IRmep

Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"

 

 

 

Private Israeli inland salmon farm in Virginia potentially netting hundreds of millions in government funding - 11/29/2021

FIDF

A secretive Israeli fish farm project in southwest Virginia has been underway since 2013.

While Virginia fish farms have not been allowed to compete for funding, an Israeli company with no experience in projects at massive scale and the defendant of a lawsuit for incompetence has been designated by AIPAC and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board to receive millions in state and federal funds...and potentially hundreds of millions in "Abraham Accord" funds squeezed from UAE...in exchange for goodies from the United States.

While the project's holding company and even product have shifted over the years, AquaMaof, Friends of the IDF and AIPAC all stand to make millions while taxpayers and UAE take on all the risks.Local concerned citizens have had a rough time extracting basic information about the project such as who owns it? How much funding has been raised? What is the offtake agreement? How much extra will counties pay in water and electricity for the Israeli project?

The Virginia Israel Advisory Board (think of AIPAC if it became a federal gov't agency) has coached decision makers to meet in "closed session" since "leaked information could jeopardize funding opportunities from the state.”

Who will take the loss if the project fails? Was there ever an accounting report on funding as one county administrator claimed? Why does one government bureaucrat consider basic questions to be "attacks" on "Project Jonah" and what is the background of that official? Is Project Jonah a leading indicator of future taxpayer funded projects for privately owned Israeli startups with dubious records?

Find out at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Which country, Iran or Israel, is the biggest nuclear proliferation threat? 11/26/2021
 
EVENT - December 10 at 6PM: Can America's “Special Relationship” with Israel Endure?

hix1210 

ticketWhat: Book talk with Q&A
Where: Middle East Books & More, 1902 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009.
When: Friday, December 10 at 6PM.
How: In real life (IRL) or via Zoom. (Tickets)
Topic: The distinguished historian and WRMEA columnist Dr. Walter L. Hixson will discuss the unique and distinctive aspects of the US-Israel "special relationship."

What assumptions underpinning the “special relationship” traditionally fit neatly into America's own history and national identity, such as "manifest destiny," "chosen" peoplehood, vanquishing the "savage" and settler colonialism? How did the rise of the formidable Israel lobby--by far the most powerful lobby representing a foreign nation in American history—exploit that identity to win the tiny nation of Israel more US military assistance and unconditional diplomatic support than any other country in the world? Now that Americans are grappling with their founding mythologies, can Israel's and its lobby's grip on the American psyche and body politic endure?

Copies of Hixson's latest two books will be available for sale and signing by the author. Free Zoom and IRL tickets.

Imperialism and War: The History Americans Need to Own

Architects of Repression: How Israel and Its Lobby Put Racism, Violence and Injustice at the Center of US Middle East Policy

Live at the National Press Club: Transcending the Israel Lobby at Home and Abroad - March 3-4, 2022

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  • How Americans are effectively working to overcome Israel lobby demands to violate international law, undermine freedom of speech, reward Israeli militarism and denigrate peaceful Palestinian aspirations.
  • How voters can both support and field politicians, and keep them from succumbing to the lobby's coordinated campaign contributions and constant pressure for fealty.
  • Exploring important grassroots legislative and legal battles won by peace and justiceallies, how they did it, and how you can, too.
  • The key differences between Jewish establishment Zionism and Christian Zionism, and common misunderstandings.
  • How to implement "non-Israel-centric" regional strategies to eliminate the crippling human and financial costs of unending wars.

For the first time ever, we are opening up our traditional "speakers dinner" as a public fund-raising gala! Join keynoters, speakers and a surprising lineup of entertainers for a delicious, educational and uplifting gathering the evening before the conference, on March 3! All gala proceeds go toward covering conference expenses.

Tickets and program information.

AIPAC in Command? Interview with distinguished historian and author Walter L. Hixson - 10/5/2021

 

Extended interview with distinguished historian and author Walter L. Hixson focusing on Chapter 7, "AIPAC in Command" of his book "Architects of Repression: How Israel and Its Lobby Put Racism, Violence and Injustice at the Center of US Middle East Policy."

Grant F. Smith of IRmep asks Hixson about his research background, when he started looking into the Israel lobby and books published by elite academic publishers.

They then turn to a single chapter from the book to explore the role and function of the Israel lobby in the United States. YouTube video, Audio, Podcast episode.

Walter L. Hixson's New Book Imperialism and War: The History Americans Need to Own is Now Available! - 9/15/2021

IAQWashington, DC Distinguished historian and author Walter L. Hixson’s new book chronicles the full sweep of American history. This book provides a clear-eyed assessment rather than a celebratory account of US military history. Based upon the most up to date literature, American Imperialism and War analyzes the evolution of military history from the first settlers to the forever wars of the twenty-first century. It illuminates broad themes in American military history, including the role of warfare in relation to American society as a whole.

