even if he can rely on a personal fortune.
In Washington, in order to have a better access to decision makers, 'The Lobby' even has developed the habit of recruiting personnel for senators and House members' offices. And, when elections come, 'The Lobby' makes sure that lukewarm, independent-minded or dissenting politicians are punished and defeated. It is a source of such political power, campaign financing and media propaganda that no U.S. politician can dare ignore its demands without fear of being destroyed. As veteran columnist Robert Novak recently pointed out, thanks to the influence of AIPAC and 'The Lobby,' "Washington remains largely a bipartisan, criticism-free zone for Israel."
This is understandable. AIPAC's techniques are so efficient that one can easily have the impression that it is a 'parallel government' in Washington, D.C. In the words of its president, Howard Friedman, consigned in a hubristic bulletin to supporters, it relies on two techniques in particular:
1. "AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel's predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a 'position paper' on their views of the U.S.-Israel relationship, so it's clear where they stand on the subject."
2. "Members of Congress, staffers and administration officials have come to rely on AIPAC's memos. They are very busy people and they know that they can count on AIPAC for clear-eyed analysis. We present this information in concise form to elected officials. The information and analyses are impeccable, -after all our reputation is at stake. This results in policy and legislation that make up Israel's lifeline."
I doubt that there is any democratic country in the entire world where candidates have to pass an ideological litmus test, if they want to have a chance of being chosen candidates and being elected. Thus, who could blame AIPAC from being convinced that it has the U.S. Congress on a very short leash? If AIPAC were a company, it could be subject to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) antitrust and anti-cartel investigation for cornering the market.
Therefore, it should be no surprise that, on Capitol Hill, 'The Lobby' seems to be in charge, so much so that its near complete control of U.S. foreign policy and other policies, such as defense, has become the equivalent of a joke. We are not witnessing consensus here, but rather a situation tantamount to unanimity in the desire to align American policies to Israeli policies, each time Israel's interests in the Middle East are on the line. A totalitarian country would not function differently.
AIPAC has such a grip on Washington that sometimes one can be forgiven for confusing Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C. A recent example: AIPAC penned a resolution of support for Israel in its savage and illegal bombings of Lebanon. On July 20, 2006, the resolution was voted unanimously by the 100-member Senate and the vote in the House was 410 to 8. Case closed.
For many years, the influence of 'The Lobby' remained under the radar, being ignored or concealed by the media it controlled and by most commentators. On March 10, 2006, however, two respected American scholars, professors Stephen Walt from Harvard University and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago published a study in The London Review of Books, entitled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, about the disproportionate influence that this special interest Lobby has on American foreign policy. It said that AIPAC was "the most powerful and best known" organization in a pro-Israel lobby that systematically distorts American foreign policy. The study concluded that Israel played a major role in pushing the Bush administration toward a war with Iraq, and it argued that the pro-Israel lobby's influence on U.S. foreign policy was bad both for Israel and for the U.S. Thereafter, nobody could feign ignoring the corrosive influence of this powerful lobby on U.S. foreign policy.
Another example of the type of power 'The Lobby' carries these days in Washington, D.C., is its success in establishing within the State Department, with taxpayers' money, a special interest agency, called the 'Office of Global Anti-Semitism'. In a move reminiscent of what happened during past centuries under totalitarian regimes, this new 'agency' is totally devoted to monitoring around the world instances, among other things, of criticism of Israel or of American pro-Israel policies. The creation of this new department of Inquisition was mandated by a law, [H.R. 4230], that President George W. Bush signed on October 16, 2004. Who says that reality is not stranger than fiction!
So-called Christian Zionists also have a significant influence on American foreign policy, especially as it relates to the Middle East. Their propaganda has been so successful that today, 40 percent of Americans believe that Israel was directly given to the Jewish people by 'God'. One-third of Americans even believe that the creation of the state of Israel, in 1948, after a terrorist campaign against Great Britain, was a step towards the 'Second Coming of Jesus Christ' and the 'End of the world'. For the most fanatical ones among them, the 'war on terrorism,' whatever it means, is a war of religion between Christianity and Islam. With such thinking, the world is thrown back four centuries, since the last war of religion was the 1618-1648 Thirty Years' War between European Protestants and Catholics.
