Archive for Jewish Lobby

DUAL-LOYALTY WATCH: Another Israeli spy goes scot-free; case ‘shrouded in mystery,’ says judge

Posted in Israel with tags , , , , on June 1, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Ben-Ami_Kadish_CU.S. man who gave secrets to Israel spared prison
Reuters

May 29, 2009

NEW YORK — An 85-year-old former civilian employee of the U.S. Army was fined but avoided prison time on Friday after earlier pleading guilty to giving classified documents to Israel in the 1980s in a case the sentencing judge said was “shrouded in mystery.”

Court documents showed that Ben-Ami Kadish, who was fined $50,000 but spared prison time, reported to the same handler as Jonathan Pollard, an American who spied for Israel in the 1980s and triggered a scandal that rocked U.S.-Israeli relations.

“Why it took the government 23 years to charge Mr. Kadish is shrouded in mystery,” U.S. District Judge William Pauley said during the sentencing hearing in Manhattan federal court. “It is clear the (U.S.) government could have charged Mr. Kadish with far more serious crimes.”

Kadish pleaded guilty in December to acting as an unregistered agent of Israel. He was arrested in April 2008 on four counts of conspiracy and espionage. The spying charge, dropped under a plea deal, had carried a possible death sentence.

“I am sorry I made a mistake,” a frail-looking Kadish said during the sentencing hearing. “I thought I was helping the state of Israel without harming the United States.”

The judge said he gave a lenient sentence due to Kadish’s age and infirmity, but said Kadish had committed “a grave offense” and had “abused the trust” of the United States. For much of the hearing, Kadish sat slumped in his chair with heavy eyelids. At one stage, he had to be shaken awake by his lawyer.

MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS

Prosecutors had recommended no prison time as part of the plea deal. They said between 1980 and 1985 Kadish provided classified documents, including some relating to U.S. missile defense systems, to an Israeli agent, Yosef Yagur, who photographed the documents at Kadish’s residence.

Yagur also was Pollard’s main Israeli contact. Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to spying for Israel in 1986. Israel gave Pollard citizenship in 1996 and acknowledged he was one of its spies in 1998.

During the hearing, the judge questioned a prosecutor as to why it took so long to charge Kadish when the telephone records on which the case was based were available in the mid-1980s.

“There is no mystery behind it, it’s just what happened,” said prosecutor Iris Lan, who explained she understood it took the FBI that amount of time to assemble the evidence.

The judge also questioned Kadish’s lawyer about how Kadish was able to earn $104,000 in 2007 when he does not work. His lawyer said it was from investments.

Kadish was born in the United States but grew up on a farm in Palestine before the founding of the modern state of Israel. He served in the British and U.S. armies in World War II.

From 1980 to 1985, Yagur asked Kadish to obtain classified documents, which Kadish retrieved from the U.S. Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey, according to a sworn statement by Kadish. Kadish said he kept up a friendship with Yagur after 1985.

“While Kadish knew he was aiding Israel, an ally to the United States, he also knew his crime compromised the national security,” the judge said.

The above article can be found at: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE54S65H20090529

DUAL-LOYALTY WATCH: U.S. to drop spy case against pro-Israel lobbyists

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , , , on May 6, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

aipaclogoThe New York Times
May 1, 2009

WASHINGTON — A case that began four years ago with the tantalizing and volatile premise that officials of a major pro-Israel lobbying organization were illegally trafficking in sensitive national security information collapsed on Friday as prosecutors asked that all charges be withdrawn.

From the beginning, the case against the lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) was highly unusual. The two, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, were charged under the World War I-era Espionage Act, accused of improperly providing to their colleagues, journalists and Israeli diplomats sensitive information they had acquired by speaking with American policy makers.

Some lawyers at the Justice Department had always had significant reservations about the case, some current and former officials said. They believed that Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman had acted imprudently, but doubted that either man should be criminally prosecuted. Nevertheless, FBI agents poured substantial resources into the case, and the decision to seek a dismissal infuriated many within the law enforcement agency.

But several current and former officials said the decision to abandon the case was no surprise. With adverse judicial rulings making the prosecution increasingly risky, lawyers in the United States Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va., and at Justice Department headquarters met on several occasions in recent weeks, agonizing over whether to go forward with the trial, which was scheduled to begin June 2.

Last week, officials from the FBI’s Washington office who investigated the case made their final pleas to keep the case alive, arguing that there was enough evidence to persuade a jury to find the two men guilty. But prosecutors — including some who had worked on the case for years — disagreed.

Joseph Persichini Jr., the top official at the FBI’s Washington office, praised the work of the FBI agents on the case, and said he was “disappointed” in the decision to drop the charges.

The case had raised delicate political issues about the role played by American Jewish supporters of Israel and their close, behind-the-scenes relationships with top government officials. Advocates of civil liberties and of open government asserted that the defendants were being singled out for activities that were part of the accepted and routine way that American policy on Israel and the Middle East had been formulated for years, with people exchanging information.

The decision to drop the case comes just days before Aipac is scheduled to begin its annual policy conference in Washington, which has often served as an advertisement of its influence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is scheduled to address the event via satellite.

