IRmep

Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"

 

 

Nuclear safeguards expert "unfamiliar" with Israeli diversion of weapons-grade material from US - 07/10/2018

 

Four Presidents Conspired To Give $100 Billion to Israel - Secret White House Letters Buttress Ongoing US Arms Export Control Act Violations - 6/25/2018

The New Yorker staff writer Adam Entous revealed on June 18 that four sitting U.S. presidents beginning with Bill Clinton signed secret letters agreeing never to publicly discuss Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal. According to Entous, President Trump’s aides felt "blindsided" by Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer’s urgent demand to sign a fourth letter. Only a small number of "senior American officials" in the previous three administrations even knew about the existence of such letters. Though said not to specifically mention Israel’s arsenal, Israeli leaders interpret the letters as binding American pledges not to publicly mention Israel’s nuclear weapons or press Israel to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The letters add to growing evidence of a longstanding multifaceted executive and federal agency conspiracy to violate the US Arms Export Control Act on Israel’s behalf.

US Foreign Assistance to Israel Since the Clinton Administration (US Billion)

Source: 2018 GAO report "US Foreign Aid to Israel," MOU commitments, inflation-adjusted, excludes black budgets.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who has FBI-documented personal connections to Israel’s nuclear weapons program smuggling operations – was particularly concerned about newly-elected president Barack Obama. On February 9, 2009, veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas asked if Obama knew "of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons." Obama dodged answering the question before finally replying that he didn’t "want to speculate." Speaking in Prague in April, 2009 Obama called for strengthening the NPT. However, by May 2009, Obama yielded to Israeli pressure and signed an updated version of the secret Israeli gag letter, according to Entous. On September 6, 2012 Obama’s Department of Energy, in consultation with the Department of State, issued a secret directive called "Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability," or WNP-136 making it a crime for any US government employee or contractor to publicly communicate any information – even from the public domain – about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Report at Antiwar.com Audio version at YouTube.

Podcast discussion audio from "Takes on the World" and "The Scott Horton Show"

Americans Oppose Investigating the Gaza Massacre - Because most never heard about it or were misinformed - 5/30/2018

Most Americans would oppose any Trump Administration support for an International Criminal Court investigation into Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinian protesters on May 14. This is because they either never heard about the massacre or received slanted coverage.

Thousands of Palestinian protesters in Gaza gathered in May near a "no-go" zone along an Israeli-built separation fence. They protested the 70th anniversary of the "Nakba" – or expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 from what is now Israel. Throughout "March of Return" protests Israeli snipers shot, killed and severely wounded protesters from behind the safety of protective berms. Palestinian casualties peaked the day Trump administration and Israeli officials celebrated recent U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by opening a brand-new US embassy in the contested city on May 14.

Palestine, a non-member observer to the U.N. since 2012, submitted a referral to the ICC calling on prosecutors to open an investigation into Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Trump administration opposes all such investigations, having returned to the "no daylight" stance preferred by Israel and its US lobby under which administration policies are indistinguishable from policies advanced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley claimed Israel acted "with restraint" in Gaza. The US and Israeli governments, neither a signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC, have repeatedly blocked such UN accountability measures. When polled, a majority of Americans also oppose any ICC investigation into the massacre.

Question: Should the US support an International Criminal Court investigation into the May 14 deaths of more than 60 Palestinian protesters and the wounding of another 2,771 in Gaza?

Source: IRmep poll of 1,504 US adults through Google Surveys May 23-25, RMSE 5.5%. Raw data and demographic filters at Google.

Report at Antiwar.com

Israel Uses Intelligence Cutouts To Target the US: From JCPOA to FTA – cutouts can cost the US billions - 5/11/2018

An Israeli intelligence entity called "Black Cube" targeted Obama administration officials such as former foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes and outside experts, such as the National Iranian American Council’s Trita Parsi, that advocated for passage of the JCPOA known as the "Iran nuclear deal." Though most media reports reference Black Cube’s self-designation as a "private intelligence company" while noting it employs former Mossad officers, there are reasons to doubt it is entirely unconnected from the Israeli government, which wanted to undermine the JCPOA. Israeli spy Shai Masot, secretly recorded in an Al Jazeera undercover video, freely admitted Israel was setting up just such private corporations to clandestinely do its bidding. While not solely responsible for the Trump Administration’s decision to ditch the JCPOA, Black Cube’s intelligence operation clearly tried to inch the US closer to open military conflict with Iran, which could cost countless lives and trillions of dollars.