These days, the American religious Right has its own special interest office within the State Department. It is called the 'Office of International Religious Freedom,' whose principal mission is to meddle in the domestic affairs of other countries. Such a state agency would seem to run contrary to the "wall of separation" between church and state that President Thomas Jefferson thought he had erected with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such governmental forays in religious matters are in addition to the state-financed 'Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives' that the Bush administration created soon after it took office.
Since the current occupant of the White House is a born-again Christian who harbors ideas which are close to those advanced by the American Christian Right it should not be too surprising if the Bush administration's policy in the Middle East has very strong religious overtones.
In any government, one has to look behind the curtains to see who is really pulling the strings and who is steering the policies. In the case of the Bush-Cheney administration, one has to know about 'The Lobby' and the 'religious Right'. Without that knowledge, one is in the dark when it comes to understanding the direction taken by certain policies. Rodrigue Tremblay http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog - www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog
Posted By: Hanan
Date Posted: 30 August 2006 at 10:43pm
The Lobby and the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon: Their Facts and Ours
8.30.2006 -- All the national, state and local Jewish organizations have launched a $300 million fundraising and propaganda campaign in support of the 21 Jewish civilians and 116 soldiers killed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (but not the 18 Israeli Arabs who were excluded from Jews-only bomb shelters). As adjuncts of the Israeli foreign office not a single one of the 52 organizations which make up The Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations in the US voiced a single public criticism of Israel’s massive destruction of civilian homes, hospitals, offices, supermarkets, refugee convoys and churches and mosques, and the deliberate killing of civilians, UN peacekeepers and rescue workers with precision bombing. On the contrary the entire Jewish lobby echoed in precise detail the Israeli lies that the Lebanese deaths were caused by the Lebanese resistance’s “use of human shields”, despite the total devastation of the heavily populated southern suburbs of Beirut, completely out of range of any Hezbollah rockets.
The magnitude of the Jewish Lobby’s cover-up of Israel’s massive military assault can be measured in great detail.
The Israeli Armed Forces (IDF) launched 5,000 missiles, 5-ton bunker-buster bombs and cluster bombs as well as anti-personnel phosphorus bombs each day into Lebanon for 27 days – totaling over 135,000 missiles, bombs and artillery shells. During the last 7 days of the war Israel launched 6,000 bombs and shells per day – over 42,000, for a grand total of 177,000 over a heavily populated territory the size of the smallest state in the US. In contrast, the Lebanese national resistance launched 4,000 rockets during the entire 34-day period, an average of 118 per day. The ratio was 44 to 1 – without mentioning the size differentials, the long-term killing effects of the thousands of un-exploded cluster bombs (nearly 50 killed or maimed since the end of hostilities) and Israel’s scorched earth military incursion.
The Jewish Lobbyists publish the number of Israel’s civilian dead as 41, forgetting to mention that only 23 were Jews, the remaining 18 were members of Israel’s Arab Muslim and Christian minority who constitute around 20% of the population. The disproportionate number of Israeli Arabs killed was a result of the Israeli government policy of providing shelters and siren warning systems to Jews and ignoring the security needs of its Arab citizens. The proportion of civilian deaths to soldiers was 41 to 116 or 26% of the total Israeli dead (but if we only consider Jewish Israelis and IDF members the proportion 23 to 116 or 16% of the Jewish dead were civilian.) Clearly the Lebanese resistance was aiming most of its fire at the invading IDF. In contrast, in Lebanon, of the 1,181 so far known to have been killed, 1088 were civilians and only 93 were fighters. In other words 92% of the Lebanese dead were civilians –over three times the rate of civilians killed by the Lebanese resistance and almost 6 times the rate of Jewish civilians killed (the only ones who count in the Lobby’s propaganda machine). To put it more bluntly: over 47 Lebanese civilians were slaughtered for each Jewish Israeli civilian death.
The Jewish Lobby’s claims of Israeli moral and military superiority in the Middle East – which is paradoxically combined with warnings that Israel’s survival is at stake – has been shredded to tatters as a result of their failure to annihilate Hezbollah.
