IRmep

Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"

 

 

 

Why US Presidents and Congress Underwrite Israeli Human Rights Violations -
Walter L. Hixson -
PR Newswire, 6/9/2021

With two major human rights organizations now claiming Israel is an apartheid state, IRmep makes available to news media and event planners distinguished historian and author Walter L. Hixson. Hixson's latest book is "Architects of Repression: How Israel and Its Lobby Put Racism, Violence and Injustice at the Center of US Middle East Policy."

Hixson can comment on:

1. Why is U.S. aid to Israel unconditional and more than aid to other small countries?
2. How does the U.S. help Israel avoid accountability for ongoing human rights violations and illegal settlements?
3. When did Israel's U.S. lobby first form? What are some of its programs?
4. Which presidents attempted to hold Israel accountable? What happened?
5. Should Americans expect politicians to ever represent the movement to cut or condition aid to Israel? What hopeful signs are emerging?

Experts laud "Architects of Repression."

"The power of the Israel lobbies in American political life, widely acknowledged, has most often been discussed in a theoretical manner. The acclaimed Walter Hixson brings to the subject the clarity and careful documentation of the archival historian, and in so doing he sheds loads of illumination on lobbying that AIPAC officials themselves have admitted flourishes best in darkness."
--Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan.

"A devastating, learned, brilliantly narrated study of how the extremities of US pro-Israeli policy came about and were maintained despite decades of severe Israeli crimes victimizing the Palestinian people as a whole in what had been their native country.
--Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, is the former United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur in the Occupied Territories.

"If you ever wondered what the USA role in the ongoing Nakba of the Palestinian people is, you need to read this book. If you ever wondered how the Israeli lobby in the USA corrupted the American foreign policy towards Palestine and beyond, you need to read this book.
--Ilan Pappé is professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter.

Architects of Repression is now available in print, Kindle and audio book formats.

For review copies and author media interviews and events, email info@IRmep.org or call 202-342-7325.
IRmep is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit corporation researching U.S. Middle East policy formulation since 2002.

 
mntvWhy Congress Could and Should Cut Off Aid to Israel
Democrats Support Cutting Aid, the "Squad" and Bernie Sanders Could But Don't
5/21/2021

 

KPFAFlashpoints with Dennis Bernstein on KPFA -The Squad and Bernie Sanders Could Cut Israel Aid, but Won't - 5/21/2021

Could Congress really stop all aid to Israel? Yes, it would only take picking up the readily available tools.

 
IPACould Congress Cut off Funding to Israel by Acknowledging its Nuclear Weapons?
Institute for Public Accuracy - 5/20/2021

Many media outlets are reporting that members of “the Squad” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, as well as other members of Congress including Pramila Jayapal, are trying to “block a $735 million arms sale to Israel.”

But Grant Smith, author of Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America, states that members of Congress who have been critical of Israel “won’t use the tools available to them.”

Specifically, he states “there are legal avenues to challenge the entire $3.8 billion of U.S. taxpayer funds that Israel gets every year.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu cited Smith’s work recently in a piece published by The Guardian: “Joe Biden should end the U.S. pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons.” Tutu challenged Biden to break with past U.S. administrations and acknowledge Israel’s undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal. Wrote Tutu, who chaired the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: “There are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.”

Grant notes: “there are laws already on the books that call for a cutoff of aid to nuclear proliferators.”

More at Institute for Public Accuracy

Virginia About to Subsidize a Massive Israeli Fish Farm
Will Virginia counties again be left holding the bag?

pj

...But, as with many other VIAB projects, the question remains as to whether the designated Israeli company has the expertise to actually execute.

In December, AquaMaof was sued for $25 million by Aquatech Fisheries based in the Negev in Israel. The lawsuit accuses AquaMaof of “disgraceful conduct” and acting in a “blatantly unprofessional manner.” Aquatech contracted with AquaMaof to build a $30 million facility to grow snapper (sea bream). In less than a year, nearly a million fish died in the facility, a mortality blamed on AquaMaof’s “many failures and defects.” Because of AquaMaof’s “lack of transparency” concealing materials, “failures and defects,” it did not function as required by the performance parameters set out in the agreement.

Project Jonah has never built or operated a salmon facility as large as what is proposed in Virginia, preferring to start very small and expand. Project Jonah has also committed to performance parameters with state funders.

Project Jonah has promised to spend $198,370,000 in capital expenditures, create 218 new jobs with an annual wage far in excess of regional averages, at $59,133.

However, the entities responsible for “clawing back” grants and loans made to VIAB projects have shown little willingness to do so.

Read more at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

‘Abraham Accords’ Discredit the US
Corrupt side deals and more payoffs to Israel
- 5/3/2021

...It is doubtful the US would have recognized Moroccan claims over Western Sahara if Israel and its US lobby had not gotten involved. AIPAC is now quickly advancing relations operating almost as a "shadow" US State Department. On May 6, AIPAC will hold a three-way video conference between Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water and the Israeli Ministry of Defense and an official from Nobel Energy which is developing liquid natural gas from the Israeli Leviathan fields. AIPAC has ramped up Abraham Accord direct lobbying expenditures over the past three quarters as a top priority and it is no wonder why. Most of the proposed US expenditures on the Trump-era "peace" accords were destined to accrue mostly to Israeli recipients.

An opaque fund arranged by the US International Development Finance Corp based in Israel received 25 applications and chose 15 projects for funding. By September of 2020, Israel had three active projects totaling $580 million in US backed loans. In 2019, DFC committed $480 million to two "Egyptian projects" – except they were not truly projects accruing to Egyptian interests but rather schemes to transport and sell Israeli liquid natural gas from the Leviathan fields being developed by Noble Energy. Morocco is now surely in line for even more US taxpayer – backed Israeli energy export projects.

The plurality of Americans would cut aid to Israel after compelling studies released by Israel’s B’Tselem about its apartheid practices and more recently Human Rights Watch. The White House has already dismissed those findings. But even as it touts itself as a leader in racial justice, the unconditional support the Biden administration and Congress give Israel are actions that speak far louder than words. Read more at Antiwar.Com

IAC Session 2 Complete - "End U.S. Support for Israeli Apartheid?" on 4/24/2021

 

Individual speaker videos https://www.israelapartheidcon.org/session-2

IACSession 1 Complete Video - "End U.S. Support for Israeli Apartheid?" - 4/17/2021

 

Individual speaker videos and transcripts https://www.israelapartheidcon.org/session-1

mntvIsraeli Attack on Iran Nuclear Facility Aims to Disrupt US-Iranian JCPOA Talks
Just as Israeli Spying and Leaking about Secret Obama Administration Talks Aimed to Disrupt Original Negotiations
4/15/2021

 

Expert Speakers to Discuss Israel, its U.S. Lobby and Apartheid April 17 & 24
PR Newswire, 4/12/2021

WASHINGTONApril 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Experts will speak and take questions at the only annual national conference challenging the Israel lobby's repressive agenda while proposing better alternatives for America.

IsraelApartheidCon 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).

Celebrated Palestinian author Susan Abulhawa reveals how U.S. taxpayers and readers are beginning to understand that their tax dollars are supporting ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

Palestinian writer and analyst Sumaya Awad warns of the danger of Facebook's effort to suppress criticisms of Zionism by deeming it equivalent to hate speech or anti-Semitism, and her successful campaign against censorship.

Rev. Alex Awad describes how Palestinian evangelicals are successfully working to stop the spread of Christian Zionist biblical misinterpretations in many U.S. churches.

Congressman Brian Baird (1999-2011) describes how Israel and its U.S. lobby assert authority over Congress, Israel's use of U.S. weapons and equipment in Gaza—including the 2003 killing of his constituent Rachel Corrie—and proposes critical actions voters can take to help elect leaders who will approach these issues in an open-minded way.

South African professor John Dugard provides insight into the international community's disparity in its treatment of South Africa and Israel for applying substantially similar policies, and the prospects and best approaches for ending Israeli apartheid.

Richard Falk, former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine (2008-2014), will comment on B'Tselem's apartheid report and Israel's 2018 Basic Law that gives preferential status to Jews.

Zaha Hassana human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, outlines how the Biden administration can break the Middle East peace impasse by adopting a rights-based—rather than an Israel and its lobby based—approach as the center of its strategy.

Historian and author Walter Hixson explains why until the monolithic Israel lobby is neutralized, there will never be peace in the Middle East, drawing on insights from his new book, Architects of Repression.

