Former Defense Department analyst Lawrence A. Franklin was convicted of felonies for passing in 2004 classified military information to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbyists and an Israeli diplomat. Franklin worked for Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, a major proponent of the disastrous US Iraq invasion. The AIPAC officials tried to use Franklin’s information to get the US to militarily “pivot” toward Iran by getting coverage that Iran was attacking the US in the Washington Post. The two AIPAC officials—Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman—were charged but avoided conviction. Shortly after Obama took office, the Department of Justice abruptly dropped a very solid criminal case developed by the FBI.
Israel affinity organizations and their leaders generally lobby hard to get non-prosecution (urging “prosecutorial discretion”) for cases of major U.S. crimes that benefitted Israel. When that fails, coordinated efforts are made to overturn felony convictions. On October 18, 1961 JFK pardoned “Hank” Greenspun’s felony conviction for smuggling arms during Israel’s War of Independence after intense lobbying. On January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton pardoned “Al” Schwimmer, founder of Israel Aircraft Industries, for similar crimes. On January 1, 2009 George W. Bush issued a posthumous pardon for B-17 bomber smuggler Charles T. Winters after intense lobbying by more than 28 members of congress, the American Jewish Committee, and Jewish federations. Many of them argued that crimes committed for Israel should not be punished and that many others had done much more and not been punished.
In December, the US Pardon Attorney took a hard line and refused to release any correspondence under the Freedom of Information Act for a handful of convicts who recently attempted to engage in similar activities. After an appeal, the Pardon Attorney did disclose that only Lawrence Franklin (PDF) currently has an open petition seeking a pardon from President Obama before he leaves office. Others petitioning in support of his pardon have not gone public—as was the case of Jonathan Pollard—and will likely remain unknown absent a speedy FOIA remand from the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy.
...That MOU, like its predecessor, continues to permit lavish subsidies for basic supplies – food and fuel – core to the offensive needs of the IDF, rather than the purely high-tech "defensive" infrastructure touted by the White House, is troubling. At its worst, the MOU could incentivize Israel to engage in offensive war, in order to be permitted to lobby congress for funding framed as "key to its survival." In the MOU, Israel pledges not to seek additional funding "except in exceptional circumstances…such as in the event of a major armed conflict involving Israel." The MOU is silent on whether Israel is allowed to seek addition funding if it is clearly the aggressor. The only requirement is that it is "jointly agreed by the US administration and Israel" that there are indeed "exceptional circumstances" that demand MOU limits be broken. In the decades spanning Israel’s existence since 1948, military conflicts have been much more the rule than exception. More
2019-2028 US-Israel MOU (PDF)
WASHINGTON (CN) – With billions in pending aid payments
to Israel, the government and a researcher are at
loggerheads about a gag order that keeps U.S. officials
from releasing any information about Israel’s nuclear
the US Department of Justice, it is the US president’s
prerogative alone whether Israel’s nuclear weapons
program triggers Arms Export Control Act laws governing
US aid to foreign nuclear weapons states.
“The Israel Lobby and American Policy” conference keynoters are Hanan Ashrawi, John Mearsheimer and Ilan Pappé - 11/30/2016
WASHINGTON, November 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The March 24, 2017 conference, “The Israel Lobby and American Policy,” will feature three outstanding keynote speakers: Hanan Ashrawi, John Mearsheimer and Ilan Pappé.
“The Israel Lobby and American Policy” conference is solely sponsored by the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). Attendees receive lunch and an invitation to a special attendee-speaker reception. Through December 31, a limited quantity of partially tax-deductible $79 year-end discount tickets are available. View more information at the conference website and register online today at http://IsraelLobbyAndAmericanPolicy.org .