Lawyers for Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman said in a statement that while they were pleased at the decision, the government had erred in bringing the case in the first place and had caused great damage to their clients. Aipac dismissed the men early in 2004 after prosecutors presented some of their evidence to an Aipac lawyer. The group later agreed to subsidize their legal costs.

The Justice Department said that the decision to drop the case had been made solely by career prosecutors in Alexandria, and that senior officials of the Obama administration had acted only to approve the recommendation.

Several other officials said, however, that while senior political appointees at the Justice Department did not direct subordinates to drop the case, they were heavily involved in the deliberations. These officials said David S. Kris, the newly appointed chief of the department’s national security division, and Dana J. Boente, the interim United States attorney in Alexandria, had conferred regularly with prosecutors and ultimately decided to accept the recommendation to abandon the case. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was informed and raised no objections.

The case would have been the first prosecution under the espionage law in which no documents were involved and in which the defendants were not officials who provided the information, but the private citizens who received it from them in conversations.

While Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman trafficked in facts, ideas and rumor, they had done so with the full awareness of officials in the United States and Israel, who found they often helped lubricate the wheels of decision-making between two close, but sometimes quarrelsome, friends. [Notice how the NYT, a well-known Zionist mouthpiece, shamelessly editorializes here in defense of the two spies — 800]

The move by the government to end the case came in a motion filed with the Federal Court in Alexandria.

In pretrial maneuvering, the prosecution suffered several setbacks in rulings from the trial judge, T. S. Ellis III, that were upheld by a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va. Judge Ellis rejected several government efforts to conceal classified information if the case went to trial. Moreover, he ruled that the government could prevail only if it met a high standard; he said prosecutors would have to demonstrate that Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman knew that their distribution of the information would harm United States national security.

The investigation of Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman also surfaced recently in news reports that Representative Jane Harman, a [Jewish] California Democrat long involved in intelligence matters, was overheard on a government wiretap discussing the case. As reported by Congressional Quarterly, which covers Capitol Hill, and The New York Times, Ms. Harman was overheard agreeing with an Israeli intelligence operative to try to intercede with Bush administration officials to obtain leniency for Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman in exchange for help in persuading Democratic leaders to make her chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Ms. Harman has denied interceding for Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, and has expressed anger that she was wiretapped. She is to be among the featured speakers at the Aipac conference next week.

Over government objections, Judge Ellis had also ruled that the defense could call as witnesses several senior Bush administration foreign policy officials to demonstrate that what occurred was part of the continuing process of information trading and did not involve anything nefarious. The defense lawyers were planning to call as witnesses former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Stephen J. Hadley, the former national security adviser; and several others. Government policy makers indicated they were clearly uncomfortable with senior officials’ testifying in open court over policy deliberations.

The government’s motion to dismiss said the government was obliged to take a final review of the case to consider “the likelihood that classified information will be revealed at trial, any damage to the national security that might result from a disclosure of classified information and the likelihood the government would prevail at trial.”

The above article can be found at: U.S. to Drop Spy Case Against Pro-Israel Lobbyists

Retired U.S. diplomat tells of Mossad hit jobs in Lebanon, Pakistan

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on April 4, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

The M24 Israeli issue carbine

The M24 Israeli issue carbine

U.S. envoy writes of Israeli threats
The Nation (U.S.)

March 31, 2009

In the wake of the accusation by Chas Freeman that his nomination to lead the National Intelligence Council was derailed by an “Israeli lobby,” [LINK] a forthcoming memoir by another distinguished ambassador adds stunning new charges to the debate.

The ambassador, John Gunther Dean, writes that over the years he not only came under pressure from pro-Israeli groups and officials in Washington but also was the target of an Israeli-inspired assassination attempt in 1980 in Lebanon, where he had opened links to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

[Thanks to DBS at The French Connection for this one]

Dean’s suspicions that Israeli agents may have also been involved in the mysterious plane crash in 1988 that killed Pakistan’s president, General Mohammed Zia ul Haq, led finally to a decision in Washington to declare him mentally unfit, which forced his resignation from the foreign service after a thirty-year career. After he left public service, he was rehabilitated by the State Department, given a distinguished service medal and eventually encouraged to write his memoirs. Now 82, Dean sees the subsequent positive attention he has received as proof that the insanity charge (he calls it Stalinist) was phony, a supposition later confirmed by a former head of the department’s medical service.

Dean, whose memoir is titled “Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests,” was American ambassador in Lebanon in August 1980 when a three-car convoy carrying him and his family was attacked near Beirut.

“I was the target of an assassination attempt by terrorists using automatic rifles and antitank weapons that had been made in the United States and shipped to Israel,” he wrote. “Weapons financed and given by the United States to Israel were used in an attempt to kill an American diplomat!” After the event, conspiracy theories abounded in the Middle East about who could have planned the attack, and why. Lebanon was a dangerously factionalized country.

The State Department investigated, Dean said, but he was never told what the conclusion was. He wrote that he “worked the telephone for three weeks” and met only official silence in Washington. By then Dean had learned from weapons experts in the United States and Lebanon that the guns and ammunition used in the attack had been given by Israelis to a Christian militia allied with them.

“I know as surely as I know anything that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was somehow involved in the attack,” Dean wrote, describing how he had been under sharp criticism from Israeli politicians and media for his contacts with Palestinians. “Undoubtedly using a proxy, our ally Israel had tried to kill me.”

