Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"




The Jerusalem decision: an Israel lobby-authored foreign policy disaster 22 years in the making - 12/8/2017

Philip Giraldi of the Council for the National Interest, Grant F. Smith of IRmep, and Gregg Roman of the Middle East Forum on President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem and move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Crosstalk hosted by Peter Lavelle. Watch

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital harms the US - What comes next will be even worse unless Americans act - 12/8/2017

President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and intent to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is sure to harm the United States. A product of decades of pressure by Israel and its US lobby, the move is an incremental step toward pressuring the US to confer legitimacy on all of Israel’s territorial acquisitions accomplished through war.

US presidents refrained from moving the embassy to Jerusalem because of commitments to UN Security Council Resolution 478, passed in 1980, which rejected Israel’s declaration that Jerusalem was its "complete and united capital" because East Jerusalem was territory captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, a war that Israel started. Parties to Resolution 478 committed to withdrawing diplomatic missions from the city. This created pressure on Israel to relinquish ill-gotten territory and negotiate peace. The US supported that goal since 1967 through the unanimous UN resolution 242, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories captured in 1967. The original 1947 UN partition plan called for Jerusalem to be "internationalized."

In the 1980s, Israel affinity organizations such as AIPAC and the ADL went into overdrive lobbying for a "move the embassy" law that would force the US to legitimate Israel’s claims on the city. As the Oslo peace process loomed in the 1990s aimed at negotiating "final status" issues such as Jerusalem, expulsed Palestinians’ right to return to their properties, and recognizing borders, the Israel lobby sought to preempt negotiations by passing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, drafted by the Zionist Organization of America and AIPAC. The bill, like most Israel lobby legislation and legislative rules, was coercive. US State Department overseas construction was to be defunded until the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem. No legitimate US-driven interests informed the creation or passage of the bill. Rather, it was yet another achievement of the $6 billion Israel lobby’s coordinated political campaign contribution network. That network now requires any serious candidate pledge their fealty to the Israel lobby’s program, even before running for office. More

Poll: Americans Oppose the ‘Anti-Semitism Awareness Act’: Americans wouldn’t cut funding to universities critical of Israel - 11/29/2017

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on November 7 to discuss the "Anti-Semitism Awareness Act." Proponents of ASAA claim it is a law that would protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment, which they claim is a major problem on campus. Opponents argue the bill would undermine free speech rights, and is a thinly-disguised gag order designed to quash criticism of Israel in academia. The penalties that would be levied on institutes of higher learning failing to crack down would include a cutoff of federal funding to those found in violation of newly expanded Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 anti-discrimination mandates. Lawsuits accusing colleges and universities of discrimination, such as one recently dismissed against San Francisco State University, would likely succeed under such an expanded definition of anti-Semitism.

More of this report Poll page All IRmep polls

Congressmen pressed Obama to pardon spy Lawrence Franklin: Claimed pardoning spy for Israel in the "best interest of U.S." - 11/27/2017

On December 14, 2016 two California congressmen, Republican Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat Juan Vargas, secretly pressed President Obama to pardon convicted spy Lawrence Franklin. Colonel Franklin, an employee at the Department of Defense, pled guilty to charges of espionage for passing classified information to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as well as directly to Israeli officials. At the time, Franklin, two indicted AIPAC officials, the Israeli government and other Israel lobby figures were waging an intense battle to sabotage warming US relations with Iran. More

IRmep seeks federal injunction against U.S. foreign aid transfers to nuclear Israel - 11/22/2017

On November 22 IRmep filed a 40-page brief in the DC federal appeals court seeking an injunction against U.S. foreign aid transfers to Israel. The Appellant Reply Brief details the decades-old system of U.S. federal government prior restraint used to subvert Arms Export Control Act restrictions on foreign aid to non-NPT nuclear weapons states, in this case Israel.

Highly readable, the filing is a mini-history on the suppression of the release of U.S. government information about Israel's nuclear weapons, and the real rationale behind "nuclear ambiguity." Major sections of the filing include:

  • Why IRmep has standing to challenge “nuclear ambiguity.”

  • The Administrative Procedure Act is an appropriate avenue for challenging prior restraint.

  • Proof that the U.S. government is violating, rather than possibly “secretly complying” with, the Arms Export Control Act.

  • Direct injuries sustained by the plaintiff and other public accountability organizations.

  • Why the Freedom of Information Act is insufficient to redress “nuclear ambiguity” injuries.

  • Why a $238 billion injury inflicted on Americans warrants an extraordinary court-ordered remedy.

Read the brief online. (PDF) Read all major filings at IRmep’s Center for Policy and Law


Poll: Americans would cut Middle East war spending - 11/16/2017

Question: Which expenditure category should Congress cut to make government more responsive to the American people and reduce the budget deficit?

On November 3, professor John Mearsheimer made a short and stunning presentation at "U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era: Can Realism and Restraint Prevail?" conference held at George Washington University in Washington, DC. In the unipolar world after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he claimed, realists urged nonintervention and staying out of conflicts and countries that "really don’t matter much." Unfortunately, American “crusaders” prevailed and pushed the US into a series of unnecessary quagmires across the greater Middle East.