The Lobby’s echoing Israeli military claims of the invincibility of the Israeli armed forces is largely based on their ‘fighting’ against rock throwing Palestinian school kids. Today it is clear that they are quite vulnerable when faced with well-armed, veteran Lebanese guerrilla fighters. According to a United Nation Report, from June 26 to August 26, 2006, Israel killed 202 Palestinians, 44 of whom were small children, while losing 1 soldier; while in Lebanon, Israel lost 116 soldiers to 93 Lebanese fighters in 34 days (almost half the time). In other words, 157 times more Israeli’s were killed as a result of the Lebanese invasion in one month – than died in Palestine in 2 months (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, August 26, 2006). The Jewish Lobby’s propaganda campaign in the US Congress, throughout the mass media and even in our small communities in defense of Israel’s “Summer Rain” (raining bombs on civilians) against the Palestinians has been thoroughly exposed as a murderous scorched earth policy by the United Nations Report and summarized in the Israeli daily Haaretz (August 27, 2006). According to Haaretz: “The (campaign)…is still taking a severe toll on 1.4 million Palestinians…thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes following continuing IDF incursions into the Strip (Gaza) and heavy shelling…the Israeli Air Force has conducted 247 aerial assaults in Gaza…more than a million people have been left with no regular supply of water and electricity.” The Lobby, like skilled totalitarians, reverses the roles calling the Palestinian victims (all 202 of them) terrorists and the executioners (the Israeli Defense Force) victims (1 dead soldier who was most likely killed by ‘friendly fire’).
George Orwell would have written a scathing essay on the Lobby’s version of Israel’s Animal Farm where one Israeli death is worth more than 202 Palestinians.
In surveying the Daily Alert, the propaganda sheet prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (a semi-official propaganda arm of the Israeli regime) for the Conference of Presidents of Major America Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO), there is not a single mention of the fact that the Jewish state was killing almost 10 Lebanese civilians for each fighter, while the Hezbollah resistance was killing four times as many Israeli soldiers as Israeli civilians (Jews and Gentiles). Not a single opinion article, editorial or commentary reproduced by the Daily Alert, from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The National Telegraph, the New York Sun, USA Today, Boston Globe, New York Times, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post or The Times (UK) mentions the fact that Israel’s much ballyhooed ‘precision’ bombing succeeded in targeting civilians, while the Lebanese defenders’ far less sophisticated weaponry mainly hit IDF invaders.
These omissions by the Jewish Lobby and its members and supporters in the Anglo-American-Israeli respectable and yellow press and electronic media were absolutely necessary to perpetuate the myth the Israel was waging a ‘defensive’, ‘existential’ (sic) war for ‘survival’ against Islamic ‘terrorists’ embodied in Hezbollah and the Lebanese National Resistance.
Was Israel’s destruction of 15,000 homes up to Beirut and beyond to Northern Lebanon defensive actions as the CPMAJO claims? Do these very smart, very wealthy, highly educated Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Hopkins and Chicago-educated Jewish apologists for the Israeli invasion really believe that bombing hospitals, supermarkets, water treatments plants, churches and mosques in Southern Lebanon, oil refineries and milk, food and pharmaceutical factories in Beirut, transport, highways and bridges in Northern Lebanon were ‘existential’ acts essential for the survival of the ‘Jewish State’? Can’t they understand the simple math presented above? The math of genocide? Do the investment bankers, professors, dentists and armies of rabbis of all Talmudic readings believe that Israel is the innocent victim of aggression – justifying the slaughter of over 90% Lebanese civilians among those it killed? Such well-educated professionals must know that from January 1996 to August 2006, there were weekly incidents all along the Israeli-Lebanese border, involving Israeli raids, killings and kidnapping of Lebanese civilians, as well as rocket firing in both directions. Didn’t the Hollywood moguls who gave so generously to the Israeli war machine know that Elliott Abrams, President Bush’s chief adviser on the Middle East (stern defender of Jewish purity and intimate collaborator with the Israeli high command) gave full support in early summer to an Israeli plan to destroy Hezbollah, at least one month before the border incident (see S. Hersh, New Yorker, August 21, 2006)?
Of course the educated elites know all about the Israeli lust for power and dominance…Unlike the good Germans in the 1940’s, who claimed they didn’t see the smoking chimneys or the grim trains, today images of devastated apartments and slaughtered children were visible, easily accessible and followed by well-publicized reports by all the human rights groups on Israel’s crimes against humanity. They knew and supported Israel’s crimes before and after the ceasefire – and they proudly chose to endorse the war, the policies and the state as true accomplices after the fact.
Yet the Jewish Lobby tells us that Hezbollah’s kidnapping of two soldiers across the Israeli border was the detonator for a full-scale invasion. Numerous sources around the world even dispute the Israeli account of a Hezbollah cross-border attack. According to the big business US magazine Forbes (July 12, 2006), the French news service AFP (July 12, 2006), the respectable Asia Times (July 15, 2006) and the Lebanese police, the Israeli soldiers were captured within Lebanon in the area of Ai’tu Al-Chaarb, a Lebanese village a few kilometers from the Israeli border.