Dean’s memoir, to be published in May for the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Memoir Series by New Academia Publishing under its Vellum imprint, has been read and approved for publication by the State Department with only very minor changes, none affecting Dean’s major points. Its underlying theme is that American diplomacy should be pursued in American interests, not those of another country, however friendly. A Jew whose family fled the Holocaust, Dean resented what he saw as an assumption, including by some in Congress, that he would promote Israel’s interests in his ambassadorial work.

Dean, a fluent French speaker who began his long diplomatic career opening American missions in newly independent West African nations in the early 1960s, served later in Vietnam (where he described himself as a “loyal dissenter”) and was ambassador in Cambodia (where he carried out the American flag as the Khmer Rouge advanced), Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand (where Chas Freeman was his deputy) and India. He takes credit for averting bloodshed in Laos in the 1970s by negotiating a coalition government shared by communist and noncommunist parties.

He was sometimes a disputatious diplomat not afraid to contradict superiors, and he often took — and still holds — contrarian views. He always believed, for example, that the United States should have attempted to negotiate with the Khmer Rouge rather than let the country be overrun by their brutal horror.

As ambassador in India in the 1980s he supported then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s policy of seeking some kind of neutral coalition in Afghanistan that would keep the American- and Pakistani-armed mujahedeen from establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state. For several years after the Soviet withdrawal, India continued to back Najibullah, a thuggish communist security chief whom the retreating Soviet troops left behind. After the mujahedeen moved toward Kabul, Najibullah refused a United Nations offer of safe passage to India. He was slaughtered and left hanging on a lamppost.

It was in the midst of this Soviet endgame in Afghanistan that Dean fell afoul of the State Department for the last time. After the death of General Zia in August 1988, in a plane crash that also killed the American ambassador in Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, Dean was told in New Delhi by high-ranking officials that Mossad was a possible instigator of the accident, in which the plane’s pilot and co-pilot were apparently disabled or otherwise lost control. There was also some suspicion that elements of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, its equivalent of the CIA, may have played a part. India and Israel were alarmed by Pakistan’s work on a nuclear weapon–the “Islamic bomb.”

Dean was so concerned about these reports, and the attempt by the State Department to block a full FBI investigation of the crash in Pakistan, that he decided to return to Washington for direct consultations. Instead of the meetings he was promised, he was told his service in India was over. He was sent into virtual house arrest in Switzerland at a home belonging to the family of his French wife, Martine Duphenieux. Six weeks later, he was allowed to return to New Delhi to pack his belongings and return to Washington, where he resigned.

Suddenly his health record was cleared and his security clearance restored. He was presented with the Distinguished Service Award and received a warm letter of praise from Secretary of State George Shultz. “Years later,” he wrote in his memoir, “I learned who had ordered the bogus diagnosis of mental incapacity against me. It was the same man who had so effusively praised me once I was gone — George Shultz.”

Asked in a telephone conversation last week from his home in Paris why Shultz had done this to him, Dean would say only, “He was forced to.”

The above article can be found at: US Envoy Writes of Israeli Threats

Retired U.S. diplomat tells of Mossad hit jobs in Lebanon, Pakistan

Zionist infiltration of the Australian Parliament

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Syd Walker Blog

In this recent speech to the British House of Lords, Baroness Tonge discusses the unmentionable: the Zionist Lobby’s brutally-exercised and politically-stultifying power in western countries.

From an Australian perspective, it would be progress if ONE member of the Australian Parliament spoke in plain English about The Lobby’s power downunder.

Youtube Video

A handful of Australian politicians, such as the gutsy Julia Irwin MP, have voiced public support for a better deal for Palestinians – but none has ever publicly criticized the Zionist movement’s intimidatory behaviour (as far as I’m aware)

The last Australian politician who came close was the former National Party leader Tim Fisher, who even showed enough spirit (after leaving Parliament) to write an article about the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty – probably one of the few occasions in four decades that astonishing incident has ever been mentioned by Australia’s mass media.

911 Questions: another Elephant in the Living Room

Another Elephant in the Living Room; could it be the same one?

The Israel/Zionist Lobby in Australia itself is the principal Elephant in the Living Room for Australia’s political elite or mass media. If The Lobby is discussed, it’s only with admiration.

Consequently, the unwavering, grovelling support for Israel, shown by all leading politicians, is simply inexplicable to most Australians. They lack the information necessary to understand it.

The pro-Israel bias is reported without critical comment by the media – and dimly perceived as one of life’s mysteries by the masses. Those who do believe the bias has a rational basis have an irrational basis for that belief; they’re the folk sucked in by the drip-drip-drip of Islamophobic and anti-Arab propaganda that is de rigeur in the sleazier parts of the mass media.

Fortunately, the Internet is opening up public discourse in Australia on the crucial topic of Zionist power. Slowly but surely discussion of The Lobby is making its way into the mass media too, mostly via submitted comments.

As usual, people lead. Sooner or later, politicians will follow. Later, in the case of Australia…

The above article can be found at : No Tonge in Australian Parliament

Zionist agents in Congress, Senate preempt Freeman intel appointment

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on March 17, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

the_lobbyIntelligence pick blames “Israel Lobby” for withdrawal
The Washington Post

March 12, 2009

The withdrawal of a senior intelligence adviser after an online campaign to prevent him from taking office has ignited a debate over whether powerful pro-Israel lobbying interests are exercising outsize influence over who serves in the Obama administration.