Walter L. Hixson since 2019 serves as columnist and contributing editor at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. His two recent books on the Israel lobby are Architects of Repression: How Israel and its Lobby Put Racism, Violence and Injustice at the Center of US Middle East Policy (Institute for Research, 2021) and Israel’s Armor: The Israel Lobby and the First Generation of the Palestine Conflict. (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Praise for "Imperialism and War" from major scholars and historians:

"Admirably concise, briskly written, pulling no punches: Imperialism and War lays bare the pernicious relationship between American Exceptionalism and the American penchant for empire. Walter Hixson has written a compelling and essential book."

Andrew Bacevich, author of After the Apocalypse: America's Role in a World Transformed

"With the country lamenting its 'forever wars,' it is salutary for all to be reminded that for the victims they’ve been 'forever' for half a millennium. Reminded, and deeply informed, as they will be from this expert and judicious study of imperial history.

Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist.

"Based on a solid body of historical work, diplomatic historian Walter Hixson eloquently and persuasively argues that the US foreign policy of imperialism and war is making the future of humanity impossible. Forged in unending wars of continental conquest and overseas domination, the United States continues on the path of destruction and self-destruction. Hixson presents a vision of cooperative internationalism as the only alternative. This riveting book is a call to action."

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Not “A Nation of Immigrants,” Settler-Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion

"Imperialism and War is a provocative but necessary overview of the violence at the heart of centuries of American empire-building. Written by one of our most distinguished historians, it is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand why the twenty-first-century United States is constantly at war."

Scott Laderman, Professor of History, University of Minnesota, Duluth.

mondoIsrael's Nukes - Michael Arria - 9/2/2021

LATUFF


...The big focus was obviously Iran. Everyone knows Israel has nuclear weapons and regularly threatens its neighbors with violence but Iran enriching a small amount of uranium is akin to genocide or something. The Biden administration is trying to reboot the Iran Deal and Israel is openly trying to tank this prospect. Bennett obviously didn’t get the answers he wanted on that front but Biden did not rule potentially attacking the country or strengthening sanctions even more. “We’re putting diplomacy first and see where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options,” said the president.

Axios’s Barak Ravid reported that Bennett also asked Biden to keep U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. The Israeli delegation said they were “optimistic” with Biden’s response, something to remember as pundits claim we’re suddenly not at war for the first time in twenty years.

Back to Israel’s nukes for a second. Ravid also had some interesting information in his newsletter. A senior Israeli official says Biden assured Bennett that the U.S. would provide cover for Israel’s not-so-secret arsenal. As Ravid points out, this has become a tradition of presidents since Israel’s obtained the weapons in the late 1960s. He breaks down some of the history:

The strategic understandings were first discussed between Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1969, at which point the Israeli nuclear capability had crossed the point of no return.

  • Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton reiterated those oral understandings in their first meetings with their Israeli counterparts.

  • In 1998, during the Wye River peace conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked President Bill Clinton to turn the oral understanding to a written document. Clinton agreed and signed a letter committing that the U.S. would allow Israel to retain its “strategic deterrence” capability regardless of any non-proliferation initiative.

  • In 1999, when Ehud Barak replaced Netanyahu, Clinton signed the letter again. So did President George W. Bush when working with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Ravid also notes that Israel was concerned Obama wouldn’t sign the letter and were relieved to learn that his governing strategy didn’t contain a whole lot of hope or change. In fact, Obama passed a gag order in 2012 prohibiting federal employees from discussing Israel’s nuclear weapons.Last week the site happened to run a piece by Grant F. Smith breaking down some of this history:

Much has happened in the decades since President Richard Nixon first promised Israeli Prime Minster Golda Meier never to publicly discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons. US Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn learned that Israel (with help from some proxies in the US) in the 1960s diverted enough US weapons grade uranium from the government contractor NUMEC to build a dozen bombs. Outraged that nothing was being done about it, the senators complicated presidential “strategic ambiguity” by amending US foreign assistance laws to condition aid to nuclear weapons countries that were not signatories to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons...

Why is such information continuing to receive protection? If multiple US government agencies reveal that the US has long known Israel has a nuclear weapons program, it raises uncomfortable questions about amount of foreign aid illegally delivered to Israel. Since Symington and Glenn became law, the US has transferred nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in publicly known foreign assistance to Israel, and additional billions in covert assistance...

Obviously none of this will change under Biden or Bennett.