While the Jewish lobby raises funds exclusively for Israeli-Jewish soldiers and civilians, Hezbollah is engaged in a non-sectarian reconstruction program that embraces all Lebanese communities and households, regardless of religious or ethnic preferences. The reason is found in the fact that the Lebanese resistance was a national movement. Contrary to the Lobby’s propaganda, the Lebanese resistance was not exclusively Shia or even Muslim in make-up. Israel’s invasion managed to united Lebanon’s factions in defense of their homeland. Of the 93 Lebanese fighters killed, 20% were from organizations other than Hezbollah, a point ignored by the Lobby’s ideologues, who pursue Israel’s policy of pushing the US to attack Iran, Syria and other Middle East states known to be hostile to Israel’s hegemonic ambitions.
Consequences of Israeli War In both Israel and throughout the pro-Israel Jewish networks, the Israeli military’s failure to achieve its goal of defeating and eliminating the Lebanese resistance, particularly Hezbollah, has had a major impact. In Israel, the major criticism of the Olmert-Perez regime and General Haluz from both soldiers and civilians is that the government was too weak – there was insufficient bombing, lack of sufficient ground troops and too much concern for Lebanese civilians. The cease-fire, they complained, was premature; the territory occupied was too limited. Likud and other parties in the Knesset called for the bombing of Syria and Iran.
While many US and Israeli progressives cited the ‘turmoil’, ‘dissent’ and harsh polemics in the aftermath of the war as typical of the ‘rough and tumble’ of Israel’s democracy, they ignored the savage militarist substance and ultra-rightwing direction of Israeli public opinion. The ‘who lost the war’ polemics in Israel is basically anchored in preparations for a new, more violent attack on Lebanon and other adversaries of Israel.
This militaristic rage is manifested in the brutal daily assaults on the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank where Israeli warplanes bomb homes and ground forces assassinate and injure dozens of civilians – ‘existential’ murders against stone-throwing schoolboys. Israel’s rage has affected Jewish religious notables. The Rabbinical Council of America called for the Israeli military to re-evaluate its military rules of war in light of Hezbollah’s “unconscionable use of civilians, hospitals, ambulances, mosques and the like as human shields”, according to the Jerusalem Post August 21, 2006. The RCA and the modern Orthodox women’s organization, Eminah, represent over one million US Jews. Their call to maximize civilian deaths in order to lessen the ‘risk’ to ‘our’ (Israeli Jewish) soldiers is in the finest spirit of Nazi chaplains egging on the Wehrmacht’s scorched earth policy during World War Two. Their Israeli counterparts, Rabbis Eliyahu and Drori, echoed the RCA’s ‘delicate criticisms’ in more colorful and uninhibited terms: “Our corrupt military, which tells us that our soldiers must endanger their lives to protect enemy civilians, is the reason we lost the war”, according to the gentle Rabbi Eliyahu, who sees all non-Jewish civilians opposing Israeli policy as enemies worthy of incineration. Not to be outdone, the good Rabbi Drori accused the rest of Western humanity as ‘anti-Semites’ for being horrified at Israel’s savage destruction. “Anti-Semites demand that we use Christian morality while our enemies act like barbarians,” (Jerusalem Post, August 21, 2006). Apparently the killing and maiming of over a thousand Lebanese civilians, mostly women and children, does not satisfy this raging bull Rabbi.
Lest one think that these US and Israeli Rabbis are simply loose cannons or isolated psychopaths, three weeks earlier, one Rabbi Dov Lior, in the name of the Yesh Council of Rabbis (with hundreds of thousands of Israeli followers), announced that “when our enemies hold a baby in one hand and shoot us with the other, or when missiles are purposely aimed at civilian populations in the Land of Israel in blatant disregard for moral criteria, we are obligated to act according to Jewish morality, which dictates that ‘he who gets up to kill you, get up yourself and kill him first,” (Jerusalem Post August 25, 2006). The Holy men of the Holy Land are providing a post-factum religious blessing for the more than three hundred Lebanese children killed and urging the future killing of even more children. All this we are told is according to ‘Jewish morality’. Surely many US Jews, especially liberals and even conservatives, object to rabbinical fiats for the slaughter of children, but we are deafened by their polite silence. The Lobby conveniently ignores the Jewish morality spiel, even as it defends the ‘moderate’ secular line of Israeli civilian deaths resulting from Hezbollah using Lebanese babies and old grannies as shields to commit their crimes. So we have a raging debate among the US and Israeli rabbis, and secular and religious apologists over whether killing Lebanese civilians and children is based on tactical military or religious-ethical considerations.
The Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, David A. Harris, puts to the lie the nasty bit of propaganda by the US ‘Left’ Zionists downplaying the role of the Jewish Lobby in securing whole-hearted US White House and Congressional support for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon. In discussing US subservience to Israel, Harris stated, “No other nation has been prepared to define such an intimate relationship with Israel in all bilateral spheres – from arms sales, foreign aid and intelligence-sharing to a free-trade zone, scientific co-operation and diplomatic support. No other nation has the capacity, by dint of its size and stature, to help ensure Israel’s quest for a secure and lasting peace (sic)…In the recent conflict with Hezbollah, once again the United States demonstrated its willingness to stand by Israel, provide vital support and withstand the pressure of many US allies who would have wished for an earlier end to the fighting even if it meant keeping Hezbollah largely intact and in place…Whatever the primary factor, there can be no doubt that American Jewry is an essential element of the equation (yoking the US to Israel). This is all the more reason why American Jewry need to work day in and day out to ensure that the mutually beneficial link (sic) goes from strength to strength,” (Jerusalem Post August 25, 2006).
In plain English, the Jewish networks and lobbies were able to secure 98% support from Congress for a resolution supporting Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, even as 54 percent Democrats and 39% Republicans favor a policy of neutrality as opposed to alignment with Israel (Times-Bloomberg Poll July25-August 1, 2006, published in the Jewish Telegraph Agency – August 15, 2006). The Lobby convinced, pressured and threatened the White House to prolong the Israeli terror bombing as Harris so proudly announced. The Jewish Lobby does work ‘day in and day out’ to make sure that Israel can ethnically cleanse Palestine, drop 5-ton bombs on Lebanese apartment buildings, bulldoze villages and isolate the US from even its closest allies at the expense of the US taxpayers, our democratic ideals and our sovereignty. And the American Jewish Committee has the chutzpah (arrogance) to say that it is ‘our mutually beneficial link’. Now that is a bit of political dishonesty! James Petras, Information Clearing House http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14762.htm - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14762.htm
Posted By: Hanan
Date Posted: 31 August 2006 at 8:02pm
Don’t Worry Too Much About Civilian Deaths
While human rights groups and people from all over the world condemn the high death toll of innocent civilians in Lebanon, the “Rabbinical Council of America” issued a statement in which they advised Israel’s military to be less concerned with avoiding civilian casualties on the opposing side in the future.
Because Hezbollah “puts Israeli men and women at extraordinary risk of life and limb through unconscionably using their own civilians, hospitals, ambulances, mosques… as human shields, cannon fodder, and weapons of asymmetric warfare,” the rabbinical council said in a statement, “we believe that Judaism would neither require nor permit a Jewish soldier to sacrifice himself in order to save deliberately endangered enemy civilians.”
The American Jewish Congress stated:
“ … inadvertently killing civilians when targeting terrorists has happened in all of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, but this has brought it front and center in very clear ways that everybody now sees.”
“You can’t conduct a war in Lebanon without killing civilians.”
The American Jewish Congress complained that
“… international law, as it is currently applied by the United Nations, the Red Cross and unofficial international human rights groups, enhances the military capability of irregular forces at the direct expense of states and thus exacerbates the difficulties of nations engaged in asymmetrical warfare.”
The Anti-Defamation League accused the organization “Human Rights Watch” of
“… failing to consider the existential threat that Hezbollah, as an agent of Iran and Syria, poses to the Jewish state.”
Alan Dershowitz (Project for the New American Century), along with other Jewish communal leaders, has complained that
“Human Rights Watch has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
“Human Rights Watch” rebuked its critics and said that
“There is a shocking lack of factual engagement by the reflexive defenders of Israel. They will focus on irrelevancies, they will twist what we said, but nobody takes on what we actually said.”
The “Union for Reform Judaism,” American Jewry’s largest synagogue movement, which is also supported by many university and college students, called on the “Union for Reform Judaism” to
“condemn the Israeli military’s killing of unarmed Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, as well as its premeditated targeting of civilian infrastructures, which has put additional lives at risk and hampered relief efforts.”