When Charles W. Freeman Jr. stepped away Tuesday from an appointment to chair the National Intelligence Council — which oversees the production of reports that represent the view of the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies — he decried in an e-mail “the barrage of libelous distortions of my record [that] would not cease upon my entry into office,” and he was blunt about whom he considers responsible.

“The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East,” Freeman wrote.

Referring to what he called “the Israel Lobby,” he added: “The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views.” One result of this, he said, is “the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics.”

Freeman’s angry rhetoric [?] notwithstanding, the controversy surrounding the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia was broader than just Middle East politics. Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair’s choice of Freeman prompted a storm of complaints about his recent commercial connections to China and questions about whether he was too forgiving of that nation’s leaders.

But most of the online attention focused on Freeman’s work for the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that is funded in part by Saudi money, and his past critical statements about Israel. The latter included a 2005 speech he gave to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, where he referred to Israel’s “high-handed and self-defeating policies” stemming from the “occupation and settlement of Arab lands,” which he called “inherently violent.”

Only a few Jewish organizations came out publicly against Freeman’s appointment, but a handful of pro-Israeli bloggers and employees of other organizations worked behind the scenes to raise concerns with members of Congress, their staffs and the media.

For example, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), often described as the most influential pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, “took no position on this matter and did not lobby the Hill on it,” spokesman Josh Block said.

But Block responded to reporters’ questions and provided critical material about Freeman, albeit always on background, meaning his comments could not be attributed to him, according to three journalists who spoke to him. Asked about this yesterday, Block replied: “As is the case with many, many issues every day, when there is general media interest in a subject, I often provide publicly available information to journalists on background.”

Yesterday, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which tried to derail Freeman’s appointment, applauded his withdrawal. But it added: “We think Israel and any presumed ‘lobby’ had far less effect on the outcome than the common-sensical belief that the person who is the gatekeeper of intelligence information for the President of the United States should be unencumbered by payments from foreign governments.” [!]

There was plenty of debate about that within the blogosphere immediately after Freeman’s withdrawal and the publication of his e-mail.

Jonathan Chait wrote irreverently on his New Republic blog, “The old spin was that Freeman’s nomination, and the failure of his critics, shows how evil the Israel lobby is. . . . The new spin will be that Freeman’s, ahem, resignation shows the Israel lobby is even more powerful and sinister than we thought.”

And Stephen Walt, one of two writers who in 2006 famously described the influence of the Israel lobby as dangerous, chimed in on Foreign Policy.com: “For all of you out there who may have questioned whether there was a powerful ‘Israel lobby,’ or who admitted that it existed but didn’t think it had much influence . . . think again.” (Foreign Policy is owned by a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co.)

Time’s Joe Klein opined that Freeman “was the victim of a mob, not a lobby. The mob was composed primarily of Jewish neoconservatives — abetted by less than courageous public servants . . . [who have] made Washington even less hospitable for those who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, for those who are reflexively contentious, who would defy the conventional wisdom.”

The White House, which had sidestepped questions about Freeman twice in one week, said little yesterday. “I don’t have anything to add from what Admiral Blair discussed yesterday in accepting Mr. Freeman’s decision that his nomination not proceed and that he regretted it,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

The White House did not respond last night to a question about outside influence on personnel decisions.

The earliest cry of alarm about Freeman’s appointment — a week before it was announced — came from a former AIPAC lobbyist. Steve Rosen wrote Feb. 19 on his blog that Freeman was a “strident critic of Israel” and described the potential appointment as “a textbook case of the old-line Arabism” whose “views of the region are what you would expect in the Saudi foreign ministry.”

Rosen said yesterday that he had been “quite positive” about President Obama’s previous appointments for Middle East positions but that he was “surprised” about Freeman. The appointee’s “most extreme point of view,” he said, was not what he had expected for the head of the NIC.

Rosen has a unique position in Washington. A former chief foreign policy lobbyist for AIPAC, he and a colleague were indicted by the Bush administration in 2005 on suspicion of violating the Espionage Act, the first non-government employees ever so charged. AIPAC cut him loose, and a trial date has been set for May.

Meanwhile, Rosen is limited in what he can do. He said he cannot talk to AIPAC employees, nor can he lobby Congress. He has talked to “a number of journalists” who called him about Freeman, but not members of Congress. He did not answer when asked yesterday whether he has talked to Hill staff members.

Rosen’s initial posting was the first of 17 he would write about Freeman over a 19-day period. Some of those added more original reporting, while some pointed to other blogs’ finds about Freeman’s record. In the process, Rosen traced increasing interest in the appointment elsewhere in the blogosphere, including coverage by Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard, and Chait and Martin of the New Republic.

Interest also was growing among members of Congress.

On March 2, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) wrote Blair to raise concerns based on what he had read about Freeman’s positions. Two days later, he called for Blair to withdraw the appointment.

Also on March 2, the Zionist Organization of America called for support of a letter by Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.) that called on the DNI inspector general to investigate Freeman for possible conflicts of interest because of his financial relations with Saudi Arabia. That letter, signed by Kirk and seven other congressmen, including House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), was sent to Inspector General Edward Maguire on March 3.