Radio host and Antiwar.com editorial director Scott Horton details how Israel and its U.S. lobby were key proponents of the disastrous 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and today are virtually alone in supporting a U.S. war on Iran, drawing on research from his new book, Enough Already.

Professor Robin D.G. Kelley will discuss the current state of resisting Israel and its lobby's efforts on campus, the parallels between South Africa and the movement toward Palestinian liberation, and how the Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian grassroots movements work together.

Tom Suárez, author of the 2016 book State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel, will discuss the recently issued Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA).

Journalist and Mondoweiss.net co-founder Philip Weiss delivers a roundup on J Street and his key reflections about the effectiveness of liberal Zionism as revealed in its most significant annual policy conference.

UN correspondent Ian Williams provides a brief history of both Republican and Democratic administrations' sycophantic relations with Israel and how this relationship affects U.S. policies toward the UN and international law.

Investigative journalist Asa Winstanley explores the similarities and differences between Labour Friends of Israel in the U.K. and the Democratic Majority for Israel in the U.S., the purpose they serve, and the recent sabotage and purge of major progressive leaders like Jeremy Corbyn who have spoken out in support of Palestinian human rights.

Get more information at www.IsraelApartheidCon.org and register online at Eventbrite

 

IPAIsrael Targeting of Iran the Result of U.S. Backing, Refusal to Acknowledge Its Nuclear Weapons
Institute for Public Accuracy - 4/12/2021

Ronnie Kasrils was Minister for Intelligence Services in South Africa from 2004 to 2008 and was a leading member of the African National Congress during the apartheid era.

He said today: “Israel is once again acting criminally as the hand behind the recent attack on an Iranian vessel in the Gulf and now as The New York Times reports: ‘Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage.’ …

“There can be little doubt that this attack on Iran is calculated to damage the prospects for a wider peace, seeming to sabotage the talks in Vienna about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran which have started on a positive note in Vienna. [The New York Times reported Friday: “Iran Nuclear Talks Start on Positive Note in Vienna.”]

“Israel is granted an effective green light for its illegal actions and dangerous war mongering whilst the U.S. government has time and again backed it. Just a few months ago South Africa’s emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote, urging incoming President Biden, to end the USA’s ‘pretence over Israel’s secret nuclear weapons’ and that ‘the refusal of [the] U.S. administration to even acknowledge Israel’s massive nuclear weapons arsenal threatens the region and indeed the planet’.” See piece by Tutu in The Guardian: “Joe Biden Should End the U.S. Pretence over Israel’s ‘Secret’ Nuclear Weapons: The cover-up has to stop — and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians.”

Kasrils added: “All this reminds us in South Africa that Israel worked with the apparethid government to enable it to develop its nuclear weapons. Such proliferation violates U.S. and international law, and should result in a cutoff of billions in U.S. taxpayer funding, which enables Israel to destabilise the Middle East and threaten even nuclear war, whilst it continues to brutally oppress the Palestinian people. The USA, and Western powers, allows Israel to act with chilling impunity and are therefore complicit in its crimes.” He wrote the piece “I Fought South African Apartheid. I See the Same Brutal Policies in Israel” for The Guardian.

Grant F. Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and recently wrote the piece “Biden Could Reverse Six Harmful Israel Policies… With the Only Power That Stops Israel’s Lobby.”

He said today: “During the Obama administration, Israel and its U.S. lobby did everything they could to sabotage the JCPOA, including spying on secret negotiations and coordinating opposition in the U.S. where the majority of Americans supported the deal.

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu called on the Biden administration to be forthright about the Middle East’s leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation — Israel. Only by reentering the JCPOA and negotiating for a Middle East nuclear free zone — by dismantling Israel’s nuclear arsenal — will the U.S. be truly serving as an honest broker in the region.”

New Book - Architects of Repression: How Israel and Its Lobby Put Racism, Violence and Injustice at the Center of US Middle East Policy - 4/7/2021

aorThis book offers a compelling history of the most powerful lobby acting on behalf of a foreign government in all of American history. The book puts to rest any doubt as to whether the Israel lobby has played and continues to play the crucial role in enabling aggression, the suppression of Palestinian rights, and the failure to achieve a comprehensive Middle East peace accord.

Rooted in archival evidence and an abundant secondary literature, Architects of Repression shows how AIPAC and other Israel affinity groups deploy propaganda, target campaign contributions, organize demonstrations, and exert political pressure to manage public opinion - and, especially, to influence the Congress. The massive foreign aid that the United States has provided Israel - far more than allocated to any other country and dispersed on favorable terms reserved for Israel alone - is only one of many enabling benefits the small Zionist state has received over many decades from the most powerful nation in the world.

For decades, as the book explains in depth, the Israel lobby has played the pivotal role as the US enabled Israel’s disdain for a negotiated settlement of the Middle East conflict; its contemptuous dismissal of the plight of Palestinian refugees; its cultivation of nuclear weapons in defiance of the global nuclear non-proliferation movement; its profusion of palpably racist, illegal and destabilizing Jewish-only settlements; its takeover of Jerusalem, much of the West Bank, and the Golan Heights; and its ongoing violent aggression, which has victimized Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as well as neighboring states notably Lebanon. In more recent years the Israel lobby launched a campaign to criminalize political engagement and freedom of speech by equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Hixson convincingly reveals that there will never be peace in the Middle East until the monolithic Israel lobby is neutralized.

Expert reviews

"The power of the Israel lobbies in American political life, widely acknowledged, has most often been discussed in a theoretical manner. The acclaimed Walter Hixson brings to the subject the clarity and careful documentation of the archival historian, and in so doing he sheds loads of illumination on lobbying that AIPAC officials themselves have admitted flourishes best in darkness."
--Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan.

"A devastating, learned, brilliantly narrated study of how the extremities of US pro-Israeli policy came about and were maintained despite decades of severe Israeli crimes victimizing the Palestinian people as a whole in what had been their native country. Essential reading for anyone willing expose themselves to inconvenient truths that definitively depict one of the darkest chapters in America's foreign policy."
--Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, is the former United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur in the Occupied Territories.

"If you ever wondered what the USA role in the ongoing Nakba of the Palestinian people is, you need to read this book. If you ever wondered how the Israeli lobby in the USA corrupted the American foreign policy towards Palestine and beyond, you need to read this book. This book analyses in a clear narration, based on solid analysis and documentation, how this corrupted and vicious American policy, culminated in the Trumpian era. This book points clearly to all the culprits who bred racism, violence and injustice in the USA and inflicted this unholy trinity on Palestine and its people."
--Ilan Pappé is professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter.

An IRmep publication. Now available in print, eBook and audio book format.

MemoIsrael is an apartheid state so US should stop aid, say Americans in poll
4/1/2021

...Carried out by IRmep earlier in March, the poll asked whether, in light of the B'Tselem report, Israel should be a leading recipient of US aid. Of those who responded, 38.1 per cent said that Israel should not be a leading recipient of aid. Just 33 per cent said that it should continue to receive $3.8 billion per annum from Washington.

The differences are starker when looked at on a regional basis: 43.4 per cent of respondents from the north-east of the US, 39.1 per cent from the mid-west and 36.2 per cent from the west said that such a level of US aid should stop. With 36.1 per cent, those in the American south are the most likely to want aid to Israel to continue.

The poll was carried out in advance of the annual IsraelLobbyCon conference on 17 and 24 April, which this year has the theme "End US Support for Israeli Apartheid?" IRmep and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs are co-organising the event to "explore[s] the latest research, innovations and tactics for countering the Israel lobby's damaging policies in the US and around the globe."

IRmep's poll is the latest indication that, increasingly, American citizens appear to believe that systemic discrimination and apartheid by the settler-colonial state should have consequences. Successive US governments, however, continue to think otherwise. Read more at Middle East Monitor.

Poll: Americans Say Israel Should Not be a Leading Recipient of U.S. Aid Given Evidence of Apartheid
IRmep Polls - 03/31/2021

apartheid_poll

IRmep Poll: “A major Israeli human rights nonprofit says apartheid is rampant inside Israel & territories it occupies. Should Israel continue to be the leading recipient of U.S. foreign aid?”

BTselem found growing apartheid inside Israel and controlled territories.Given that reality, a 38.1 percent plurality of Americans say Israel should not be a leading U.S. aid recipient. Our upcoming conference focuses on Israel, its U.S. lobby, and the apartheid question.