IRmep seeks federal court injunction against billions in pending foreign aid payments to Israel- 11/28/2016
WASHINGTON, November 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) today asked a federal court to block pending foreign aid payments to Israel while a case examining its legality is litigated.The motion for a preliminary injunction (PDF) seeks to immediately block $3.1 billion in foreign aid plus various other supplemental appropriations destined for Israel from leaving the U.S. Treasury Department.According to the lawsuit, filed in August and amended in November, 2016 (PDF), U.S. aid to Israel is illegal because it violates longstanding amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. The Symington & Glenn amendments ban or subject to mandatory waivers U.S. foreign aid to countries with nuclear weapons programs that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty More.
KZYX radio "Takes on the World" host and Middle East analyst Jeffrey Blankfort and IRmep's Grant F. Smith examine likely developments in Israel-US relations under the incoming Trump administration. Program page Audio Download YouTube
Guest lecturer Grant F. Smith discusses key points developed in his new book, Big Israel: How Israel's Lobby Moves America, while providing insight into likely Israel lobby demands on the next administration. Smith is the director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. Video Courtesy St Olaf College. Used by Permission. Audio file (MP3) Slides (PDF)
...On Sept. 16 State Department Spokesperson John Kirby
responded to a reporter’s persistent questions about the
legality of aid to Israel, given former Secretary of
State Colin Powell’s newly leaked e-mails confirming
that Israel had over 200 nuclear weapons pointed at
Tehran. Asked whether, under U.S. law, aid to Israel
should be cut off since it is not a signatory to the
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Kirby dodged and
weaved, claiming he was unware of and would not discuss
the implications of such “e-mail traffic.” When pressed
to comment on Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons,
Kirby stated, “I’m certainly not going to discuss
matters of intelligence from the podium, and I’m not—I
have no comment on that.”
The Israel Lobby and American Policy conference will be held on March 24, 2017 in Washington
WASHINGTON, DC, October 19, 2016/PRNewswire-USNewswire/-- Growing numbers of Americans question massive, automatic and unconditional U.S. support for Israel. The American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy will host a historic fourth annual conference on March 24, 2017 at the National Press Club focusing on the key issues.
Expert keynote speakers and panelists will present their analysis of:
· U.S. foreign aid, intelligence and diplomatic support to Israel Since 1948, the U.S. has provided more foreign aid to Israel than to any other country. In 2016 the U.S. signed a new pledge to provide $38 billion over 10 years. Is the aid unconditional? Will the U.S. provide it no matter how many illegal settlements Israel builds or what military actions it takes?
· Israel as a U.S. ally During the Cold War, many claimed Israel was America’s “cop on the beat” in the Middle East, squaring off against Soviet client states and protecting U.S. access to oil. Were these claims ever true? Strategically, does Israel currently serve any identifiable U.S. strategic interest, or is it in fact a liability?
· Israel lobbying organizations have launched many programs in the U.S. They transfer billions of dollars in tax-deductible charitable contributions to support Jewish immigration to Israel (including from the former Soviet Union), and fund Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program. Do these programs harm American interests?
· Israel affinity organizations and prominent neoconservatives have long demanded the U.S. should militarily engage Israel’s rivals including Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and Iraq. Is the list of targets growing? What future wars are they currently agitating for? How likely is it the U.S. will comply?
· The Israel-Palestine conflict is the longest running confrontation in the region. It generates terrorist attacks and other blowback against the United States. What are the latest views from the region about prospects for a viable Palestinian state vs. Israel’s continual territorial growth as a foreign-supported settler-colonial enterprise?
· American public opinion is rapidly turning against unqualified support for Israel. How do Americans really feel about U.S. aid to Israel, Israel’s huge influence with U.S. elites, and its treatment of Palestinians?
· Beyond changing perceptions, increasing numbers of Americans are actively working against Israeli programs. What is currently being done at the grassroots level, in courtrooms and internationally to confront, expose and challenge Israel lobby initiatives?