Close observers of the events consider that request a turning point in the effort to stop Freeman’s candidacy, and Rosen’s blog began focusing almost exclusively on the appointment.

On Monday, the seven Republicans on the Senate intelligence committee wrote Blair to protest his choice, which was not subject to Senate confirmation, and threatened to review the NIC’s work as long as Freeman chaired that body.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting one day later, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) told Blair of his own concerns, and he added that the controversy “is not going to go away until you or Ambassador Freeman find a way to resolve it.” Hours later, Freeman withdrew.

Freeman explained his decision last night on National Public Radio: “It became apparent that, no matter what the National Intelligence Council or the intelligence community might put out under my chairmanship, I would be used as an excuse — if something was said that wasn’t politically correct — to disparage the quality and the credibility of the intelligence.”

The above article can be found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/11/AR2009031104308_pf.html
Also, note the following article from the Forward:

Following withdrawal from intelligence post, Freeman points finger at Israel lobby
The Jewish Daily Forward

March 11, 2009

WASHINGTON — The spectrum of arguments against the appointment of Charles “Chas” Freeman to Washington’s top intelligence assessment post ranged from his approach toward China to his ties with Saudi Arabia to his views on human rights.

But for Freeman, it was always about Israel.

In a statement he released hours after withdrawing his agreement to serve as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Freeman pointed his finger in only one direction — at the pro-Israel lobby.

“The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth,” Freeman wrote.

While many in the pro-Israel lobby celebrated Freeman’s withdrawal — some publicly, most privately — it was hardly the kind of victory that Jewish groups were wishing for. Most preferred to sit out this battle and stick to behind-the-scenes phone calls, leaving the public fight against Freeman’s appointment up to bloggers and other public interest groups.

“Why bother?” an official with a major Jewish group asked. “We all reached the conclusion that weighing in, as a community, could be counter-productive.” The official, speaking on condition of anonymity as per his organization’s policy, added that it was clear “it wouldn’t be wise to get into a direct fight on this and then lose.”

Officially, most pro-Israel groups chose to avoid the spotlight on this issue, even while one activist with a national Jewish group said that his group’s members “were getting calls from all over from people who wanted to do something.”

Josh Bock, spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, stated, “AIPAC did not take a position and did not lobby Capitol Hill on this issue.”

But Freeman and his supporters argued that the fingerprints of the pro-Israel lobby are all over the story. The Israel Policy Forum’s director of policy analysis, M.J. Rosenberg, who has been fighting in favor of Freeman’s appointment in the trenches of the blogosphere since the debate broke out, took a sarcastic tone after hearing of Freeman’s withdrawal: “Must have been his stance on [European Union] membership for Cyprus.”

Although most Jewish groups did not take an official stand on the Freeman issue, it is clear that many pro-Israel players and opinion makers were involved in the debate. It started off with former AIPAC lobbyist Steve Rosen, who began posting daily reports on his blog. The reports were in regard to Freeman’s remarks on issues relating to Israel, and also in regard to donations that the think tank he headed received from Saudi Arabia. Joining the criticism were leading bloggers known for their pro-Israel approach, among them The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait.

Many of the lawmakers demanding an investigation into Freeman’s qualifications for the intelligence post are known as strong supporters of Israel: Senator Charles Schumer from New York raised the issue with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and, in a statement released upon his resignation, specifically cited Freeman’s views on Israel as the disqualifying factor; Republican Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk and Democrat Steve Israel of New York took the issue to the inspector general of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Joseph Lieberman, the Independent from Connecticut, questioned Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, on this issue during the March 10 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

For critics of the Israel lobby, this was enough to see the line connecting between Freeman losing the job and his critical views on Israel.

It also helped open once again the discussion about the lobby, and has fueled arguments against the lobby’s power and what critics see as its attempt to stifle any open debate about American policy toward Israel.

In his March 10 statement, Freeman said he believes “that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics” was harmful to Israel. Freeman added, “It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so.”

This theme was echoed by many of Freeman’s supporters. Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic wrote in his blog, after the appointment was withdrawn, that the theme is a signal that the Obama administration is not going to change American policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict. “The fact that Obama blinked means no one else in Washington will ever dare to go through the hazing that Freeman endured. And so the chilling effect is as real as it is deliberate,” he wrote.

Freeman losing the NIC post will go down in history as yet another round in the endless fight between pro-Israel activists in Washington and their detractors. The latter believe they lost the fight to the pro-Israel lobby, while the lobbyists themselves keep arguing they were never even in the fight.

The only attempt thus far to end the debate in an original way belongs to Freeman’s son, Charles Freeman Jr. On his blog, the younger Freeman called critics of his father’s appointment “low lives” and said he would like to “punch some of these guys in the face.”

The above article can be found at: http://forward.com/articles/103815/

Zionist agents in Congress, Senate preempt Freeman intel appointment

How tiny Israel — and its powerful lobby — run the U.S.

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on March 2, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

zionist_gorillaBy Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review
July, 2003

For decades, Israel has violated well established precepts of international law and defied numerous United Nations resolutions in its occupation of conquered lands, in extra-judicial killings, and in its repeated acts of military aggression.

How do they get away with it?