Americans appear to agree. When presented with a list of expenditure categories, and polled about which should be the single top priority for budgetary cuts by Congress, "US military actions in the Middle East" was far and away their top choice. But most Americans probably have little idea how enormous those costs truly are.More of this report Poll page All IRmep polls

The Justice Department Refuses to Regulate Israel's Foreign Agents - 11/15/2017


Department of Justice says Americans can’t challenge the legality of U.S. aid to Israel - 11/15/2017

The U.S. Department of Justice once again insisted that individual citizens do not have standing to sue the U.S. federal government over foreign aid to Israel. Several Americans from Fagan Dickson in 1975 to author Isaac Asimov in 1991 have tried. But their claims, based on Establishment Clause separation of church and state appeals, failed.

But what about challenges to U.S. foreign aid to Israel through the Administrative Procedure Act? IRmep has filed a case that breaks into new territory. (PDF) As summarized in the Justice Department’s November 8, 2017 Appellee brief filed in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. More

To pass law undermining free speech, Israel lobby claims to "represent the American Jewish community" - 11/12/2017


CIA claims public disclosure of secret intelligence aid to Israel would harm U.S. "national security" - 11/8/2017

The CIA wants the US District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss an IRmep lawsuit filed in 2015 that seeks disclosure of top-line budget numbers for secret U.S. intelligence aid to Israel. In a 29-page filing submitted on November 3, the agency argued that even acknowledging such aid exists would be "hindering the national security of the United States."

IRmep estimates that secret U.S. aid funneled through the CIA could be as high as $1.9 billion to $13.2 billion per year. This estimate is derived from President Obama's 2015 statement that American military and intelligence assistance had reached "unprecedented levels." Since U.S. military and other aid since 1948 is publicly known, secret intelligence aid would have to be at least $1.9 billion for it to truly be "unprecedented."

The CIA argues that Obama's statement does not meet the threshold of "official acknowledgement that the CIA has intelligence budget line items supporting Israel." CIA further claims that it "specializes in human source intelligence," and if it acknowledged the existence of a budget, it would tip off enemies about its clandestine activities. The CIA claims that, because of this, it can issue a GLOMAR response (not confirming or denying such information exists) because it could be held by any one of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.

IRmep has previously communicated to the court that all but two U.S. intelligence agencies deny having budget line-items for support to Israel. IRmep has also repeatedly made the case that classification or retention of such information to facilitate violating the law is explicitly forbidden under Executive Order 13526. In this case U.S. foreign aid to Israel, a state with a nuclear weapons program that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is subject to restrictions under the Arms Export Control Act. IRmep's opposition brief is due on December 1.

Prof John Mearsheimer on Israel's nuclear strategy: New HD IRmep YouTube video - 11/04/2017


Video, audio & slides of "Lawsuit Challenges US Aid to Israel & Nuclear Gag Order" conference call - 10/26/2017


Audio file:
Slides PDF:

Conference Call - Lawsuit Challenges US Aid to Israel & Nuclear Gag Order - Monday, October 23 at 7 PM EST - Registration closed

In 2016 IRmep filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging U.S. foreign aid to Israel and a 2012 federal gag order on the release of information about Israel's nuclear weapons program. News of the lawsuit generated headlines around the world.

Now in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, courtroom action is again heating up as the Department of Justice prepares to file its long-delayed appellee brief on November 8. Join IRmep Director of Research Grant F. Smith for a lively presentation and Q&A session about this potentially ground-breaking lawsuit.

Topics will include:

1. What are the overall goals of the lawsuit challenging the nuclear gag order and foreign aid?
2. What is WPN-136, "the Israel nuclear gag-order," and why is it important?
3. What are the Symington and Glenn amendments to the US Arms Export Control Act? How do they impact aid to clandestine nuclear weapons countries?
4. Have any parties ever sued to stop U.S. foreign aid to Israel? If so, what happened to their cases?
5. What happened to IRmep's attempt to enjoin U.S. foreign aid to Israel in the Lower Court? What is happening in the Court of Appeals?
6. What gives IRmep standing to sue on such matters?
7. What other related lawsuits has IRmep filed, on secret CIA aid to Israel, U.S. Treasury Department activities, and the diversion of US weapons grade uranium to Israel, and how are they doing?
8. What tactics do defendants commonly deploy in responding? How much leniency do they commonly obtain from judges?

All conference call registrants will receive an access code, email reminders, a numbered soft copy of materials presented online, and the opportunity to submit questions. This conference call will be recorded.

Will Trump Recognize Israeli Annexations? Poll reveals Americans are evenly split - 10/09/2017

Israel and its lobby want President Trump to formally recognize territories annexed by Israel, but that most of the world consider unlawfully occupied. Bestowing U.S. legitimacy on Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights, seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, would solidify a "buffer zone" to keep Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at bay in war-torn Syria, argued Benjamin Netanyahu in April.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman argued last week that the presence of hundreds of thousands of Israelis in the West Bank is only an "alleged occupation." Friedman claimed settlements were "only occupying 2% of the West Bank," elaborating that "I think the settlements are part of Israel." 53 members of Congress on a recent American Israel Education Foundation junkets to Israel are told in briefings by AIPAC lobbyists accompanying them that East Jerusalem, also seized by Israel in 1967, "is not a settlement."