Israeli NGO B'Tselem’s January 2021 report, “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid,” repeated claims made for many years by Palestinian and regional researchers as well as travelers to the region. Israel not only operates a de facto apartheid regime within territories it militarily controls, it also has implemented a robust apartheid system domestically. Read more at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Poll data

‘Cut Aid Over Israeli Apartheid’ Say Americans: Poll
Israel’s U.S. lobby rejects the label
- 3/30/2021

...The documented evidence and conclusions in the B’Tselem report are compelling: Israel and the territories it occupies already form an apartheid regime. East Jerusalem and the West Bank have already been "annexed in practice." Palestinians, whether citizens of Israel or not, do not have the same rights as Jewish Israeli citizens. Discrimination is observable and endemic. No matter where they live, Israel affords Palestinians "a different package of rights" than Jewish Israelis. The "two-state solution" if it ever was viable, is dead.

israel_apartheid

While the report made a small splash in January, U.S. news media interest and follow up quickly tailed off. As is the norm, no mainstream U.S. pollster surveyed the American taxpayers who subsidize Israel and whose government supports the regime commercially, diplomatically while lavishing secret intelligence and military support how they viewed the situation.

Between March 22-25 IRmep asked a representative sample of 2,194 American adults through Google Surveys whether – given the B’Tselem report – Israel should be a leading US aid recipient. A 38.1 percent plurality said it should not. In fielding the question, the answer order was randomly reversed and the resultant sample bias was 5.7 percent.

A plurality of Americans appear to believe, unlike their government, that systemic discrimination witnessed by credible, local observers should have consequences. Read more at Antiwar.com Poll data Listen in at the Scott Horton Show.

Conference on the Israel Lobby and Apartheid April 17 & 24, 2021
The 2021 virtual edition of the Israellobbycon annual series.

sq_banner_conf2021WASHINGTONMarch 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A major Israeli human rights organization has declared apartheid is rampant both inside Israel and in the territories Israel occupies.

The web-based conference "End US Support for Israeli Apartheid?" considers whether the United States should now cut off aid to Israel, or make any such future assistance conditional on negotiation of a genuine peace settlement, respect for Palestinian human rights, and adherence to international law.

IsraelApartheidCon 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).

Wrapping around the annual meeting of the Israel lobby group J Street, IsraelApartheidCon will address U.S. financial support of Israel, the strengths and weaknesses of "liberal" lobby groups like J Street, prospects for a one- or two-state solution, and the progress of free speech organizations, the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement and other forms of resistance, including solidarity between Palestinian activism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

While Congress wrangles over modest emergency pandemic relief for Americans, it obediently gives the nation of Israel $3.8 billion annually—and even more covert aid—with barely a whisper of debate.

Any member of Congress who might question Washington's annual  subsidy for Israeli militarization knows that he or she will incur the wrath of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other Israel lobby groups.

The lobby patrols the Congress to ensure that Israel, a small country of some nine million people, remains by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. U.S. aid enables Israeli apartheid, new settlements in illegally occupied territories and ongoing violent repression of Palestinians.

Meanwhile, American citizens who question illegal Israeli policies and engage in nonviolent protest movements such as BDS are accused of being anti-Semites, and their free speech rights threatened.

Join us online to hear expert speakers discuss how Americans can push back against costly and harmful Israel lobby programs and corruption. View upcoming speaker announcements at www.IsraelApartheidCon.org and register online at Eventbrite.

IsraelApartheidCon does not replace or substitute the rescheduled conference "Transcending the Israel Lobby at Home & Abroad" to be held at the National Press Club on March 2 and 3, 2022.  2022 conference speaker information and tickets are available at https://IsraelLobbyCon.org/2022-conference.

 

wrmea_irmepThe 2021 virtual edition of the IsraelLobbyCon annual series
End US Support for Israeli Apartheid?
April 17 & 24, 2021
For speaker and program updates visit www.IsraelApartheidCon.org

While Congress wrangled over modest emergency pandemic relief for Americans, the nation of Israel receives $3.8 billion annually—and even more covert aid—with barely a whisper of debate. Any member of Congress who might question the annual U.S. subsidy for Israeli militarization knows that he or she will incur the wrath of AIPAC and other Israel lobby groups. The lobby patrols the Congress to ensure that Israel, a small country of some nine million people, remains by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II., U.S,. aid enables Israeli apartheid, new settlements in illegally occupied territories and ongoing violent repression of Palestinians. Meanwhile, American citizens who question illegal Israeli policies and engage in nonviolent protest movements such as BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) are accused of being anti-Semites, and their free speech rights threatened.

This web-based conference considers whether the United States should cut off aid to Israel or make any such future assistance conditional on negotiation of a genuine peace settlement, respect for Palestinian human rights, and adherence to international law. Wrapping around the annual meeting of the Israel lobby group J Street, the webinar will address U.S. financial support of Israel, the strengths and weaknesses of “liberal” lobby groups like J Street, prospects for a one- or two-state solution, and the progress of free speech organizations, the BDS movement and other forms of resistance, including solidarity between Palestinian activism and the Black Lives Matter movement. Register on Eventbrite

KPFAFlashpoints with Dennis Bernstein on KPFA - Is Israel the Middle East's leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation? - 2/1/2021

How does Israel avoid IAEA inspections of its nuclear weapons development sites while Iran undergoes continual inspection? What role does the Israel lobby play in threatening to defund the IAEA if Israel isn't given preferential treatment? What are six Trump administration policies that Israel and its lobby precipitated that should be immediately reversed? Audio file.

Biden Could Reverse Six Harmful Israel Policies...with the only power that stops Israel’s lobby - 1/20/2021

biden2Public confrontations with the Israel lobby’s systemic encroachments are the only means for politicians to beat it. In 2020 Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum stopped a massive coordinated Israel lobby media smear campaign in its tracks by accurately labeling AIPAC as a “hate group.” Biden has the power to do the same, but unfortunately his entire career has been in servitude to injustice when it comes to Israel Palestine.

The Biden administration assumes power claiming it will reverse Trump administration policies it claims are harmful to Americans and the rest of the world. Biden will end the so-called Muslim ban—Executive order 13769— on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The US will rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Biden will issue mask mandates, extend moratoriums on evictions and even rejoin the World Health Organization.

Absent from the announced Biden 100-day program are any proposed reversals of Israel policies implemented by the Trump administration that seriously harm the United States and rest of the world. Rolling back those policies would require bucking the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which closely coordinates its activities with the Israeli government. One way to corral AIPAC would be to actually enforce the 1962 Department of Justice order that AIPAC register as an Israeli foreign agent.

An easier and more proven tactic to disentangle the U.S. from harmful Israel lobby policies is going public with grievances. George H.W. Bush did it when fighting to withhold loan guarantees to Israel which was continuing to build settlements on Palestinian land. Barack Obama also did it in a speech when he laid out the facts. By opposing the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, Israel and its lobby were essentially demanding that the U.S. go to war with Iran, claimed Obama. Americans overwhelmingly agreed with him. If Israel and its lobby decide to whip up another phony crisis, Biden could immediately take it to the court of public opinion rather than suffer in silence.

A long public and private battle against AIPAC—which has become increasingly belligerent over the decades—could create breathing room for pursuing productive, rather than exclusively Israeli, policies in the Middle East. More.

IPADesmond Tutu: Biden Should Stop Israeli Nuclear Cover-up
Institute for Public Accuracy - 12/31/2020

TutuThe Guardian just published a piece by Archbishop Desmond Tutu titled “Joe Biden Should End the U.S. Pretence over Israel’s ‘Secret’ Nuclear Weapons: The cover-up has to stop — and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians.

Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, is a former archbishop of Cape Town and, from 1996 to 2003, was chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The piece states: “Every recent U.S. administration has performed a perverse ritual as it has come into office. All have agreed to undermine U.S. law by signing secret letters stipulating they will not acknowledge something everyone knows: that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Part of the reason for this is to stop people focusing on Israel’s capacity to turn dozens of cities to dust. This failure to face up to the threat posed by Israel’s horrific arsenal gives its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a sense of power and impunity, allowing Israel to dictate terms to others.

“But one other effect of the U.S. administration’s ostrich approach is that it avoids invoking the U.S.’s own laws, which call for an end to taxpayer largesse for nuclear weapons proliferators. …

“Israel in fact is a multiple nuclear weapons proliferator. There is overwhelming evidence that it offered to sell the apartheid regime in South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s and even conducted a joint nuclear test. The U.S. government tried to cover up these facts. Additionally, [Israel] has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. …

“Amendments by former Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn to the Foreign Assistance Act ban U.S. economic and military assistance to nuclear proliferators and countries that acquire nuclear weapons. While president, Jimmy Carter invoked such provisions against India and Pakistan.