Most of the world regards Israel’s policies, and especially its oppression of Palestinians, as outrageous and criminal. This international consensus is reflected, for example, in numerous UN resolutions condemning Israel, which have been approved with overwhelming majorities.

“The whole world,” United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan recently said, “is demanding that Israel withdraw [from occupied Palestinian territories]. I don’t think the whole world … can be wrong.” (1)

Only in the United States do politicians and the media still fervently support Israel and its policies. For decades the U.S. has provided Israel with crucial military, diplomatic and financial backing, including more than $3 billion each year in aid.

Why is the U.S. the only remaining bastion of support for Israel?

Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, has candidly identified the reason: “The Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the U.S.], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic,” he said. “People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful — very powerful.” (2)

Bishop Tutu spoke the truth. Although Jews make up only about three percent of the US population, they wield immense power and influence — vastly more than any other ethnic or religious group.

As Jewish author and political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg has pointed out:

“Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade’s corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely two percent of the nation’s population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation’s largest newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times … The role and influence of Jews in American politics is equally marked …” (3)

Jews are only three percent of the nation’s population and comprise eleven percent of what this study defines as the nation’s elite. However, Jews constitute more than 25 percent of the elite journalists and publishers, more than 17 percent of the leaders of important voluntary and public interest organizations, and more than 15 percent of the top ranking civil servants.

Stephen Steinlight, former Director of National Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, similarly notes the “disproportionate political power” of Jews, which is “pound for pound the greatest of any ethnic/cultural group in America.” He goes on to explain that “Jewish economic influence and power are disproportionately concentrated in Hollywood, television, and in the news industry.” (4)

Two well-known Jewish writers, Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, pointed out in their 1995 book, “Jews and the New American Scene”:

“During the last three decades Jews [in the United States] have made up 50 percent of the top two hundred intellectuals … 20 percent of professors at the leading universities … 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington … 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the 50 top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.” (5)

The influence of American Jewry in Washington, notes the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post, is “far disproportionate to the size of the community, Jewish leaders and U.S. official acknowledge. But so is the amount of money they contribute to [election] campaigns.” One member of the influential Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations “estimated Jews alone had contributed 50 percent of the funds for [President Bill] Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.” (6)

“It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture,” acknowledges Michael Medved, a well-known Jewish author and film critic. “Any list of the most influential production executives at each of the major movie studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish names.” (7)

One person who has carefully studied this subject is Jonathan J. Goldberg, now editor of the influential Jewish community weekly Forward. In his 1996 book, “Jewish Power”, he wrote:

“In a few key sectors of the media, notably among Hollywood studio executives, Jews are so numerically dominant that calling these businesses Jewish-controlled is little more than a statistical observation …” (8)

Hollywood at the end of the twentieth century is still an industry with a pronounced ethnic tinge. Virtually all the senior executives at the major studios are Jews. Writers, producers, and to a lesser degree directors are disproportionately Jewish — one recent study showed the figure as high as 59 percent among top-grossing films.

The combined weight of so many Jews in one of America’s most lucrative and important industries gives the Jews of Hollywood a great deal of political power. They are a major source of money for Democratic candidates.

Reflecting their role in the American media, Jews are routinely portrayed as high-minded, altruistic, trustworthy, compassionate, and deserving of sympathy and support. While millions of Americans readily accept such stereotyped imagery, not everyone is impressed. “I am very angry with some of the Jews,” complained actor Marlon Brando during a 1996 interview. “They know perfectly well what their responsibilities are … Hollywood is run by Jews. It’s owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of people who are suffering.” (9)

A Well-Entrenched Factor

The intimidating power of the “Jewish lobby” is not a new phenomenon, but has long been an important factor in American life.

In 1941, Charles Lindbergh spoke about the danger of Jewish power in the media and government. The shy 39-year-old — known around the world for his epic 1927 New York to Paris flight, the first solo trans-Atlantic crossing — was addressing 7,000 people in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941, about the dangers of US involvement in the war then raging in Europe. The three most important groups pressing America into war, he explained, were the British, the Jews, and the Roosevelt administration.

Of the Jews, he said: “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.” Lindbergh went on:

“… For reasons which are understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, [they] wish to involve us in the war. We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we must also look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.”

In 1978, Jewish American scholar Alfred M. Lilienthal wrote in his detailed study, “The Zionist Connection”:

“How has the Zionist will been imposed on the American people?… It is the Jewish connection, the tribal solidarity among themselves and the amazing pull on non-Jews, that has molded this unprecedented power … In the larger metropolitan areas, the Jewish-Zionist connection thoroughly pervades affluent financial, commercial, social, entertainment, and art circles.” (10)

As a result of the Jewish grip on the media, wrote Lilienthal, news coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict in American television, newspapers and magazines is relentlessly sympathetic to Israel. This is manifest, for example, in the misleading portrayal of Palestinian “terrorism.” As Lilienthal put it: “One-sided reportage on terrorism, in which cause is never related to effect, was assured because the most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control.”

One-Sided ‘Holocaust’ History

The Jewish hold on cultural and academic life has had a profound impact on how Americans look at the past. Nowhere is the well entrenched Judeo-centric view of history more obvious than in the “Holocaust” media campaign, which focuses on the fate of Jews in Europe during World War II.