One reason Israel and its lobby may soon get their way on formal recognition is that Americans are evenly split. An IRmep poll fielded the issue September 30-October 2 to a representative cross-section of 1,000 adult American Internet users. It reveals a result too close to call, with 48.3% saying Trump should not recognize Israeli territorial annexations, but 47.3% saying that he should. The poll has an RMSE score of 6%, and may be filtered by demographics online. More at Poll at Google IRmep poll page

Israel Lobby Initiatives Scrutinized at Historic Fifth Annual Conference

Just before the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference and mass congressional lobbying day in Washington, DC, the “Israel Lobby and American Policy 2018” conference will be held on Friday, March 2, 2018 at the National Press Club.

This educational event is open to the public and will examine the strategies, tactics and policies of Israel and its U.S. lobby. Key questions to be addressed by invited experts are:

What is the current estimated cost and trajectory of major Israel lobby initiatives such as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act law that seek to fine and jail American organizations and individuals engaged in boycotts of Israel over systematic human rights abuses?

What impact could other major Israel lobby initiatives—including precipitating U.S. attacks on Iran, renewed U.S. attacks on Syria, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and formal U.S. recognition of Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, Golan Heights and West Bank—have on America’s global standing?

How is American public opinion shifting on key issues such as unconditional military aid to Israel, the influence of Israel on U.S. policymakers, and trust in coverage of Israel by the mainstream news media?

What is the current level of Israel lobby “capture” of major U.S. institutions, especially government agencies, think tanks, academia and news outlets?

What is Israel’s long-term regional strategy and how does it attempt to engage the U.S. in achieving its objectives through the Israel lobby?

How are peace and human rights activists pushing back against the lobby in courtrooms and at the grassroots level?

What new roles are artists taking on to challenge Israel lobby initiatives? What is the pushback?

How do Israel lobby “gatekeepers” influence campus debate, academic appointments and curriculum?

What are the current challenges to liberal Zionist beliefs, public perception of Israel as being interested in peace, and the notion of universal American Jewish support for Israel?

Which country has a quantitatively larger influence on U.S. electoral politics, Russia or Israel?

Will Israel likely break its agreement not to seek more than $38 billion in U.S. military aid over the next decade? What amount of secret intelligence aid is Israel also receiving, and why are U.S. intelligence agencies fighting to keep it secret?

The Israel Lobby and American Policy conference is solely sponsored by the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). Attendees receive a box lunch. Go to the conference website for more information, mail-in registration forms, and student tickets today! Or go directly to Eventbrite for online ticket purchases and donation opportunities!

Israel’s Foreign Agents Don’t Register, Why Should Russia’s? Can Russia Use Israel Lobby Tactics To Skirt FARA Order? - 09/19/2017

The Department of Justice has ordered Russia’s U.S.-based RT news network to begin registering as Russian foreign agents under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. The law requires US-based agents of foreign principals to disclose financial information and activities in regular public filings overseen by a designated DOJ office. Over the years FARA has been amended to exclude bona fide news organizations. The Department of Justice order breaks a long period of unfettered access to the U.S. by foreign press agencies, many directly and indirectly financed by foreign governments...

Ultimately, RT may find it does not have the required number of sympathizers inside and outside the US government, the requisite moral character, or enough money to pull off such FARA avoidance shenanigans. However, the RT FARA order may reignite broader American interest in the selectivity with which FARA is enforced. The key question has long been, "if Israel’s foreign agents working tirelessly to influence the government and public opinion aren’t registering, why should anyone?" Report

62% Of Americans Oppose Giving F-35 Jets To Israel: Stealth Fighters May Be Modified By Israel To Carry Nukes - 9/06/2017

Israel has begun taking possession of allotments of F-35 stealth jets from the US. Although many reports describe the transfer as an Israeli "purchase" of the aircraft, under an unpopular ten-year $38 billion aid deal, Israel will receive fifty of the jets at no cost.

Results from a public opinion poll of 1,000 American adults fielded through Google Surveys reveal widespread popular opposition to the transfer. 62% of Americans are opposed providing the jet fighters to Israel, while 35% support the transfer and 3% have other responses.

The survey was fielded between August 29 and September 4 and has an RMSE score of 7.4%. Individual response data is available from Google.

Many believe the jets will be modified by Israel to carry nuclear weapons. The US has adopted a policy of gagging official statements or release of US government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. However, in 2015 a federal judge forced the DOD to release a report confirming Israel’s expansive nuclear weapons production laboratories and work on hydrogen bomb development. More

Randi Weingarten Continues AFT Presidents' Practice Of Coopting The Union For Israel - 9/05/2017


Judge Prods CIA On Request For Israel-Related Budget Items - 8/25/2017

WASHINGTON (CN) — A federal judge rejected the CIA’s request to reconsider a court order that it respond to a Freedom of Information Act request on the dollar amount of U.S. intelligence support for Israel.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in March ordered the CIA to process a March 2015 FOIA request from Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy.

Smith, who is handling the litigation himself, wants intelligence budget line items from 1990 to 2015 as part of his public interest research on how U.S. nuclear knowhow, material and technology have been diverted to support Israeli entities engaged in clandestine nuclear weapons research and development...

...Smith said he will challenge the CIA if it admits it has the information but refuses to release it under a FOIA exemption.