The Israel Lobby and American Policy conference is solely sponsored by the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). Attendees receive lunch and an invitation to a special attendee-speaker reception. For the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, a limited quantity of $73 tickets are available during the month of October. Register online today at http://IsraelLobbyAndAmericanPolicy.org
A majority of Americans would
redirect $38 billion the Obama Administration recently
pledged to Israel toward other priorities. A federal
lawsuit aims to help them.
An IRmep poll fielded by
Google Consumer Surveys reveals 80.8 percent of the
US adult Internet user population says they would
redirect the proposed spending toward other priorities.
Caring for veterans (20.7 percent) was their top
priority, followed by education spending (20.1 percent)
and paying down the national debt (19.3 percent).
Rebuilding US infrastructure was favored by 14.9
percent, while funding a Middle East peace plan received
5.8 percent of support.
...The lawsuit alleges that the president and key
federal agencies are violating both the Administrative
Procedures Act and the “Take Care” clause of the U.S.
Constitution by failing to uphold Symington and Glenn.
It lists many historic cases where the president was
required to act, and more recent cases such as post-2010
illegal diversions from the United States of
oscilloscopes and pressure transducers for centrifuge
cascades by Israeli front companies.
...This article is not about Debbie Wasserman Schultz but
of the influence of who and what she represented as
chair of the Democratic National Committee until taken
down by Julian Assange, and still represents, in
Congress, the interests of Israel, and the power of its
domestic supporters over the Black American political
establishment as represented by the Congressional Black
...The majority of Americans, on the other hand, overwhelmingly oppose U.S. aid to Israel , according to polls fielded in 2014 and 2016. Growing numbers would rather boycott, divest and sanction Israel for its human rights abuses than provide the arms and blanket diplomatic support (commonly stipulated in these MOUs) that enable the abuses to continue. Beyond that, there are five lessor known reasons Americans should be actively opposing U.S. aid to Israel:
From a strictly green-eyeshade perspective, U.S. aid to Israel is a horrible investment. The late Harvard economist Thomas Stauffer in 2002 tallied the cost of Israel to the United States since 1973 to be $1.6 trillion. Stauffer included the oil crisis triggered by Arab governments in the aftermath of wars fought with Israel and other costs emanating from Israel’s violent repression of the Palestinians. Since Stauffer’s death in 2005, no other high-profile economist has taken up the thankless task of calculating such figures, though fresh data to feed such models has been piling up.
It is now the consensus view that
attacked on 9/11 because of U.S. troops stationed in
Saudi Arabia and unconditional U.S. support for Israel. The
9/11 attacks cost
$3.3 trillion according to one conservative estimate. Israel lobbyists
often claim that U.S. foreign aid to Israel is an investment
that yields “dividends”
and is therefore a “bargain.”
If we assume aid is an investment and adjust for inflation,
publicly known aid through 2011 is $233.6 billion. If we
then assign unconditional U.S. support for Israel half the
blame for motivating 9/11, an actual return on investment
calculation is possible. The ROI of U.S. aid to Israel
considering only half the costs of 9/11 is negative
By any measure, this is an
extremely poor return.
2. U.S. Aid to Israel is not a significant “U.S. jobs creator”
Many pundits are now spinning the proposed new MOU as a “U.S. jobs creator,” particularly in view of the pending restrictions against spending much of the aid in Israel. But how many jobs do military sales actually generate? Pitifully few. The top five military contractors, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrup Grumman claim to employ nearly a half-million, on annual 2015 revenues of just under a quarter trillion dollars. At $463,069 to support a single direct job, military equipment and service vendors employ many fewer employees per dollar of revenue than most other industries. Looking back, even if Israel spent 100 percent of its past ten-year $3.1 billion annual MOU dollars on “top shelf” U.S. military goods, like the Joint Strike fighter, it would have produced less than 7,000 direct U.S. jobs.
08/11/2016 IRmep Briefing: Lawsuit to block US
foreign aid to Israel
|Tweets by IRmep|
lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.
claims that United States aid to Israel is illegal under
a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear
powers that don’t sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation
The lawsuit was filed by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP).