“But no president has done so with regard to Israel. Quite the contrary. There has been an oral agreement since President Richard Nixon to accept Israel’s ‘nuclear ambiguity’ — effectively to allow Israel the power that comes with nuclear weapons without the responsibility. And since President Bill Clinton, according to the New Yorker magazine, there have been these secret letters. …

“The incoming Biden administration should forthrightly acknowledge Israel as a leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and properly implement U.S. law. …

“Israel’s per capita gross domestic product is comparable with that of Britain. Nevertheless, U.S. taxpayer funds to Israel exceed that to any other country. Adjusted for inflation, the publicly known amount over the years is now approaching $300bn. …

“South Africa learned that it could only have real peace and justice by having truth that would lead to reconciliation. But none of those will come unless truth is faced squarely — and there are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.”

Available for interviews:

GRANT F. SMITH, gsmith@irmep.org, @IRmep
Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. He was featured on an accuracy.org news release last month, “How Biden Could Advance Peace and Save Hundreds of Billions in Funds: Will Biden Finally Acknowledge Israel’s Nukes?“

Energix Faces Opposition in Syria and Virginia - Israeli settler-colonial venture nets millions in US tax credits and PPP loans

EnergixVA

In early December hundreds of Syrians gathered to protest the Israeli company Energix as it began construction of massive wind turbines in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Energix is also facing growing community opposition across Virginia as it lobbies to secure permits to build solar energy utilities on mostly agricultural parcels with cultural, forest and natural land designations. In Golan Heights, Energix freely wields the power of Israeli police and courts to transcend community opposition. In Virginia, Energix steamrolls community opponents empowered by massive federal and state subsidies and a curious state agency – the Virginia Israel Advisory Board – that exclusively promotes Israeli business ventures. Read more at Antiwar.Com

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extraWEBINAR "What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Coercing Arab Nations to Establish Relations with Israel" - As'ad AbuKhalil 12/8/2020 at Noon EST

aaAs'ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam, and America's New 'War on Terrorism' (2002) and The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power (2003).

The Israel lobby and U.S. mainstream media both hail the recent "normalization" between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan as major accomplishments. Not so, says Professor AbuKhalil. Sudan, "long a battleground for Cold War intrigues," agreed to recognize Israel in return for Washington lifting debilitating sanctions. Key regional powers, such as Saudi Arabia with its 2002 peace plan, long demanded that Israel withdraw from Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in return for full normalization. Now that the Kushner "deal of the century" has failed, the "alternative was a quick scheme to bolster the sagging fortunes of the Trump" administration with "normalization." The real architect of normalization, AbulKhalil argues, was none other than Binyamin Netanyahu.

But what about public opinion in Arab countries? Does it favor normalization before justice for Palestinians? Will a Biden administration continue the policy of coerced normalization? Would the promised "economic relief" to Arab countries signing recognition deals with Israel ever arrive? Will burgeoning U.S. arms shipments pave the way for a new arms race in the region?

 

 
The Jonathan Pollard Exception: Israeli espionage against the U.S. is rarely prosecuted - 12/3/2020

spies

Jonathan Jay Pollard sold thousands of sensitive American secrets to Israel while employed as an intelligence analyst in the Naval Investigative Service Command. Pollard was ideologically committed to becoming a spy for Israel, and after he was captured claimed he considered himself “a frontline soldier forgotten deep in enemy territory.” Pollard pled guilty to espionage against the US in June of 1986. During Pollard’s sentencing the initiative to win a slap on the wrist and one-way ticket to Israel began.

Perhaps the most interesting argument for leniency filed during Pollard’s sentencing was a quote from the New York Times that, “…the FBI knew of at least a dozen incidents in which American officials transferred classified information to the Israelis." The filing concluded, "yet the Justice Department did not prosecute any of the officials. The article, if true, would strongly suggest that it was the established policy of the Department of Justice not to prosecute US citizens for espionage activities on behalf of Israel, even though, according to the same article, the Israeli intelligence service was the most active in the United States, second only to the Soviets.” Pollard’s counsel speculated leniency was due to, "the damage from providing classified information to Israel is far less severe than if the information were passed to the Soviets."

Before Pollard, many more than "a dozen" Americans engaged in espionage and covert operations against the US. Hundreds of operatives in a network stretching from the East coast to Hawaii purchased tons of surplus WWII conventional weapons from the US government on false premises as scrap and smuggled them to Jewish fighters in Palestine in the 1940s. One of these smugglers, Adolph "Al" Schwimmer, left the US and started a career in Israel founding Israeli Aircraft Industries. The handful of low-level operatives prosecuted for violating arms export controls and the Neutrality Act received light sentences.

In the 1960s naval nuclear propulsion pioneer Zalman Shapiro met clandestinely with Israel’s nuclear weapons development team leaders and top Israeli covert operators. The company he formed, NUMEC, "lost" more highly enriched uranium than any other US government contractor, some of which wound up at Dimona. The now defunct Atomic Energy Commission covered for Shapiro by engineering the buyout of NUMEC and transferring him away from positions that involved classified nuclear weapons technologies. Shapiro and his cohorts left behind a toxic mess still undergoing a half-billion-dollar taxpayer funded cleanup in Pennsylvania.

Read more at Antiwar.Com  Interview audio from the Scott Horton Show

 
WASHINGTON_JOURNALDoes the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies know Israel is the Leading State Sponsor of Middle East Nuclear Proliferation?
11/27/2020

 

extra"Palestine, Propaganda and the President"
with Ali Abunimah - 11/18/2020
 

YouTube video   Audio download

 

KPFAIsrael's Nuclear Weapons Program and the Incoming Biden Administration - 11/17/2020

KPFA's David Rosenberg interviews IRmep's Grant F. Smith about Israel's nuclear weapons program and grave implications for U.S. presidents.

Audio download

The Israel Lobby’s ‘QME’ Scam
Arms Export Control Act subversion and amendment
—11/10/2020
  Aid_to_Israel  
...Today "QME" has become just another Israel lobby scam for extorting American taxpayers. It requires Americans fund billions in freebies to Israel for every US sale of advanced weapons systems to wealthy autocratic regimes in the Middle East. It is preconditioned on undermining nuclear non-proliferation. Americans would be much better served by the cancellation of all US arms sales to the region including the Israel giveaways, enforcing Symington and Glenn and restarting long dormant direct US diplomatic engagement with regional bogeymen such as Iran and Syria. A serious conversation about Middle East nuclear proliferation – and Israel’s central role – is similarly long overdue...

Read more at Antiwar.Com Listen to a discussion at The Scott Horton Show


Extra!Webinar on 11/18 at Noon EST
 "Palestine, Propaganda and the President"
with Ali Abunimah

aa

American journalist Ali Abunimah is co-founder of the Electronic Intifada and author of "One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israel-Palestine Impasse'' and "The Battle for Justice in Palestine." He will discuss post-election administration policy on key issues. Will the administration demand any pause to illegal Israeli settlements? Will Israel be successful in continuing to use the coercive power of the U.S. State Department and other key agencies to demand Arab nations establish formal ties with Israel? Will the drive to label human rights organizations as "anti-Semitic” prevail?

Abunimah will also discuss growing social media censorship of Palestinians and their allies. Facebook has repeatedly shut down the Gaza Health Ministry even as the COVID-19 pandemic began taking its toll. In addition, Facebook colludes with the Israeli occupation authorities—including appointing an Israeli government spokesperson to its "oversight board"—to shut down the accounts of dozens of Palestinian publications and journalists "on the Israeli-supplied pretext that criticism of Israel and its crimes against Palestinians constitute ‘incitement.’”

Meanwhile, Facebook has given free reign to Israel lobby influence and disinformation campaigns across its platform. But Americans can successfully fight back. Abunimah discusses his own winning tactics and strategies for pushing back against censorship by American social media giants, and takes questions from webinar attendees.

November 18 at Noon! Register online through Eventbrite!

Extra!“Censorship, Entanglement & Corruption:
The Israel Lobby 2021 Agenda"
- Grant F. Smith
 

YouTube video Audio download Powerpoint Slides

What took so long?! Mainstream media FINALLY covers Israel lobby corruption in Virginia - 10/12/2020

 

kkfiIsrael lobbying and nuclear smuggling in America - Kansas City Community Radio - 09/26/2020

Interview with Jeremy Rothe-Kushel of the program "Understanding Israel-Palestine" on the rise of the Israel lobby in America, prominent figures, Israeli nuclear weapons espionage and related topics.