“It’s kind of sad, really, that they won’t play ball,” he said. “We’re all spending time and money on this very basic question to the top recipient of all foreign aid, and we’re acting as though these things are sacred. And they’re not.” More

Fool's Errand: Time To End The War In Afghanistan - Scott Horton - 8/16/2017

“In Fool’s Errand, Scott Horton masterfully explains the tragedy of America’s longest war and makes the case for immediate withdrawal. I highly recommend this excellent book on America’s futile and self-defeating occupation of Afghanistan.” — Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower and author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

“The real story of the disastrous U.S. war in Afghanistan must be written so that future generations may understand the folly of Washington’s warmongers. Scott Horton’s Afghan war history is an important contribution to this vital effort.” — Ron Paul, M.D., former U.S. congressman and author of Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity

“Scott Horton’s, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, is a definitive, authoritative and exceptionally well-resourced accounting of America’s disastrous war in Afghanistan since 2001. Scott’s book deserves not just to be read, but to be kept on your shelf, because as with David Halberstam’s The Best and Brightest or Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie, I expect Horton’s book to not just explain and interpret a current American war, but to explain and interpret the all too predictable future American wars, and the unavoidable waste and suffering that will accompany them.” — Capt. Matthew Hoh, USMC (ret.), former senior State Department official, Zabul Province, Afghanistan, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy

“Scott Horton has tapped an incredible number of sources and insights from his thousands of expert interviews. He presents an original, compelling, and ultimately damning indictment of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.” — Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and author of Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America

69% Oppose AIPAC's "Israel Anti-Boycott Act":  Formerly Neutral Americans Now Oppose Curbing Israel Boycotts - 8/03/2017

Results from a comprehensive public opinion poll of 2,500 American adults fielded through Google Surveys reveal widespread opposition to the top lobbying initiative of Israel’s US lobby in America, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Congress may pass the Israel Anti-Boycott Act to punish Americans up to $1 million in fines & 20 years in prison for economic boycotts of Israel over human rights violations.

Nearly seven in ten Americans oppose the "Israel Anti-Boycott Act" (H.R.1697 in the House and S.720 in the Senate) while 25.7% support the Act, and 5.2% submitted other responses. The survey had an RMSE score of 5.9% and was fielded July 24-August 1.

This is a significant change from a March 2017 poll when 62.1% of Americans neither supported nor opposed such anti-boycott laws. More

"The Dean" Of Foreign Correspondents David Ignatius Delivers His Israel Payload - 7/31/2017


The "Israel Anti-Boycott Law" Is Beyond Repair: Writing Israeli Policies Into US Law Is Dangerous - 7/28/2017

...Beyond subverting the First Amendment, which it is clearly intended to do, the Israel Anti-Boycott Law inserts Israel into Chapter 56 – Export Administration section 4607, making Israel the only specifically designated foreign country in a trade law designed to advance US – not foreign – commercial interests. IABA suddenly makes US policing of foreign countries possibly interested in BDS, blocs such as the European Union and the UN, a US national security interest and problem – which they are clearly not – by placing Israel at the center of the US Export Administration Act of 1979. IABL amendments seek to ban organizations like the UN from compiling and distributing lists of companies doing business in territories illegally occupied by Israel. What US national interest is served by banning transparency over illegal Israeli activity? No interest.

Finally, the bill’s "rule of construction" mandates "nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the established policy of the United States or to establish new United States policy concerning final status issues associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, including border delineation, that can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties." Translated into English, this means that Israel and its lobby can continue to use the US as a diplomatic lever, but Palestinians cannot employ UN, the EU or other allies in the international community, as a comparable counterweight.

There are many reasons why Israel might want the US to rewrite laws designed to advance America, to protect Israel against economic backlash. Few Americans are served by such meddling. So why do members of congress such as Ben Cardin quietly foist such laws on their constituents (and fellow Americans), to the extent of threatening fines and prison time?

The Israel lobby...

Read the rest at How IABL modifies other laws page

"AIPAC's "Israel Anti-Boycott Act" A Threat To All Americans 7/26/2017 - "Takes on the World"


Host Jeffrey Blankfort and guest Grant F. Smith discuss the Israel lobby, foreign agents hearings, and the new "Israel Anti-Boycott Law," and much, much more!

Radio program podcast page and show notes

Department Of Justice Refuses To Acknowledge It Ordered AIPAC To Register As An Israeli Foreign Agent

52% Say US Would Lie About Foreign Chemical Weapons: American Public Twice as Skeptical as Mainstream Media - 7/25/2017

A statistically significant poll of the American adult Internet population reveals that 52.4% believe the US government would mislead them "about a foreign government’s use of chemical weapons in order to justify US military action." 45.7% responded that they did not believe the US government would mislead them, while the remainder (1.9%) provided other responses.

The IRmep poll administered by Google Surveys has a RMSE score of 5.8 and was fielded July 5-22, just after Seymour Hersh’s stunning investigative report discrediting the official narrative justifying President Trump’s authorization to launch fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat Air base in Syria on April 6.

The mainstream media narrative claimed the Syrian government under president Bashar al Assad bombed the rebel-held town of Khan Seikhoun with the deadly nerve agent sarin on April 4. Assad “choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children,” claimed President Trump. The U.S. Tomahawk strike targeted Shayrat because that is where the chemical weapons were prepared and loaded onto fighter bomber aircraft. According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “We feel that the strike itself was proportional, because it was targeted at the facility that delivered this most recent chemical weapons attack.” Report Poll at Google IRmep Polls

AIPAC Still Our Biggest Foreign Agent: Senate Hearing On Foreign Agents Registration Act - 6/18/2017

...The effort to register Israel’s foreign agents clearly failed. Just 42 days after the Justice Department order, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee incorporated itself in Washington and took over the AZC’s functions. Since the year it was ordered to register—as part of the AZC—AIPAC has extracted an inflation-adjusted $250 billion from US taxpayers for its foreign principals. Influencing the conduct of US policy "by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels" has never stopped.