Black Cube’s covert operations targeting the JCPOA and previously as a gun-for-hire against Harvey Weinstein’s victims at first glance seem risky, reckless and rushed. Blind offers of cash for consulting on "movie projects" via email solicitations, using thin LinkedIn profiles and Wix generated websites. Recorded phone calls to incriminate or blackmail unknowing victims. Why use such a clumsy foreign cutout to target mostly U.S.-based American citizens?

The answer is simple, Black Cube as an overseas cutout can be folded up or reconstituted in the extremely unlikely event of criminal investigation. It is disposable. It therefore provides a thick layer of insulation between the users of potentially illegally obtained information and the gatherer. If Black Cube had managed to gather incriminating information on Parsi or Rhoads via illegally recorded phone calls while either was located in a two-party consent state, Black Cube could still pass the information to friendly recipient journalists and interest groups in the US, eager to trash the JCPOA, and who could not be prosecuted.

Cutouts performing illegal activity for Israel’s US operatives are not new. Rather, cutouts are now a preferred model for Israeli intelligence operations targeting the United States when the stakes are very high. While damage assessments are hard to quantify in most cases, one operation can be precisely calculated every year: cutout Dan Halpern’s economic espionage against US industry has through 2017 cost America precisely $170.72 billion. Report at Antiwar.com

Special "Israel Lobby & American Policy" Conference Edition - May 2018

Top 10 Articles from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:

The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right by Gideon Levy

When and How Did Evangelicals Become Zionists? by Thomas Getman

The Israel Lobby and the U.N. by Ian Williams

Israel Versus Russian Media Influence by Ali Abunimah

CIA and Mossad: Tradeoffs in the Formation of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship by Jefferson Morley

An Overview of the Israel Lobby Agenda by Grant F. Smith

Is the U.S. Ramping up its Military Presence in Syria and Preparing to Attack Iran for Israel? by Lawrence Wilkerson

Challenging the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Pushing Back Against Jewish Exceptionalist Politics by Barry Trachtenberg
 
How and Why the Israel Lobby Is Suppressing Free Speech and Academic Freedom on College Campuses by Rabab Abdulhadi

How Support for Israel’s Violations of International Law Puts the U.S. on the Wrong Side of History by Noura Erakat


Why Gallup overstates American sympathy for Israel: False claims and outdated methodologies fuel policy disasters - 4/18/2018

Pollster Gallup has claimed since the year 2001 that the majority of Americans (averaging 59% between 2001-2018) hold much greater sympathy for Israelis than for Palestinians (averaging 17%) “in the Middle East situation.” Gallup releases its yearly results with titillating headlines, such as “Americans Remain Staunchly in Israel’s Corner” (2018 poll) and "Israel Maintains Positive Image in U.S." (2017 poll).

Gallup’s results are uncritically amplified in mainstream and Israel partisan news outlets as the single most reliable indicator of Israel’s ongoing high standing among Americans. Gallup also combines "sympathy" with other polling results to distill policy implications such as "Americans would lean more on the Palestinians to make peace." Gallup hasn’t missed a single year asking the sympathy question in surveys. This means Gallup alone can confidently tout historic high points, as it did in its 2018 survey results claiming "favorable views of Israel at 17-year high...." But how accurate are Gallup polls? Why did the company recently pay $10 million for making "false claims?" How does Gallup compare to Pew Research? Do Gallup and others asking key public policy questions use state-of-the-art polling technology? How do Americans respond when "non-response" and "modal" bias are mitigated? Report at Antiwar.com   Poll page with IRmep's results and raw data on the same question.   Scott Horton Show podcast

Israel advocacy groups demand questionable changes to Virginia textbooks - 4/16/2018