Listen to audio interview from KKFI

Expropriate, Capture & Marginalize: the Energix business model from Palestine to the US - 9/25/2020

YouTube video      PowerPoint slides (PDF)

Extra!Settler Colonialism from America to Palestine - Walter Hixson - 9/23//2020
 

YouTube video     Audio file.

Are Christian Zionists the ‘Largest Pro-Israel Lobby’?
No, and little would change without them—0
9/16/2020

The claim that US Christian Zionists are "the largest Israel lobby" is a canard now so commonplace that it appears within the first paragraph of Wikipedia’s page on the "Israel lobby in the United States." But are Christian Zionists really the largest Israel lobby? That all depends on your definition of "large," "lobby" and beliefs about how policy is actually made. A look at a key set of lobbying numbers indicates Christian Zionists are not major lobby players. They could disappear tomorrow and the US Israel lobbying engine would not even sputter.

The claim that Christian Zionists are the "largest pro-Israel lobby" is based on unsubstantiated headcount claims that Christians United for Israel CUFI has over nine million members. It is a fact that Christians make up 65 or so percent of the U.S. population and that evangelical Protestants constitute 25.4 percent. It is also undeniable that evangelicals tend to believe the US should be doing more for Israel than other Christian groups and at the voting booth would tend to vote for pro-Israel candidates. They are important.

But how does all that translate into effective lobbying for concrete "facts on the ground" like moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or White House support for Israel formally annexing a large percentage of the West Bank? Are Christian Zionists the reason for the US annually giving Israel $3.8 billion in free weapons over the coming decade, or more aid since 1948 than the Marshall Plan? If you believe in Majoritarian Electoral Democracy and overlook the uncomfortable fact that evangelical Christian religious organizations were initially indifferent to or even suspicious of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) initiatives, the answer could be "yes." But for those who know the history of the Israel lobby , and who do not believe that a pull of the voting booth lever automatically translates into US policy, Christian Zionists are not a significant lobby...

Read more at Antiwar.Com  Listen to an interview on the Scott Horton Show.

 

Extra!  Christian Zionism & Settler Colonialism - Reverend Don Wagner - 9/17/2020
 

Youtube video     Audio file

Extra!  American Jews and Israel: A Faltering Relationship - 9/10/2020

 

YouTube video     Audio file

Extra!  Israel Propaganda in the News Media- Professor Emeritus Sut Jhally - 9/2/2020

 

YouTube video   Audio file
Virginia Israel Advisory Board Deal Improper Says IG
Head of a billion-dollar state funding pool promises to behave - 08/14/2020

On May 1, 2020, the Virginia Office of the State Inspector General formally notified the Secretary of Commerce and Trade of improper financial dealings between the Virginia Israel Advisory Board’s vice chairman and the executive director of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. According to the notification, the action was initiated following a whistleblower complaint to the state fraud, waste and abuse hotline.

The Virginia Israel Advisory Board, or VIAB, is presently the only U.S. taxpayer-funded state government entity working exclusively to give Israeli companies a foothold in the commonwealth. The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission or TRRC distributes Virginia’s portion of the $246 billion tobacco company liability settlement struck in 1998, but largely not to smoking cessation campaigns or health-related initiatives. Rather, TRRC has distributed over a billion dollars for tobacco region development projects.

According to the OSIG letter, Virginia Israel Advisory Board Vice Chairman Charles Lessin ,who was also CEO of a joint project with Israel’s TransBioDiesel, improperly received "credit for jobs created on a separate project to avoid ‘claw-backs’ from TRRC for Appalachian’s failed project."

Although he worked as a VIAB board member, in 2014 Lessin applied for a $565,000 TRRC grant to produce biodiesel in St. Paul, Virginia on behalf of the limited liability company he privately owned, Appalachian Biofuels.

After the project failed, Lessin asked the TRRC’s Executive Director Evan Feinman to forgive him of $210,000 in repayment of the grant that he was obligated to repay.

In July of 2019, Lessin "provided a list of projects in which he is involved as Vice Chairman of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) that were to be completed in TRRC’s service area." These jobs and capital investments should cover any of the jobs creation and investment promises made by Appalachian Biofuels, LLC, according to Lessin.

  Lessin_List  
“Chuck Lessin: Recent Contributions to the Commonwealth of Virginia” Source: TRRC FOIA release, July 14, 2020

On August 5, 2019, Feinman forgave Lessin’s $210,000 debt based on the forecast employment and capital investment from the list provided by Lessin. All the projects, including Oran Safety Glass and Energix were VIAB promoted ventures with Israeli companies, but none apparently carried any capital infusion from Lessin personally. Further, as the Inspector General noted, "none of these projects were completed at the time the letter was issued." Most are still "incomplete."

More at Antiwar.com  Source documents in the Israel Lobby Archive  Interview audio at the Scott Horton Show

Preventing Israel Lobby Propaganda in Textbooks
August/September 2020

...Jeanne Trabulsi, a retired educator who taught for 16 years in Arlington County, VA, now leads the Education Committee at the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR). Trabulsi explained that one of VCHR’s core values is that Israel/Palestine issues are an ongoing human rights concern. That demands an informed debate. In order to even have that debate, factual, unbiased knowledge about what’s actually happened since 1948 is critical. But Israel affinity organizations don’t want that debate.


Screen capture from video "What do they teach our children?"

In a series of slides, Trabulsi recounted how in 2018 VCHR became aware of the actions by the innocuously named Institute for Curriculum Services. ICS’s efforts were promoted heavily by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), an umbrella group for the hundred or so Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRCs). The director of the California-based ICS, Aliza Craimer Elias, explained how the ICS had quietly taken “considerable efforts” to change textbooks in public school systems across the U.S. She further claimed that ICS had proposed 11,000 edits to textbooks with an 80 percent acceptance rate by publishers. ICS itself is housed within the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco. It is therefore impossible to know much about its finances, staffing or budget. More at WRMEA.

Israel Affinity Organizations and Businesses Received Millions in Forgivable PPP Loans
07/08/2020

... a number of nonprofit organizations identified in the database of the book “Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America” as being heavily involved in advancing Israel from within the U.S. received substantial support.

PPP Loan Amount

Recipient

Activities

$5-10 million Anti-Defamation League - ADL Advocates for Israel, charges pro-Palestinian activists with anti-Semitism, trains law enforcement officials, infiltrates and disrupts peace & justice groups.

$150,000-350,000

Jewish Institute for National Security of America -  JINSA

Sends U.S. military and police to Israel for training.

$350,000-1 million

Zionist Organization of America - ZOA

Lobbies Congress on behalf of Israel. Ordered to register seven times as an Israeli foreign agent.

$2-5 million

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

Builds recreational facilities on IDF bases in Israel.

$1-2 million

Israel Emergency
Alliance

Promotes Israel on campus and urges the public to buy Israeli goods. Portrays Israel as a perpetually seeking peace (“Peace takes Two” program) against Palestinian “intransigence.”

$1-2 million

Israeli American Council

Organization launched in 2007 funded by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, mobilizes the estimated half-million Israeli Americans residing in the U.S. to be more active on behalf of Israel.

$350,000-1 million

Israel on Campus Coalition

Creates and mobilizes pro-Israel groups on American campuses.

$2-5 million

Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth Leisrael) Inc.

Acquired and developed land for Jewish settlement. Tree planting.

$1-2 million

American Society for Technion-Israel Institute for Technology, Inc

Raises funds for Israel’s MIT, which has been credibly alleged to perform work on Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

Source: Small Business Administration loans database, $150,000 or more.

Branches of two Israeli banks heavily involved in occupied West Bank development participated in the PPP program. Bank Leumi originated 423 PPP loans and lent between a quarter to a half billion dollars under the program while Bank Hapoalim originated seven loans. More at WRMEA.

WASHINGTON_JOURNALIsrael lobby orgs grab Covid-19 relief for lobbying, IDF facilities, & sketchy Israeli companies
07/07/2020
 
VCHRCountering harmful Israel lobby initiatives at the state level
A conversation with the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights - 06/25/2020
Educational video on VCHR, fighting questionable edits to VA textbooks, the case against VIAB, and the expansion of Israeli human rights violator Energix.

 

Audio only.