If AIPAC had complied with the 1962 FARA order, by now it would have filed 109 required biennial reports (1963-2017) of its activities. It would have had to detail joint efforts with Israeli operatives. These include a 1975 incident in which AIPAC Director Morris Amitay circulated classified information about a proposed US Hawk missile sale to Jordan. AIPAC’s FARA file would have had to detail AIPAC staffers Steven Rosen, Douglas Bloomfield and Ester Kurz 1984 receipt of stolen classified information taken from US industry groups opposed to allowing duty free imports from Israel into the United States. Of course, the FARA disclosure would include details on two AIPAC executives, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, who from 2002-2004 solicited and received stolen classified national defense information from Colonel Lawrence Franklin about Iran and other matters which they passed to the Israeli embassy. The pair attempted to contextualize and place the stolen classified national defense information in the Washington Post to precipitate a US attack on Iran. More

Poll: Most Americans Aren't Zionists: But Democratic & Republican Party Platforms Are - 6/20/2017

An unprecedented poll reveals the gaping void between American identification with Israel and the official positions taken by both major political parties.

A majority of American adults – 70.3 percent – do not consider themselves Zionists when defined as "A Zionist is a person who believes in the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel." Only 24.9 percent say, "I consider myself a Zionist" while 4.8% provided other responses.

The IRmep poll was fielded by Google Consumer Surveys June 15-18 to a representative sample of 1,030 American adult Internet users.

In contrast to their constituents, members of both major US political parties have long operated under overwhelmingly Zionist party platforms. The 2016 Democratic party platform references Israel 9 times. Republican party platform 19. They differ little on the key issues: More at

10-year US Memorandums of Understanding with Israel: 2009-2018 and 2019-2028

The United States has given Israel more foreign assistance than any other country. In recent decades, a guaranteed aid minimum has been formalized through ten-year "memorandum of understanding" agreements signed by the US Department of State and the government of Israel.

In the world of business, MOUs are not legally binding and are frequently just stepping stones to binding legal contracts for initiatives such as joint ventures or partnerships. In US law, MOUs are the same as non-binding "letters of intent." MOUs are used in international relations because they take less time to enact, do not involve ratification by the US Congress and can even be kept secret from taxpayers.

In September of 2016, three days after ratification, IRmep requested the 2019 ten-year MOU from the US State Department under FOIA. While mainstream news outlets based their reporting on an official White House web page, IRmep discovered many troubling aspects about the commitments the U.S. had pledged in the actual document. First, the MOU seemed to incentivize war by guaranteeing additional aid in the event of military conflict. Second, although the Obama administration trumpeted that more of the aid package would be spent in the United States (ostensibly producing jobs, though military industries do far less of that than other sectors), the MOU permits up to 28% to be spent inside Israel (more than the 26.3% in the previous 2009-2018 MOU.)

See the Israel Lobby Archive for more!

Podcast - Nothing learned from 9/11: Trump in the Middle East - 5/24/2017

Summary: Grant Smith of IRmep, a keen observer of AIPAC and the institutions of the Israel Lobby, notes how the presence of right-wing pro-Israel, pro-settlers in Trump's White House and family, makes the historic role of AIPAC and the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations redundant and accounts for the failure of Trump to observe the tradition of past US presidents in consulting with them before he has meetings with an Israeli prime minister or travels to Israel or the Middle East.

AIPAC's other role, steering funds to campaigns of pro-Israel politicians, remains as important as ever, given the inflation of the amounts of money required to run Congressional campaigns when there are no limits placed on donors.

Smith notes how in the midst of Russia concerns, mainstream media has ignored the larger role of other foreign governments, not only Israel, but Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc., in purchasing US lobbyists to make their cases in Washington, but refers to a series of articles on Consortium News as a welcome exception as part of arguing that while the mainstream media remains unchanged in its coverage of Israel-related issues, social media is beginning to make its presence felt.

He points out that polls he has fielded show Americans to be ahead of their politicians, citing as an example, a poll that showed that the majority of Americans supported the Obama administration's decision not to veto the UNSC resolution criticizing Israeli settlements and that 28% of the public think Israel is liable to get the US into a major war, only exceeded by South Korea among US allies.

He also speaks of the progress in his federal cases to hold back issuing of US aid to Israel because it violates the Glenn-Symington amendments making aid to non-signers of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty that are engaged in building or buying nuclear weapons against the law which the US has ignored, and his challenge to a federal gag order imposed by President Obama making it illegal for federal employees to speak about Israel's nuclear weapons program.

As for Trump, Smith points out that the president has learned nothing from the events of 9-11, by doubling down on US support and aid for Saudi Arabia and offering his full support for Netanyahu on his trip to Israel, noting that these were the two issues which outraged Osama bin Laden, the presence of US bases in Saudi Arabia and its support for Israeli occupation of Palestine. - Program Notes by Jeffrey Blankfort - Podcast Feed

Poll: Americans Believe South Korea And Israel ‘Most Likely’ Allies To Embroil US In War - 5/16/2017

Americans believe South Korea is "most likely" while 28.5% of Americans believe Israel is "most likely." The US has security treaties with all countries in the survey except for Israel...