A consortium of state and national Israel advocacy groups has sent a detailed set of requested changes to textbooks and teaching guides used in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Requested changes include:

1. Deletion of references to Israel “occupying” territories captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and substituting “controlled.” International conventions clearly outline the responsibility of occupying powers and the illegality of collective punishment and population transfers.
2. Changes to maps to recognize Israel’s declared “annexation” of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The U.S. and most other countries do not officially recognize Israeli annexation of either territory.
3. Substitution of references to “occupied territories” to “captured areas.”
4. Substitution of references to “Jewish settlers” and “settlements” with “building of homes and communities.”
5. Deletion of a lesson reviewing a video documentary by Iranian-American religious studies scholar, author, producer and television host Reza Aslan.
6. Deletion of an activity based on reading the biography and work of Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi.
7. Substitution of an editorial cartoon titled “The Mideast Peace Game Rules” with a cartoon of an Arab suicide terrorist holding a “Road Map to Peace” game hostage.

Israel Lobby Archive documents and analysis           PR Newswire release

IRmep lawsuit challenges secret gag order on the Israeli nuclear weapons program - 4/6/2018

Classification bulletin WNP-136, which took effect on September 6, 2012, forbids covered persons from making any comment on U.S. government information or information in the public domain about Israel's nuclear weapons program. The classification bulletin was first used against former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear policy specialist James Doyle after he wrote the following sentence in an article titled "Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?" which had been security cleared by his employer and published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"Nuclear weapons did not deter Egypt and Syria from attacking Israel in 1973, Argentina from attacking British territory in the 1982 Falklands War or Iraq from attacking Israel during the 1991 Gulf War."

After an unknown congressional staffer read the article and demanded a review, it was referred to classification officials for a second review. Doyle's pay was then cut, his home computer searched, and he was fired.

IRmep alleges in the lawsuit that the American public has been harmed by being kept in the dark about U.S. policy toward the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Important questions include:

  1. Should Israel’s nuclear weapons facilities be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency?

  2. Where does Israel dispose of the toxic waste its program generates?

  3. Is the U.S. still vigorously investigating (though not prosecuting) diversions of materials and technologies to Israel, as it did in the past over nuclear triggers (The Milchan-Netanyahu krytron smuggling ring), weapons grade uranium (NUMEC), oscilloscopes and other weapons development technology diversions (Telogy LLC)?

  4. Are Israel’s nuclear weapons used to coerce the U.S. into making adverse policy decisions?

  5. Besides apartheid South Africa, has Israel offered any of its nuclear weapons for sale to other foreign countries?

  6. Has Israel mounted nuclear weapons onto its German-supplied Dolphin-class submarines?

Get more information about this lawsuit at IRmep's Center for Policy & Law

In 1974 CIA Claimed Israeli Nuclear Missiles Could Hit Neighbors: Newly released details link Israel’s highly enriched uranium to Pennsylvania plant - 3/19/2018

The Central Intelligence Agency believed that by 1974 Israel could strike all of its bordering countries with nuclear-tipped two-stage Jericho missiles. Israel was viewed by CIA as a proliferation threat via sales of turn-key nuclear weapons systems to its close allies such as apartheid South Africa. This was corroborated in year 2012 news reports revealing Israeli sales contracts. Although the now-defunct Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) demurred, the CIA also believed that a substantial quantity of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) was diverted from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) in Apollo, Pennsylvania to Dimona for weapons production. These stunning new revelations are contained in the top-secret report Special National Intelligence Estimate, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons" otherwise known as the 1974 SNIE.

Get more information at Antiwar.com

The Israel Lobby and American Policy 2018 - Full Conference Video Playlist - 3/2/2018

 

Also see C-SPAN2 full coverage of "The Israel Lobby & American Policy 2018"

Will Al Jazeera Air The Lobby Before AIPAC Meets? Israel’s lobbyists are working to suppress U.S. exposé - 2/14/2018

The Israel lobby has a lot of levers it can push and pull to curry favorable news coverage from media organizations. These range from denying access to the limited pool of top-tier pundits and Israeli government officials, to crippling economic boycotts. This power is visible in the battle to punish and shutter Al Jazeera, the Qatari state-funded news organization.