Is AIPAC Finished?
No conference, guidance, deference, or Foreign Affairs Committee chair —06/25/2020

These are desperate times for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC. AIPAC has canceled its single most important program. The lobby’s grip on Congress is slipping and its influence in the Foreign Affairs Committee has been truncated. Is AIPAC finished? There are three reasons to believe it may be.
First came the cancellation of AIPAC’s March 2021 policy conference, ostensibly due to "uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic." The disadvantage this brings to the Israel lobby ecosystem which is the "spear" behind AIPAC’s "tip" cannot be overstated. The conference is the Israel lobby ecosystem’s single key lobbying initiative because every year it allows "citizen lobbyists" to interface with their representatives. The amount AIPAC discloses that it spends to the Clerk of Congress on its own dozen or so professional lobbyists is quite small compared to the expenditures on the policy conference, and there is a reason for that...

aipac_fade

...Lastly, AIPAC’s campaign contribution ecosystem has been trounced. Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, once bragged that he would sit down with AIPAC on "every piece of legislation coming out of the Foreign Affairs Committee." Engel’s easy defeat by upstart Jamaal Bowman nakedly reveals the organization’s relative weakness compared to the old days. Back then, AIPAC could fine-tune supposedly "independent" PAC contributions to individual candidates or even tip a key senate election by having proxies fund a spoiler like Ed Vallen. No longer.

As more members of Congress fully understand they can win elections without prostration before AIPAC and subordinating legitimate US foreign policies to those of Israel, many more will break free from Israel’s most important foreign agent. More at Antiwar.com

AIPAC Junket Spawned ‘Project Jonah’
Fish farm sought 'no conditions' Virginia loan — 06/12/2020

Tazewell County in the Southwest corner of Virginia has been hit hard by declines in formerly vibrant industries such as coal mining and furniture manufacturing.

Since launching in 1988 the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority VCEDA provides grants and low interest loans to diversify the economy. Likewise, Virginia’s Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, or TROF, has delivered more than a billion dollars in economic development grants from its tobacco liability settlement fund.

Working in tandem, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) targeted these state funding pools to benefit an Israeli aquaculture company. The VIAB-led effort to direct growing amounts of Virginia state funds into Israeli corporations mirrors AIPAC’s success in diverting the lion’s share of the U.S. foreign aid budget to Israel’s military. Total US foreign aid to Israel now tops more than a quarter trillion in known transfers when adjusted for inflation. Total Virginia state aid to Israel is unknown because it is scattered across multiple agency budgets and not always traceable.

The fish farm project was spawned by the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, the only taxpayer funded state government agency in the US dedicated solely to bringing in and setting up Israeli companies into a state. VIAB curated the project, shrouding it in secrecy and code naming it "Project Jonah." In its August 1, 2013 board meeting minutes VIAB, clarified the reason behind all the secrecy: "All Board members are asked to refer to the project by this code name [Jonah]. Leaked information could jeopardize funding opportunities from the State." More at Antiwar.com     Project Jonah FOIA files at https://www.israellobby.org/projectjonah/

Why Wasn’t Netanyahu Ever Indicted in the US?
Milchan-Netanyahu nuclear trigger smuggling caper impunity - 06/02/2020

Benjamin Netanyahu’s prosecution for corruption in an Israeli courtroom is now underway. The current Israeli Prime Minister is facing three counts of fraud and breach of trust and one count of bribery.

The first count listed in the charge sheet details Israeli movie producer Arnon Milchan’s long relationship with Netanyahu. Netanyahu received approximately $140,000 worth of cigars, champagne, and jewelry in exchange for favors to Milchan. Those favors included advancing Milchan’s Israeli news media business interests and promoting at Milchan’s suggestion a free-trade zone between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority to manufacture low cost vehicles.

Netanyahu’s most important favor to Milchan, according to the charges, was using his influence as Prime Minister to respond in 2013 and 2014 to Milchan’s urgent pleas for help with a 10-year visa to continue residing in the United States...

milnet 

...The files reveal that Milchan, Netanyahu and American scientist Richard Kelly Smyth in the 1980s unlawfully smuggled 15 shipments containing 810 nuclear weapons triggers out of the United States to the Israeli Ministry of Defense through a network of Milchan companies. Only Smyth was ever indicted and prosecuted. But he mostly escaped punishment by fleeing the United States and then petitioning for leniency on his prison sentence after he was extradited from Malaga, Spain back to the US years later. Smyth reached out to Milchan in 2001 for financial support to help him mount his legal defense.

FBI documents reveal Netanyahu worked at one of the Milchan companies involved in the smuggling ring in Israel called Heli Trading. In his September 20, 2001 letter soliciting financial support from Milchan, Smyth cheerfully noted, "I was delighted to hear your former employee, Netanyahu, had become Prime Minister of Israel." More at Antiwar.com

To view FOIA files on the "Project Pinto" Netanyahu-Milchan-Smyth nuclear smuggling ring visit the Israel Lobby Archive.

Energix Renewable Energies
A U.N. designated human rights violator expands across Virginia - May 27, 2020 

  

 

Poll: Americans Reject Israeli Annexation - Antiwar.com
But their views remain unsolicited as players secretly craft policy - 5/18/2020

...what should be a vibrant and expansive polling ecosystem, is instead a void periodically filled with data and assertions that seem to paint a picture of broad, widespread support for institutionalized US policies favoring Israel. Some of the polls are so deeply flawed and misleading they must now carry warning labels. Gallup’s annual poll asking Americans whether they sympathize more with Israelis or more with Palestinians is one case in point.

In 2019 Gallup finally admitted that its sympathy question had deep systemic flaws that tended to trigger higher response rates for Israel over Palestine. But the poll question – and decades of data – have been used by the Israel lobby to assert that most Americans back Israel. The Congressional Research Service also used the poll as a proxy for claiming Americans support US aid to Israel. And, whenever it is released – usually right before AIPAC’s annual policy conference in Washington – Gallup’s poll is immediately regurgitated across the spectrum of pro-Israel scribes.... More

Poll: Americans Oppose U.S. Recognition of Israeli Annexation - 05/13/2020

 

05192020poll

A plurality of Americans oppose any formal U.S. recognition. When asked, 37.3 percent responded that the U.S. should not recognize Israeli annexation, while 34.2 percent said that it should. Other responses were offered by the remaining 28.5 percent, with many responding they had insufficient information to state an opinion.

Israel and many nodes of its enormous U.S. lobby refer to imminent annexation with the same euphemism: “application of sovereignty.” However, even longtime operatives at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s think tank appear to believe that unilateral annexation may finally kill the American goose that has laid golden eggs for Israel since its founding. David Makovsky and Dennis Ross cautioned that “we think that all unilateral annexation is a mistake and hope the prime minister refrains from doing so.”

Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, Saeb Erakat, urged world leaders to take concrete action against Israel. “What we’re telling them is that Netanyahu can survive statements of condemnation, but he needs to hear that there will be backlash and consequences as well.” More

dsTalk Nation Radio: The Israel Lobby Enters State Government - 05/04/2020

David Swanson, host of Talk Nation Radio, interviews Grant F. Smith discusses his latest and ninth book about the Israel lobby called The Israel Lobby Enters State Government: Rise Of The Virginia Israel Advisory Board. Find the paperback at Middle East Books & More.

Internet Archive audio

 

pnsMajor Player in VA Solar Expansion Under United Nations' Scrutiny
04/29/2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia's new Clean Economy Act is paving the way for a burst of solar installations in the Commonwealth. But the United Nations has designated one of the solar providers as a human-rights violator.

Caden-Energix plans to build eight solar installations in Virginia worth a half-billion dollars, according to Grant Smith, research director for the Institute for Research on Middle East Policy. He said the company recently appeared on a list from the U.N. high commissioner for human rights for using its solar resources in occupied Palestinian territory for foreign gain.

  install  

"The surrounding community has been deprived of these resources," he said. "They're not allowed to even operate their own solar energy. They can't even buy solar energy from this Energix solar field, which was built on their land."

He said no city or town in Virginia where Energix is building had been made aware of the company's overseas background. Energix officials did not respond by deadline to a request for comment.