...American fears over Israel may be based on longer term developments. In April, Israel conducted strikes on Syrian targets that it claims were aimed at disrupting weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah. Israel’s years of threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities were only quelled by likely joint US-Israeli cyber-attacks that destroyed Iranian centrifuges and adoption of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The JCPOA verifies the Iranian nuclear program is not used to produce nuclear weapons.

Americans worrying that creeping US involvement in Syria is a proxy fight against Iran at Israel’s behest can point to some evidence. Leaked policy analysis from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email account asserted:

Israel’s leadership understands well why defeating Assad is now in its interests…. Defense Minister Ehud Barak argued that "the toppling down of Assad will be a major blow to the radical axis, major blow to Iran…." Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted.

Belief that the US is attacking Syria and Iran to advance Israel builds on views that emerged since 2003. Many Americans believe that Israel and its US lobby were critical factors supporting the US invasion of Iraq to improve Israel’s strategic situation. More Survey

How To Smuggle US Nuclear Triggers To Israel: New DHS Files Raise Questions About Arnon Milchan’s US Visa - 5/11/2017

On May 3, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security released the most detailed files to date on the 1979-1983 Richard Kelly Smyth/Arnon Milchan/Benjamin Netanyahu krytron smuggling ring. The 100-page dossier (PDF) answers important questions about how highly sensitive US nuclear weapons technologies were smuggled out of the country in the early 1980s. The pages leave two key questions unanswered. The first is why Arnon Milchan was not indicted alongside his co-conspirator Richard Kelly Smyth. The second is why in 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry granted Milchan a long-term visa to reside in the United States even after career Department of State officials initially refused.

The files, originally scheduled to be declassified in the year 2037, reveal that on December 6, 1979 the Israeli Ministry of Defense suddenly developed a need "of the utmost importance" for sophisticated devices invented and manufactured by EG&G called "krytrons." Krytrons required a munitions license for exportation since they can be used to initiate the precisely timed conventional detonations necessary to create the "symmetric implosion shockwave needed for nuclear weapons." Israel, which had just successfully conducted a joint nuclear test with apartheid South Africa, may have needed the devices for hydrodynamic testing and building up to 200 nuclear weapons for its own use, as well as agreed-to sales to South Africa. Detonating circuits for a single nuclear device can use two, four, or more, krytrons. By 1987, it became known to the US Department of Defense that Israel also had a hydrogen bomb project underway which may have necessitated reliable triggering mechanisms.

More at       Newly release files at the Israel Lobby Archive

IRmep Asks Appeals Court To Block Trump Transfer Of $3.7 Billion In US Aid To Nuclear Israel - 5/8/2017

Washington, DC – On May 8, 2017 IRmep Director Grant F. Smith filed an emergency motion asking the US Court of Appeals for an injunction on the immanent transfer of US foreign military assistance to Israel.

On May 5 President Trump signed into law a temporary spending measure designed to keep the US government running until September. The law included $3.7 billion in foreign aid to Israel.

Appellants argue that Israel’s nuclear weapons program requires either that the aid be withheld, or that long-neglected special procedures under the Arms Export Control Act be followed. The Trump administration has not issued required special waivers, as has been done for Pakistan and other nuclear weapons countries, that would make the aid legal under the Symington & Glenn Amendments.

Senator Stuart Symington (1901-1988), in legislating prohibitions on foreign aid to covert nuclear powers said “if you wish to take the dangerous and costly steps necessary to achieve a nuclear weapons option, you cannot expect the United States to help underwrite that effort indirectly or directly.” View news release View emergency motion (PDF)

Letter From A Málaga City Jail - Smuggler Sought Help From A Spy - 5/6/2017

The following letter (original PDF) was obtained on May 4, 2017 by IRmep via the Freedom of Information Act (release letter PDF) from a classified FBI and Department of Homeland Security dossier. The letter was presumably sourced from an INTERPOL intercept.

It is an appeal for assistance written by convicted felon Richard Kelly Smyth to movie producer and self-confessed Israeli spy Arnon Milchan. Smyth had fled the United States in 1985 after being arrested and charged with smuggling. The letter (and other dossier documents) add details to the 2014 report published at suggesting Smyth and Arnon Milchan along with Benjamin Netanyahu were knowing participants in the well-documented conspiracy to illegally smuggle krytrons, which can be used as triggers for nuclear weapons, to the Israeli Ministry of Defense via front companies. The letter also confirms Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel, worked as Arnon Milchan’s employee at Heli Trading, the Israeli node of the smuggling network.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu successfully lobbied Secretary of State John Kerry to grant in 2016 a 10-year resident visa for Arnon Milchan to remain in the United States. The US Department of State currently refuses to release information about their secret negotiations or the State Department’s awareness of Milchan’s espionage activities on behalf of Israel before it granted the visa. More

 Secret US Aid To Israel (Beyond The Billions Already Known About) - 4/26/2017

Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, DC, discusses how difficult it is to get any information out of US intelligence agencies by using a Freedom of Information Act request, especially when it relates to CIA-budgeted aid to Israel or Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Program Page Audio (MP3)


CIA Fights Disclosure Of Secret Aid To Israel: Legality Of Aid Uncertain Amidst Public Opposition - 4/24/2017

On March 30 Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan found it "neither logical nor plausible" for the CIA to claim it had no intelligence budget expenditure data of support to Israel between the years 1990 and 2015. The court then ordered the Department of Justice legal counsel to "meet and confer" about responding to the original Freedom of Information Act request for the data and file a response by April 24.