Al Jazeera’s undercover investigative series The Lobby stunned both U.K. and US viewers last year. The product of a six-month 2016 undercover investigation, the four-part series revealed the Israeli embassy’s close guidance of allegedly "independent" pro-Israel UK domestic organizations, unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism lodged against Labour Party members, and coordinated efforts to take down lawmakers deemed hostile to Israel. The series led to the dismissal of Shai Masot, a shadowy Israeli embassy official profiled in part four of the series, and apologies from the Israeli embassy.

Less well known is that concurrent to the UK investigation, another undercover reporter was hard at work penetrating Israel’s Washington lobby. James Anthony Kleinfeld, a British citizen, interned at The Israel Project. The Israel Project works as a quasi-public relations agency for Israel, using its cartel-like access to sought-after Israeli officials to shape media appearances and influence who can appear opposite Israel’s media luminaries. The behind-the-scenes activities of The Israel Project’s chief, former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spokesperson Josh Block, to condition and ultimately quash the appearance of Rula Jebreal on VOA, were exposed via a FOIA request in 2016.

Kleinfeld reportedly gained access to The Israel Project’s donor information by asking to work in donor development, a position not normally given to interns. Not much is known about the source of the nonprofit 501(c)(3) The Israel Project’s funding. Under the leadership of founder Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi, donations grew from $1.8 million in 2003 and peaked at nearly $20 million in 2010. Donations fell to $8.7 million in 2016 after The Israel Project received stinging rebukes from more established Israel lobbying organizations over its claims to be a one-stop shop leading all major branches of Israel advocacy. The Internal Revenue Service claims it cannot locate any of the publicly-releasable (PDF) documents The Israel Project presented in its application for tax-exempt status or explain what social welfare purpose it allegedly serves.

Get more information at Antiwar.com

 

Author of acclaimed "Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan" Scott Horton Lectures in Washington on March 4

Veteran radio broadcaster and podcaster Scott Horton will present key topics drawn from his widely acclaimed new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan at two public appearances in Washington on March 4.In his dynamic and wide-ranging lecture, Scott will explore uncomfortable and little-known facts about U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. He will review the shifting rationales given for America's longest war and why they do not advance U.S. national interests. Register for Horton’s free March 4 book lecture at Middle East Books and More in Adams Morgan in the morning or the Tenley Friendship Public Library in the afternoon. Fool’s Errand has received critical acclaim from leading Americans. (see Foolserrand.us)

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM – Middle East Books and More, 1902 18 Street Northwest, Washington, DC (just north of Dupont Circle) https://foolserrandadamsmorgan.eventbrite.com

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM - Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest, Washington DC (Across from the Tenleytown-American University Red Line Metro stop) https://foolserrandtenley.eventbrite.com

 

Poll: Americans oppose cutting aid to countries that condemn US Jerusalem policy - 1/5/2018

Foreign countries unlikely to respond like US politicians to Israeli incentives

The Trump administration threatened to end billions of dollars in US foreign aid to countries opposing recent US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. On December 21, despite US threats, 128 UN member states voted to uphold long-standing international consensus that the status of Jerusalem can only be settled through a peace deal between Israel and Palestinians. An additional 35 countries abstained. Both Palestinians and Israelis want Jerusalem to be their capital.

According to a poll conducted between December 22-January 2, the majority of Americans (56.6%) oppose using US foreign aid as a tool to coerce international recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Question: The Trump administration threatened to end foreign aid to any country that condemned its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Do you approve of such tactics?

The IRmep poll was fielded by Google surveys to 2,505 adult Internet users from December 22-January 2 and has an RMSE score of 7.6%. Demographic filtering and raw data are available online from Google.

Get more information about of this report Poll page All IRmep polls

NUMEC & the Israeli nuclear weapons program "off the table" in Washington - 1/2/2018

 

IRmep Director Grant F. Smith asks Anthony Cordesman of CSIS, who in 1986 told the LA Times that Israel had diverted US government-owned weapons grade uranium, if the U.S. has now lost moral authority in the nuclear non-proliferation arena.



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