Israeli Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer, a professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has remarked:

“Whether presented authentically or inauthentically, in accordance with the historical facts or in contradiction to them, with empathy and understanding or as monumental kitsch, the Holocaust has become a ruling symbol of our culture … Hardly a month goes by without a new TV production, a new film, a new drama, new books, prose or poetry, dealing with the subject, and the flood is increasing rather than abating.” (11)

Non-Jewish suffering simply does not merit comparable attention. Overshadowed in the focus on Jewish victimization are, for example, the tens of millions of victims of America’s World War II ally, Stalinist Russia, along with the tens of millions of victims of China’s Maoist regime, as well as the 12 to 14 million Germans, victims of the flight and expulsion of 1944-1949, of whom some two million lost their lives.

The well-financed Holocaust media and “educational” campaign is crucially important to the interests of Israel. Paula Hyman, a professor of modern Jewish history at Yale University, has observed:

“With regard to Israel, the Holocaust may be used to forestall political criticism and suppress debate; it reinforces the sense of Jews as an eternally beleaguered people who can rely for their defense only upon themselves. The invocation of the suffering endured by the Jews under the Nazis often takes the place of rational argument, and is expected to convince doubters of the legitimacy of current Israeli government policy.” (12)

Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish scholar who has taught political science at City University of New York (Hunter College), says in his book, “The Holocaust Industry”, that “invoking The Holocaust” is “a ploy to de-legitimize all criticism of Jews.” (13)

“By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure … Organized Jewry has exploited the Nazi holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel’s and its own morally indefensible policies.” He writes of the brazen “shakedown” of Germany, Switzerland and other countries by Israel and organized Jewry “to extort billions of dollars.” “The Holocaust,” Finkelstein predicts, “may yet turn out to be the greatest robbery in the history of mankind.”

Jews in Israel feel free to act brutally against Arabs, writes Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, “believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own.” (14)

Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has spoken with blunt exasperation about the Jewish-Israeli hold on the United States:

“I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don’t have any idea what goes on.” (15)

Today the danger is greater than ever. Israel and Jewish organizations, in collaboration with this country’s pro-Zionist “amen corner,” are prodding the United States — the world’s foremost military and economic power — into new wars against Israel’s enemies. As the French ambassador in London recently acknowledged, Israel — which he called “that shitty little country” — is a threat to world peace. “Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?,” he said. (16)

To sum up: Jews wield immense power and influence in the United States. The “Jewish lobby” is a decisive factor in U.S. support for Israel. Jewish-Zionist interests are not identical to American interests. In fact, they often conflict.

As long as the “very powerful” Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of current affairs and history, the Jewish-Zionist domination of the U.S. political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace.

Notes
1) Quoted in Forward (New York City), April 19, 2002, p. 11.
2) D. Tutu, “Apartheid in the Holy Land,” The Guardian (Britain), April 29, 2002.
3) Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (University of Chicago, 1993), pp. 1, 103.
4) S. Steinlight, “The Jewish Stake in America’s Changing Demography: Reconsidering a Misguided Immigration Policy,” Center for Immigration Studies, Nov. 2001. http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/back1301.html
5) Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene (Harvard Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 26-27.
6) Janine Zacharia, “The Unofficial Ambassadors of the Jewish State,” The Jerusalem Post (Israel), April 2, 2000. Reprinted in “Other Voices,” June 2000, p. OV-4, a supplement to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
7) M. Medved, “Is Hollywood Too Jewish?,” Moment, Vol. 21, No. 4 (1996), p. 37.
8) Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Addison-Wesley, 1996), pp. 280, 287-288. See also pp. 39-40, 290-291.
9) Interview with Larry King, CNN network, April 5, 1996. “Brando Remarks,” Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1996, p. F4 (OC). A short time later, Brando was obliged to apologize for his remarks.
10) A. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978), pp. 206, 218, 219, 229.
11) From a 1992 lecture, published in: David Cesarani, ed., The Final Solution: Origins and Implementation (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 305, 306.
12) Paula E. Hyman, “New Debate on the Holocaust,” The New York Times Magazine, Sept. 14, 1980, p. 79.
13) Norman G. Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry (London, New York: Verso, 2000), pp. 130, 138, 139, 149.
14) The New York Times, May 27, 1996. Shavit is identified as a columnist for Ha’aretz, a Hebrew-language Israeli daily newspaper, “from which this article is adapted.”
15) Interview with Moorer, Aug. 24, 1983. Quoted in: Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby (Lawrence Hill, 1984 and 1985), p. 161.
16) D. Davis, “French Envoy to UK: Israel Threatens World Peace,” Jerusalem Post, Dec. 20, 2001. The French ambassador is Daniel Bernard.

The above article can be found at:http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2003%20Opinion%20Editorials/July/2o/A%20Look%20at%20The%20%27Powerful%20Jewish%20Lobby%27%20Mark%20Weber.htm

How tiny Israel — and its powerful lobby — run the U.S.

Bush adviser: Iraq war launched to protect Israel (2004)

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , , , on March 1, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

il_tank_customInter Press Service (IPS)
March 29, 2004

WASHINGTON — Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States but it did to Israel, which is one reason why Washington invaded the Arab country, according to a speech made by a member of a top-level White House intelligence group.

IPS uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 — the 9/11 commission — in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch U.S. ally in the Middle East.