Israel's Nukes Make US Aid Illegal
But the lies and coverups continue - 8/24/2021

Eitan
CIA redacted US nuclear materials theft from Israel spymaster Rafael "Rafi"
Eitan’s released profile. (
PDF)

Peter Beinart’s New York Times essay "America Needs to Start Telling the Truth About Israel’s Nukes" earlier this month caused a firestorm. In it, Beinart noted how the prevalence of US "lies of omission" allow policymakers and politicians to pretend Israel does not have nuclear weapons. This in turn generates the false narrative that Iran’s nuclear program could initiate a Middle East nuclear arms race. Beinart laments how US deceptions about Israel’s nuclear arsenal undermine America’s self-proclaimed status as a champion of non-proliferation.

What Beinart did not appear to know – until educated by Twitter users – is what machinery keeps the US in lockstep with Israeli so-called "nuclear ambiguity" and why it exists...

...One of the principal tasks of Israel’s US lobby is delivering enough campaign contributions to US politicians that upholding the law remains unthinkable. This has been a winning strategy but also makes the power of Israel’s surrogates in the US increasingly visible and the subject of scorn and derision. However, not even the continually lobby-maligned members of the squad have dared to uphold Symington & Glenn to block US aid to Israel, which they could easily do.

Meanwhile, Israel and its surrogates have continued to feed Americans a rich banquet of justifications for attacking Iran on the pretext that it is on the verge of introducing the very weapons to the Middle East that Israel deployed long ago. Read more at Antiwar.Com Listen in at the Scott Horton Show.

IPAWhy Won’t Biden — and Others — Admit Israel Has Nuclear Weapons?
Institute for Public Accuracy - 8/12/2021

America Needs to Start Telling the Truth About Israel’s Nukes” by Peter Beinart in Wednesday’s New York Times states: “American politicians sometimes say an Iranian bomb would pose an ‘existential’ threat to Israel. That’s a dubious claim, given that Israel possesses a nuclear deterrent it can deploy on air, land and sea. But many Americans find the claim plausible because, according to recent polling conducted by Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland, barely 50 percent know Israel has nuclear weapons. A higher percentage thinks Tehran has the bomb.”

SAM HUSSEINI, samhusseini@gmail.com, @samhusseini

An independent journalist now writing at Substack, Husseini has questioned numerous U.S. officials who have refused to acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal. See “The Absurd U.S. Stance on Israel’s Nukes: A Video Sampling of Denial.” He notes that Archbishop Desmond Tutu had a piece shortly before Biden became president: “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.” Husseini is also senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy.

Grant Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and has written extensively on U.S. policy on Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal including the piece “Challenging the secret ‘Israel Nuclear Weapons Gag Order’ WNP-136.”

Smith notes of the Beinart piece: “The key point is missed: If the U.S. acknowledges Israel’s nuclear weapons, it also acknowledges it has been supplying unlawful foreign aid to Israel since the mid-1970’s.” Grant estimates this totals nearly $300 billion.

Last year he wrote letters to several members of Congress who have voiced criticism of Israel, noting: “I believe your coalition has far more influence on the matter of foreign aid than it may realize. In 2016 and 2017 we sued the administration(s) over violations of the Arms Export Control Act, but did not prevail for lack of standing. Your coalition does not have such issues.”

See IPA news release: “Could Congress Cut off Funding to Israel by Acknowledging its Nuclear Weapons?

 

As the U.S. finally winds down its disastrous and wasteful invasion of Afghanistan and Israel's proxies work feverishly to entangle the U.S. in Iran, it is time to fully expose the cost of American Imperialism and War - 8/19/2021

iawTranscending the mythology of “American exceptionalism,” the acclaimed historian Walter Hixson unveils a long history of war and imperialism, one that is deeply embedded in the American national DNA. From Columbus to the “forever wars” of the modern Middle East, Americans have sought imperial domination over other peoples, invariably deemed inferior, and have regularly chosen to go to war with them.

The consequences of the nation’s violent aggression have been severe yet not fully analyzed owing to the powerful boundaries erected by patriotic nationalism. Americans have viewed themselves as a “chosen people” and the United States as a “beacon and liberty,” the champion of the “free world,” but this self-serving discourse has served to enable continental and overseas imperialism and war.

Americans typically professed to go to war because they “had to” or to make the world “safe for democracy,” but only rarely were these scenarios in play. Rather, Americans usually chose to go to war, and US foreign policy rarely produced or even sought to produce democratic outcomes. Instead, the United States often engaged in violent repression of other peoples and bolstered dictatorial regimes, including those engaged in mass murder.

US war and imperialism frequently proved ineffectual, as they were often grounded in dramatic misperceptions. Foreign aggression also often sowed the seeds for “blowback” attacks and the continuation or renewal of conflict and warfare. Moreover--and rarely analyzed--continental and overseas aggression also undermined democracy, civil liberties, and progressive reform on the home front.