Energix projects have been advanced in the Commonwealth by the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. The group is a state-funded council with close ties to the General Assembly that exclusively promotes Israeli economic and education projects in Virginia, to advance the Israeli government's policy agenda. More

IRS Must Describe Its Search for Israeli Settlement Policies
US tax-exempt Israel charities have long relied on the IRS for impunity - 4/24/2020
  irs_sett  

On April 22, 2020 Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered the IRS to provide details about the adequacy of its search for documents about policy on US nonprofit charitable funding flows into Israeli settlements. The order was only the latest round in a legal battle launched by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep), which in August of 2019 sued the IRS under the Freedom of Information Act. IRmep seeks the release of documents "related to the ongoing, long term laundering of tax-exempt donations by American donors through charitable organizations to which the IRS has issued determination letters, into illegal Israeli settlements, thereby directly and indirectly engaging in ethnic cleansing, illegal land seizures, and other expeditions against a friendly nation in violation of 18 U.S. Code § 960 and other applicable statutes and treaties."

The IRS has long tried to avoid formal comment on the massive and ongoing transfer of US tax-exempt charitable funding into overseas activities that have no apparent legality, charitable purpose, or social welfare benefit. However, the persistence of the funding flows and exceptionally large amounts involved have generated mainstream news coverage, lawsuits, and numerous requests for clarity to the IRS. Most have failed to produce any answers or redress. More     Court docket   Podcast

dvHow Ya Gonna Pay For It? Stop Giving Money to Israel - 4/24/2020

Did you know that the U.S. government has done something odd with your tax dollars? The ones you get so furious and indignant about when they’re used to feed anybody who’s hungry? It has given over 280 billion of those dollars to the government of Israel (not counting classified hush-hush super-secret amounts).


  aid_chart  
Inflation adujusted, unclassified U.S. foreign aid to Israel 1949-2019 (Billion)

Israel is not a poor country. It is certainly not the poorest in the world. Why is it the top recipient of “aid.”

It isn’t. Its military is. Most of those billions of dollars are for weapons, and most of those weapons have to be bought from U.S. weapons dealers — you know, the ones crammed into close quarters risking the spread of a deadly disease because their jobs have been deemed “essential.”

Economists tell us that military spending reduces jobs, that you get more jobs by never taxing the money, or by taxing it and spending it on anything else. That has to be even more strongly true when funneling the money through a foreign military. So, this scheme is the opposite of a domestic jobs program. It also has some surprising corrupting influences on U.S. state governments, which themselves pile more billions onto the mountain of free loot for the Israeli military.

A new book by Grant Smith called The Israel Lobby Enters State Government: Rise of The Virginia Israel Advisory Board, recounts how the state of Virginia has created a state agency called the Virginia Israel Advisory Board which uses state funds to launch Israeli companies in Virginia at the expense of Virginia companies in Virginia, while boosting Israeli imports to Virginia, and — last but not least — enriching its members with state funds. Oh, and also “attempting to insert Israeli government propaganda into the curriculum in the K-12 system” of Virginia schools at public expense.

It’s not all weapons. Have you ever bought Sabra hummus? You can’t answer no if you’ve paid taxes in Virginia. More.

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Israeli U.N.-Designated Human Rights Violator Energix Pushes Workers to Finish First Solar Utility in Virginia - 04/03/2020

Hickory, Virginia – April 3, 2020. At high noon on a blustery day, morning shift construction workers driving cars, SUVs and pickup trucks gingerly navigated their way out of the pothole-lined Ballantine Road construction site and onto Battlefield Boulevard. The afternoon shift workers parked in front of the access gate and made their way into the enormous fenced off field full of roaring excavators and massive shipping containers. Other workers were packed into vehicles parked in the middle of the road waiting their turn.

 

The temporary stay-at-home orders issued by Virginia’s governor on March 12 and 23 shuttered most state industries except select “critical” retailers and construction works. Slated to produce up to 32 megawatts of power, the Caden Energix Hickory utility scale solar energy array now appears to be nearing completion. Metal supports stand at the ready for solar panel installation. The electricity that the $23 million site will produce is not desperately needed by Virginia. But as the first of at least seven planned utility-scale generators, its smooth launch is vital to parent company Energix Renewable Energies, Ltd., headquartered in Israel. (See a map of all announced Energix sites in Virginia).

In Virginia, counties mostly regulate utility scale solar energy facilities through permit processes. However, Caden Energix Hickory received both a special zoning exemption to build on 154 acres of farmland and its building permit from the nearby City of Chesapeake. The Virginia Israel Advisory Board, which operates as a taxpayer-funded Virginia state government export promotion council exclusively for Israeli companies, code-named the massive Energix infrastructure building effort “Project Turbine.” The name may be a reference to Energix’s 155-megawatt wind turbine facility it built in 2015 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The American Friends Service Committee in 2019 claimed Energix was “reportedly using questionable methods in obtaining access to the land from its indigenous Syrian-Druze owners, and in violation of international law." More at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

 
wider_viewThe Israel Lobby Enters State Government
Wider View Radio Podcast - 03/13/2020

Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, joins Wider View Radio host Charles Dunaway to discuss the Israel Lobby, the Israel Lobby Conference, and the new book The Israel Lobby Enters State Government: Rise of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. Learn how taxpayers in Virginia are supporting Israel business interests. Audio Download

 

Poll: Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism? Plurality of Americans disagree with Pence AIPAC proclamation - 03/09/2020

as

IRmep Poll: “VP Mike Pence proclaimed, ‘anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.’ Zionism is a political movement supporting a Jewish state while anti-Semitism is a form of bigotry against Jews. Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitism, or not?”

Source: IRmep representative poll of 1,790 American adults through Google Surveys on March 5-7, 2020. Answer order randomly reversed. RMSE score sample bias 4.3 percent.

Story Highlights

  • About half of Americans believe anti-Zionism is not a form of bigotry.
  • Only 31 percent align with the Trump administration policy that “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”
  • Most Americans don’t self-identify as Zionist (70.3 percent).
  • Majorities of Americans consistently oppose U.S. aid to Israel, government crackdowns on student human rights protests (58.8 percent) and bans on boycotts of Israel (74.9 percent), while 68.8 percent would not personally accept the terms of the Trump Middle East “Deal of the Century.”

More at The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs   Poll

 

New Revelations: The Virginia Israel Advisory Board
February 29, 2020

 

Chesapeake should revoke Energix solar energy permits over UN designated human rights concerns
February 19, 2020

 
MeitarimCHESAPEAKE, VA, Feb. 19, 2020/PRNewswire/ IRmep recommends the City of Chesapeake revoke its conditional use permit issued to Caden-Energix Hickory to build a 32 megawatt solar energy facility.  Last week the Israeli company Energix Renewable Energy Ltd., which owns Caden Energix Hickory LLC, appeared on a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights list.

IRmep obtained, reviewed and publicly released the City of Chesapeake and Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality permit process docket. IRmep finds regulators have not properly weighed the moral hazard of licensing a project with problematic foreign ultimate beneficial/ owners alleged by UNHCR to routinely engage in overseas human rights violations.

1.    The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on February 12, listed Energix as a “Category G” business enterprise because it does business and uses natural resources in occupied Palestinian territory. In their factual determination, the UNHCR said such activities “raised particular human rights concerns.”

 

2.    Energix Renewable Energy Ltd. owns Caden Energix Hickory LLC according to its City of Chesapeake conditional use permit application.

 

3.    According to Who Profits: The Israeli Occupation Industry Energix owns Meitarim Solar Field in the Israeli-occupied Jordan Valley on 98,749 square meters of Palestinian land. Surrounding Palestinian villages have reportedly been "suffering from forcible displacement, demolitions, lack of basic services and overall economic strangulation."

 

4.    According to AFS Energix is alleged to have used "questionable methods in obtaining access to the land from its indigenous Syrian-Druze owners in violation of international law" to build in 2015 a 155 megawatt field of wind turbines in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

 

5.    In2019 Energix announced plans to build four additional utility-scale solar energy arrays in Virginia. These include Axton (66 megawatts), Gladys (60 megawatts), Jarratt (82.5 megawatts) and Wytheville (20 megawatts).

Virginia counties and cities determine through conditional use and construction permit licensing which solar energy producers operate within their jurisdictions. There is major competition for such opportunities between upstanding domestic corporate citizens based in Virginia and other states. Lack of due diligence into problematic foreign beneficial owners could produce negative outcomes for Chesapeake. Chesapeake is relying on Energix to respect its commitments to the local population, landowners, future site remediation, as well as other major project and legal obligations.

News release (PR Newswire)                Docket (Israel Lobby Archive)

balkanspost.comNone of Trump’s actions favoring Israel have any legitimacy: Jeffrey Blankfort
February 6, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump differs from his predecessors only in that the mask of civility maintained by the others has been removed, says a radio host and journalist.