The lawsuit comes as the Obama administration is pushing to finalize a ten-year memorandum of understanding which will reportedly boost aid to Israel to $4 billion per year.
Such aid violates longstanding bans on foreign aid to non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) with nuclear weapons programs, the lawsuit alleges.
Since the bans went into effect, U.S. foreign aid to Israel is estimated to be $234 billion.
Smith says that during investigations into the illegal diversion of weapons-grade uranium from U.S. contractor NUMEC to Israel in the mid-1970s, Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn amended the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act to ban any aid to clandestine nuclear powers that were not NPT signatories.
Symington said at the time that “if you wish to take the dangerous and costly steps necessary to achieve a nuclear weapons option, you cannot expect the United States to help underwrite that effort indirectly or directly.”
WASHINGTON (CN) - U.S. aid to Israel violates a long-standing ban on giving foreign aid to clandestine nuclear powers, the director of a Middle East policy nonprofit claims in a federal complaint. Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, says the United States has given Israel an estimated $234 billion in foreign aid since Congress passed the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976. Discussing his Aug. 8 lawsuit in an interview, Smith said the pro se litigation has been 10 years in the making. Though Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Smith noted that it is a known nuclear power and recipient of U.S. aid. The U.S. has had a long-standing policy of keeping mum on the existence of Israel's nuclear weapons program, a poorly kept secret that successive U.S. administrations since Gerald Ford have refused to publicly acknowledge. Smith's lawsuit comes on the eve of a deal that would boost U.S. aid to the country by between $1 billion and $2 billion per year over a decade. Israel already gets $3 billion a year in U.S. aid. More
a journalist based in the Washington, D.C. area, I try
to ask tough questions of political figures when I can.
Perhaps my favorite question is some variation of “do
you acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons?” I’ve
asked this of many political figures and virtually no
one has given me a straightforward response. But the
most surreal — almost comical — response came from
Donald Trump’s VP pick in 2011. At the time, he was a
congressman and vice-chair of the House Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia:
Question: You’ve also served on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Do you know that Israel has nuclear weapons?
Pence: [long pause, looks down] I’m — I am aware that Israel is our most cherished ally. And I strongly support Israel’s right of self defense and to take such actions as are necessary to secure their homeland as much as we take actions to secure ours.
Question: Do you think it increases or decreases U.S. credibility around the world when U.S. government officials can’t even acknowledge that Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal?
Pence: The American people support Israel. I call Israel our most cherished ally and I will continue to stand — without apology — for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and strong cooperation with our most cherished ally in a very volatile part of the world.
He was utterly incapable of engaging on the issue of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. His passionate attachment to Israel has become a mantra and no inconvenient facts need enter the equation... More
Watch Pence and other U.S. government officials respond to The Center Public Integrity's Sam Husseini questioning them about Israel's nuclear weapons on Youtube.
|Former AIPAC/Washington Institute/Jewish Agency for Israel operative dodges an important foreign aid question on C-SPAN.|
worst bilateral trade agreement
IRmep: The Israel lobby raises $4 billion a year in the U.S. and promotes unnecessary wars: Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy responds - 5/9/2016
We are supposed to believe that the
network of organizations promoting a particular view of
Israel and the U.S. relationship with that country doesn’t
exist, and that anyone who says it does is a crank and a
hater. Yet it’s precisely the network of organizations that
would call such a person a hater that we’re talking about in
the first place. Grant Smith joins Tom Woods for a rational
discussion of this inexplicably sensitive issue based on the
new IRmep book
Big Israel: How Israel's Lobby Moves America.
A majority Americans say US foreign aid to Israel is excessive--either "much too much" (32.5 percent) or "too much" (29.4 percent).
The single-question March 10, 2016 opinion survey, fielded through Google Consumer Surveys, reveals only slight changes since it was first asked on September 27, 2014.
For details on sample size, bias and other findings, see the survey data links above).