Rooted in decades of study and delivered in crystal clear and direct language, this book is must-reading for anyone wishing to go beyond the clichés that typically structure discussions of the history and contemporary prospects of American foreign relations. In a bold conclusion Hixson outlines the desperate need for adoption of a new paradigm of “cooperative internationalism” to transcend the nation’s penchant for war and imperialism fueled by national self-worship. Available from Institute for Research publishing on 9/15.

WASHINGTON_JOURNALHeritage Foundation can't defend disastrous US-Israel deal it lobbied for alongside AIPAC
C-SPAN Washington Journal - 8/3/2021

 

Israel’s Energix Uses U.S. Tax Credits to Install Toxic Solar Panels in Virginia and Palestine Web Exclusives - 8/2/2021

Energix Renewable Energies, Ltd. is an Israeli company accustomed to building out its business on the back of huge subsidies. Overseas, the subsidies take the form of free or Israeli controlled foreign territory, solar and wind resources. In the U.S., Energix is absorbing tens of millions in federal solar energy tax credits. Unfortunately for populations neighboring Energix sites overseas and in Virginia, the Israeli company has contractually locked itself into using solar panels containing toxic heavy metals, rather than the mostly inert silicon panels used by 95 percent of the world.

Energix built its Meitarim solar utility in the Israeli occupied West Bank using 104,000 solar panels provided by the Arizona based company, First Solar.

In April 2019, Energix executed a series of agreements with First Solar for the purchase of panels totaling approximately USD 120 million for the years 2019-2021 for projects in the United States and in Israel. The primary reason for the purchase was locking in the maximum amount of U.S. solar energy tax credits. The solar energy investment tax credit was gradually to be reduced from 30 percent, at that time, to zero by 2022.

Energix declared in its financial statements that the First Solar panel order locked in the maximum rate as “systems in development.” Energix clarified that, “It should be noted that in accordance with United States law, the purchase of equipment that is at least 5 percent of the cost of construction of any project by 2019 will allow that project to maintain the tax benefit rate of 30 percent (hereinafter: “ITC”), provided that the construction of the project is completed by 2023. Accordingly, due to this purchase, Energix has panels worth approximately USD 65 million that are expected to be used to maintain the ITC tax benefit rate of 30 percent.”

In 2020, Energix converted investment tax credits into $48 million in cash with the help of its tax partner Morgan Stanley. Whatever revenue shortfalls are created by Energix subsidies will either be offset by American taxpayers or added to the ballooning budget deficit. Or, put another way, Americans are subsidizing the private profits and infrastructure buildout of an Israeli company operating in Israeli occupied territories. In 2020, Energix occupied slot number 32 on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights list of companies profiting from Israel’s illegal occupations. Read more.

energix_montage

 

nprHow IRS Commissioners gaslight Americans about illegal settlement money laundering
What's happening since 2012? - NPR national broadcast review - 07/23/2021

WASHINGTON_JOURNALIs AIPAC the real threat to US national security? Jane Harman dodges key question
C-SPAN Washington Journal - 7/2/2021

 

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

 

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

squad

...Dennis Bernstein: Well, we are glad to have you. It is interesting. This seems to be a moment in history, although you wouldn't know it from the press conference today, that people are starting to ask more questions about Israel, about the way in which they use force against the Palestinians.

The disproportionate force that many people now call a war crime. We have seen one more of these sort of wars, because everybody knows that Gaza is locked down. It's 2 million people. Half of them are children, and every once in a while, the Gazans just get fed up, the rockets fly, and then Israel carries out a slaughter or they create so much tension and so many attacks and they take so much land and expanding the ethnic cleansing that in the West Bank people just can't take it anymore, and the resistance continues. and we're going to talk about that with grants with grant. Welcome back to fresh points, tell us about first of all, can you prove that Israel has a renegade nuclear weapons program? How do we know they do they?

Grant Smith: We did prove that. We sued under the Freedom of Information Act report and got a Department of Defense report a couple of years ago showing that they had all of the facilities and active programs to manufacture nuclear weapons. It's been confirmed by President Jimmy Carter, and it's also been released in a CIA report from 1974 about not only the nuclear weapons that they have, but also the range of the Jericho missiles at that time, they could deliver those nuclear weapons.

So there's really no question that Israel has nuclear weapons. The real question is, and this is something that the Institute for Public Accuracy was interested in, Is the two laws, but one in particular, laying around, why is it that members of Congress who voice opposition to what's going on with the use of US weapons against Gaza, which is you correctly state, is an extremely concentrated parcel of humanity, which is pretty much locked down from moving, whether it's by sea or land or air, why is it that these tools to block such weapons transfers, we can't really call them weapons sales, aren't being used, particularly by the squad... More   Audio Download

 
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.

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