The original FOIA request sought public disclosure of the secret portion of US taxpayer-funded foreign assistance delivered to Israel. (PDF) Although "memorandum of understanding" packages, the most recent guaranteeing $3.8 billion per year over a decade, and additional Israel-bound appropriations passed by Congress are publicly known, secret US intelligence aid is not.

On September 11, 2013 journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that the National Security Agency was pumping electronic intercepts of communications of American citizens to Israel, with no legally binding limits on how the data could be used.

On August 5, 2015 President Barack Obama quantified the possible dollar value boundaries of intelligence aid during a speech at American University, claiming "…due to American military and intelligence assistance, which my administration has provided at unprecedented levels, Israel can defend itself against any conventional danger…" Given historic military aid is publicly known, secret intelligence aid to Israel in 2015 was either an additional $1.9 billion per year or $13.2 billion if the president adjusted for inflation. These are the amounts Obama would have had to provide to meet "unprecedented" combined levels of military and intelligence assistance. More

CIA Hammered After Shrug On Israel Records - 3/31/2017

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge called it “neither logical nor plausible” Thursday that the CIA has no information about intelligence budget-line items earmarked for Israel between 1990 and 2015.

The March 30 ruling came in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy who asked for the information back in March 2015.

Citing the underlying complaint, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan says Grant Smith originally sought “the information ‘for use in vital public interest research into how nuclear weapons related know-how, material and technology have been unlawfully diverted into Israeli entities conducting clandestine nuclear weapons-related research and development.'”

In response to Smith’s request, the CIA issued what is known as a Glomar response, neither confirming or denying the existence of such information. More

New Polls: Americans Oppose Key Israel/lobby Programs - 3/26/2017

Solid majorities of Americans do not approve of major Israel/lobby programs, how they are won, and the vast amount of unconditional US diplomatic commitments and funding they consume. However, only by transforming into active opposition, rather than passive opposition, will Americans be able to get their government into the business of representing them, rather than the small—but unquestionably influential—Israel/lobby. For news media and analysts to be taken seriously, they must begin to discuss the Israel/lobby as the primary force behind outcomes most Americans—quantifiably—oppose.


Title: American attitudes about Israel/lobby programs

Surveys fielded through Google Analytics Solutions

Principal Investigator: Grant F. Smith

Full Report (PDF) (HTML)


Watch "The Israel Lobby And American Policy" conference - 3/24/2017


Conference Program

8:00-9:00 AM Registration and “Two Blue Lines”: A documentary film screening in the Ballroom. Exhibition hall opens in adjacent Holeman Lounge.

9:00 AM Conference Organizer Welcoming Remarks

9:10 AM Grant Smith: The series of stunning—but underreported—polls revealing true American attitudes about U.S. aid to Israel and other top American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) programs.

9:40 AM Keynote—Professor John Mearsheimer: What has changed in the decade since his book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy was published. Subsequent findings, foreign policy choices the U.S. makes that it otherwise would not—if not for Israel—and what the new administration could do differently in the future that would better serve broader American interests.

10:30 AM Professor Maria Lahood: Recent legislation that threatens the First Amendment rights of Palestinian solidarity activists in the U.S. and the legal challenges thereto.

11:00 AM Morning Break

11:15 AM Former Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA): What it takes to beat the Israel lobby in Congress.

11:40 AM Former Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV): How to support the members of Congress who are beginning to listen to their constituents on Middle East policy issues.

12:15 PM Lunch Break & Screening of selections from the four-part Al Jazeera six-month undercover investigative series “The Lobby.” Jack Shaheen and John Mearsheimer book signings.

1:00 PM Keynote—Hanan Ashrawi: The Israel lobby and the “peace process" from a Palestinian perspective.

1:40 PM Tom Hayes: Challenges and changes in 25 years working on Israel-Palestine issues and advice for independent filmmakers. The documentary producer screens and comments on selections from his latest film, “Two Blue Lines.”

2:10 PM Jack Shaheen: Strategies to successfully push back against harmful Hollywood stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims, and the work new generations must now take on.

2:40 PM Wajahat Ali: The intersection of pro-Israel organizations & donors and Islamophobia uncovered as the lead author and researcher of the report "Fear, Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America."

3:15 PM Afternoon Break

3:30 PM Khalil Jahshan: The Israel lobby and “fake peace processing.”

4:00 PM Conference organizer remarks

4:15 PM Keynote—Professor Ilan Pappé: The value of viewing Israel-Palestine through the lens of settler-colonialism, how Zionist myths have been shaped and/or perpetuated by the Israel lobby, and what framework is necessary to overcome these myths and ensure that efforts to resolve the "conflict" are grounded in reality.

5:00 PM Clayton Swisher: The director of investigative journalism for Al Jazeera Media Network screens and comments on selections from “The Lobby," the four-part series about the Israeli Embassy’s covert influence campaign in Britain. This undercover investigation reveals how the Israeli Embassy sought to establish supposedly "independent” pro-Israel groups in England, AIPAC's efforts to establish itself in London, unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism lodged against Labour Party members, and discussions by disgraced former Israeli diplomat Shai Masot to "take down" UK lawmakers deemed hostile to Israel.