Zelikow’s casting of the attack on Iraq as one launched to protect Israel appears at odds with the public position of President George W. Bush and his administration, which has never overtly drawn the link between its war on the regime of former president Hussein and its concern for Israel’s security.

The administration has instead insisted it launched the war to liberate the Iraqi people, destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to protect the United States.

Zelikow made his statements about “the unstated threat” during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which reports directly to the president.

He served on the board between 2001 and 2003.

“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 — it’s the threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of 9/11 and the future of the war on the al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

“And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell,” said Zelikow.

The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so far cost the lives of nearly 600 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis, was motivated by Washington’s desire to defend the Jewish state.

The administration, which is surrounded by staunch pro-Israel, neo-conservative hawks, is currently fighting an extensive campaign to ward off accusations that it derailed the “war on terrorism” it launched after 9/11 by taking a detour to Iraq, which appears to have posed no direct threat to the United States.

Israel is Washington’s biggest ally in the Middle East, receiving annual direct aid of three to four billion dollars.

Even though members of the 16-person PFIAB come from outside government, they enjoy the confidence of the president and have access to all information related to foreign intelligence that they need to play their vital advisory role.

Known in intelligence circles as “Piffy-ab”, the board is supposed to evaluate the nation’s intelligence agencies and probe any mistakes they make.

The unpaid appointees on the board require a security clearance known as “code word” that is higher than top secret.

The national security adviser to former President George H.W. Bush (1989-93) Brent Scowcroft, currently chairs the board in its work overseeing a number of intelligence bodies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the various military intelligence groups and the Pentagon’s National Reconnaissance Office.

Neither Scowcroft nor Zelikow returned numerous phone calls and email messages from IPS for this story.

Zelikow has long-established ties to the Bush administration.

Before his appointment to PFIAB in October 2001, he was part of the current president’s transition team in January 2001.

In that capacity, Zelikow drafted a memo for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on reorganizing and restructuring the National Security Council (NSC) and prioritizing its work.

Richard A. Clarke, who was counter-terrorism coordinator for Bush’s predecessor President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) also worked for Bush senior, and has recently accused the current administration of not heeding his terrorism warnings, said Zelikow was among those he briefed about the urgent threat from al-Qaeda in December 2000.

Rice herself had served in the NSC during the first Bush administration, and subsequently teamed up with Zelikow on a 1995 book about the unification of Germany.

Zelikow had ties with another senior Bush administration official — Robert Zoellick, the current trade representative. The two wrote three books together, including one in 1998 on the United States and the “Muslim Middle East”.

Aside from his position at the 9/11 commission, Zelikow is now also director of the Miller Centre of Public Affairs and White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

His close ties to the administration prompted accusations of a conflict of interest in 2002 from families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, who protested his appointment to the investigative body.

In his university speech, Zelikow, who strongly backed attacking the Iraqi dictator, also explained the threat to Israel by arguing that Baghdad was preparing in 1990-91 to spend huge amounts of “scarce hard currency” to harness “communications against electromagnetic pulse”, a side-effect of a nuclear explosion that could sever radio, electronic and electrical communications.

That was “a perfectly absurd expenditure unless you were going to ride out a nuclear exchange — they (Iraqi officials) were not preparing to ride out a nuclear exchange with us. Those were preparations to ride out a nuclear exchange with the Israelis,” according to Zelikow.

He also suggested that the danger of biological weapons falling into the hands of the anti-Israeli Islamic Resistance Movement, known by its Arabic acronym Hamas, would threaten Israel rather than the United States, and that those weapons could have been developed to the point where they could deter Washington from attacking Hamas.

“Play out those scenarios,” he told his audience, “and I will tell you, people have thought about that, but they are just not talking very much about it”.

“Don’t look at the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but then ask yourself the question, ‘gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide bombings in Israel’? Easy question to answer; the evidence is abundant.”

To date, the possibility of the United States attacking Iraq to protect Israel has been only timidly raised by some intellectuals and writers, with few public acknowledgements from sources close to the administration.

Analysts who reviewed Zelikow’s statements said they are concrete evidence of one factor in the rationale for going to war, which has been hushed up.

“Those of us speaking about it sort of routinely referred to the protection of Israel as a component,” said Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies. “But this is a very good piece of evidence of that.”

Others say the administration should be blamed for not making known to the public its true intentions and real motives for invading Iraq.

“They (the administration) made a decision to invade Iraq, and then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it, people are trying to read something into it,” said Nathan Brown, professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on the Middle East.

But he downplayed the Israel link. “In terms of securing Israel, it doesn’t make sense to me because the Israelis are probably more concerned about Iran than they were about Iraq in terms of the long-term strategic threat,” he said.

Still, Brown says Zelikow’s words carried weight.

“Certainly his position would allow him to speak with a little bit more expertise about the thinking of the Bush administration, but it doesn’t strike me that he is any more authoritative than Wolfowitz, or Rice or Powell or anybody else. All of them were sort of fishing about for justification for a decision that has already been made,” Brown said.

The above article can be found (subscription only) at: IPS

For more on the “neoconservative” (i.e., Zionist) push for a U.S. war against Iraq, see the excellent BBC documentary “The War Party” HERE

Bush adviser: Iraq war launched to protect Israel (2004)