JBBP: Under the plan, the majority Arab population of historic Palestine is crammed into 15% of the land. How does this impact the lives of Palestinians?

Jeffrey Blankfort: From the time of Israel’s seizure of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 to the present, Israel has been a de facto apartheid state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. The Israelis have continued to expand Jewish “settlements,” some of which are small towns, at the expense of Palestinian villages and their supply of water, as well as increasing the number of Jews in those settlements, regardless of which party was in power and this has continued, virtually without interruption, post-Oslo.

That the international community considers them illegal has not stood in the way of the Treasury Dept. allowing tax exempt American Jewish organizations from continuing to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into the settlements with no requirements that the money be accounted for. Under the circumstances, life for most Palestinians has steadily worsened over the years and this will, no doubt, continue whatever decision Netanyahu or his successors make. More

Former Air Force Secretary pitches $100k “shark tank” swipes to Israeli military contractors - Virginia Israel Advisory Board confab entwines Israeli military contractors and DoD - February 4, 2020

Tysons Corner, VA--The premise of ABC’s business reality television series “Shark Tank” is simple. Celebrity investor “sharks” hear proposals from contestants pitching new product ideas. Winning ideas receive funding. Pitches that fall short are ripped to bloody shreds to the delight of mass audiences.  How will the concept work for Israeli military contractors now that the U.S. Air Force has its own shark tank? According to Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, small military contractors can immediately get a $100,000 credit card swipe after successfully making a quick pitch.

Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force on February 3, 2020

On February 3, Israeli military contractors hoping to win big U.S. government contracts gathered at an event organized in Northern Virginia by the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). VIAB is an office of Virginia’s General Assembly. Though self-designated as an advisory board, VIAB functions more as an Israel export promotion council with a strange twist—it is funded entirely by Virginia—rather than Israeli—taxpayers. VIAB’s portfolio of projects—which often compete against home-grown U.S. and Virginia companies—is powered by multitudes of grants and subsidized loans. Nevertheless VIAB has generated a string of failures due to its lack of market discipline, self-dealing and questionable activities conducted mostly in secret. More.

Five Things You Can’t Know About Israel and Its Lobby
DC FOIA court curtails releasable informatio
n
- 1/17/2020

Since 9/11 Israel and its lobby have been hard at work narrowing U.S. policy options toward Iran down to military confrontation. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia is also in the narrowing business. After initially complying with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and releasing information about Israel’s extensive nuclear weapons program in 2015, the court of Judge Tanya S. Chutkan slowly became yet another federal cog in vast secrecy machine that thwarts release of information about Israel. That withheld information includes CIA files on the theft and diversion of US government owned weapons grade uranium into Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Top-line budget numbers for billions in secret US intelligence support to Israel. Portions of a 2012 Obama administration gag order outlawing release of US government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Presidential letters promising Israel that the White House will not uphold the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Arms Export Control Act. Also retained are the identities of officials working at the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Department of Treasury.

It didn’t start out this way.

...The most recent in an unbroken succession of undeniably severely compromised, unfit, hard-core Israel partisans who occupied the position as OTFI chief, Sigal Mandelker (the daughter of Israeli immigrants to Pittsburgh who allegedly holds Israeli dual citizenship), is finally departing Treasury for the private sector. Such OTFI political appointees’ main qualifications seem only to be their intense devotion to advancing the interests of a foreign country from within the federal bureaucracy. The publicity and reporting surrounding the case and limited public exposure of OTFI’s curious blind spots perhaps had something to do with Mandelker’s departure. But how far down does the Israel lobby’s capture of OTFI through staffing extend? The FOIA lawsuit to find out remains in a curious state of limbo as Chutkan’s dismissal approaches its one year anniversary.

Many Americans still insist on transparency regarding the pay and position of all federal government employees. That transparency started long ago when James Madison listed his salary of $25,000 and position as "president" in the Official Register. They deserve to be given the names of OTFI employees in a timely manner. But the Chutkan court appears to be waiting for a legal designation of OTFI as intelligence or law enforcement officials (which they are not) or some other forthcoming artifice, even though such delays are not allowed after issuance of a ruling.

The Chutkan court officially ended the case by finding for the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on March 31, 2019. Chutkan’s order severely undermined the plaintiff’s right to timely appeal. That is because no memorandum of points of law substantiating the order was ever issued. Almost a year later, no explanation is forthcoming even as the OTFI personnel ratchet up economic warfare against Iran in the aftermath of the military exchange between Iran and the US the Israel lobby worked so diligently to enable. More at Antiwar.com

Israel and its U.S. lobby finally achieve a long-term objective: Direct US - Iranian military conflict - 1/8/2020

In 1953 the United States and United Kingdom overthrew the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The catalyst was the Iranian government's decision to exert more sovereign control over the extraction, export and revenues from its domestic energy industry, which British Petroleum and the UK opposed...

 

...After Israeli influence over Iran ended, Israel's U.S. lobby AIPAC began working to precipitate a U.S.-Iran military confrontation in order to improve Israel's strategic position. The most recent of these efforts included:

1. Lobbying to create the U.S. Treasury Department's "Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence" unit in the aftermath of 9/11 to wage U.S. economic warfare against Iran. The unit has until recently been led by a string of Zionist ideologues. See "Treasury Sanctions Foreigners for Israel" Antiwar.com, August 30, 2018.

2. Stealing Department of Defense secrets in concert with convicted spy for Israel Col. Lawrence Franklin. AIPAC intended to channel the secrets to the Washington Post in 2004 to convince Americans that it was time for troops fighting in Iraq to pivot to Iran. Though the Pentagon source was convicted, the two AIPAC officials involved in espionage escaped justice after a series of judicial contortions.  See Congressmen Pressed Obama to Pardon Spy Lawrence Franklin Antiwar.com, November 27, 2017.

3. Demanding cyber-attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities under threat of Israeli military action, costing the U.S. billions of dollars, unintentionally unleashing sophisticated cyber weapons across global computer networks. See "Israel and the Trillion-Dollar 2005-2018 US Intelligence Budget" Antiwar.com, November 7, 2018.

4. Coordinated opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) designed to provide transparency into Iran's nuclear program and avert war. While Israel spied on negotiations, releasing them to U.S. operatives. AIPAC corralled mainstream Israel lobby opposition to the deal, and helped insert a "poison pill" requiring proactive action in the form of a presidential waiver to keep the deal from expiring. President Trump withdrew from the deal to thunderous Israel lobby applause in May of 2018.

5. Demanding the U.S. designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. AIPAC began demanding sanctions on the IRGC through the Treasury Department in 2007. The April 2019 Trump administration formal designation of IRGC cleared the way for the U.S. to assassinate Iranian leaders as part of the "War on Terror."

Israel and its lobby will likely labor mightily to keep U.S.-Iran hostilities going, while attempting to avoid blame for the conflict they labored so mightily to precipitate. This will have many ancillary benefits for Israel and its lobby. Armed conflict will empower additional Israeli demands for U.S. foreign aid. Israel has received more than $282.4 billion in unclassified aid since 1948. Conflict will boost the prospects of Israeli military contractors in Israel and those streaming into the U.S. under various state subsidy programs. Most of all, the conflict will allow Israel to divert world attention away from its brutal ongoing ethnic cleansing of the native populations in Palestine and ever more robust systematized apartheid. Report page

Partners in Corruption: The Virginia Israel Advisory Board and the Tobacco Commission - January February 2020

...It did not appear to bother Feinman that Lessin had no personal equity stake in any of the VIAB projects, most details about which the Tobacco Commission carefully redacted before releasing them under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act in September. The TROF performance agreement—like all such agreements—specifically forbade counting the job and tax metrics of other TROF grantees such as Oran Safety Glass, which appears on the list, against grantee Appalachian Biofuels LLC’s commitments. Other records also indicate neither Feinman nor staffers ever sought approval of or even disclosed the deal at five subsequent meetings of the Tobacco Commission Executive Committee. Also, of no concern to Feinman were growing doubts about the Virginia Israel Advisory Board’s jobs and economic development claims. Former Virginia Secretary of Commerce Todd Patterson Haymore in 2018 characterized them in an internal email as “inflated without merit.”

Instead, the Virginia Israel Advisory Board continues to funnel millions of TROF and other state economic development funds into dubious Israeli projects with heavy VIAB insider involvement, confident that accountability will never loom on the horizon... Read more at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

 





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