5:30-7:30 PM Networking Reception & Book Signings: Wajahat Ali, Hanan Ashrawi, Ilan Pappé and Clayton Swisher.

$254 Billion In Unconditional US Aid To Israel Is Unique - 2/23/2017

On February 10, 2017 Professor Hillel Frisch of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies staked a claim. Contrary to many media reports – some aimed at discrediting Israel claims Frisch – Israel is in fact not the biggest beneficiary of U.S. military aid. According to Frisch, Israel trails far behind Japan, Germany, South Korea and Italy. Israel aid more resembles that given to Kuwait and Bahrain, according to Frisch...

...The process by which Israel obtains aid – through the activities of a vast domestic lobby it helped establish – reveals why the funds it extracts from taxpayers should not be compared to equally troubling military alliance expenditures. A $3.7 billion, 14,000 employee, 353,000 volunteer Israel affinity nonprofit ecosystem has been built in the United States to provide Israel with the support that following America’s own interests would not. The approaching annual spectacle of thousands of AIPAC lobbyists subtly threatening to withhold vast amounts of campaign contributions from members of Congress if they don’t provide billions in unconditional taxpayer-funded aid – portrays an entirely accurate picture about the means through which it is obtained.

This Israel lobby-driven process and lack of reciprocity is why US aid to Israel cannot seriously be compared to mutual expenditures – equally unpopular and in need of reexamination – with treaty-bound US allies. More

Most Americans Don't Want US Embassy Moved To Jerusalem - 1/30/2017

An IRmep poll fielded by Google Consumer Surveys January 27-29 reveals 56.2 percent of the US adult Internet user population prefers the US keep its Israel embassy in Tel Aviv. Only 38.3 percent prefer moving it to Jerusalem, while 5.5 percent are either uncertain or have other responses. The statistically-significant survey has an RMSE score of 3.3%.

Israel’s policy since its founding in 1948 has been to locate foreign embassies in Jerusalem rather than Tel Aviv. However, the original 1947 UN agreement partitioning Palestine into Arab and Jewish states required that Jerusalem be “internationalized.” Israel’s US lobby began laying the groundwork for moving the US embassy—in hopes that others would follow and stay—in the late 1970s. In 1979, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) submitted a petition with 100,000 signatures to President Jimmy Carter—who had campaigned in favor of a move—asking him to formally withdraw the US from the 1947 UN Agreement and relocate the embassy. Carter refused. Full Analysis

Lawsuit: Israel Nuclear Gag Order Part Of An Unlawful Foreign Aid Scheme - 1/18/2017

memOn January 18 IRmep urged Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan to block unlawful US foreign aid disbursements to Israel. We also further exposed and refuted the Justice Department's legal campaign to protect an unlawful legislative rule that attempts to punish all who speak or write about Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons program.

The delivery of U.S. foreign aid to Israel depends on the federal government's ability to silence internal and external dissenters who raise the issue of Israel's nuclear weapons program as a disqualifying factor. On Wednesday, IRmep filed its most important motion to date—questioning the Justice Department's claims that the president and his agencies can plead "willful ignorance" about Israel's nuclear weapons program—by claiming what is broadly known in the public domain is "government classified information." Read the entire 41-page brief from the Center for Policy and Law. (PDF)

ytBeholden To Israel And AIPAC Even Before Running For Office - 1/7/2017



Who Wants Obama to Pardon Lawrence Franklin? - 1/2/2017

Larry_FFormer Defense Department analyst Lawrence A. Franklin was convicted of felonies for passing in 2004 classified military information to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbyists and an Israeli diplomat. Franklin worked for Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, a major proponent of the disastrous US Iraq invasion. The AIPAC officials tried to use Franklin’s information to get the US to militarily “pivot” toward Iran by getting coverage that Iran was attacking the US in the Washington Post. The two AIPAC officials—Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman—were charged but avoided conviction. Shortly after Obama took office, the Department of Justice abruptly dropped a very solid criminal case developed by the FBI.

Israel affinity organizations and their leaders generally lobby hard to get non-prosecution (urging “prosecutorial discretion”) for cases of major U.S. crimes that benefitted Israel. When that fails, coordinated efforts are made to overturn felony convictions.  On October 18, 1961 JFK pardoned “Hank” Greenspun’s felony conviction for smuggling arms during Israel’s War of Independence after intense lobbying. On January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton pardoned “Al” Schwimmer, founder of Israel Aircraft Industries, for similar crimes.  On January 1, 2009 George W. Bush issued a posthumous pardon for B-17 bomber smuggler Charles T. Winters after intense lobbying by more than 28 members of congress, the American Jewish Committee, and Jewish federations. Many of them argued that crimes committed for Israel should not be punished and that many others had done much more and not been punished.

In December, the US Pardon Attorney took a hard line and refused to release any correspondence under the Freedom of Information Act for a handful of convicts who recently attempted to engage in similar activities. After an appeal, the Pardon Attorney did disclose that only Lawrence Franklin (PDF) currently has an open petition seeking a pardon from President Obama before he leaves office. Others petitioning in support of his pardon have not gone public—as was the case of Jonathan Pollard—and will likely remain unknown absent a speedy FOIA remand from the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy.


MOU_tabUS Aid Package to Israel Incentivizes War - 1/2/2017

..That MOU, like its predecessor, continues to permit lavish subsidies for basic supplies – food and fuel – core to the offensive needs of the IDF, rather than the purely high-tech "defensive" infrastructure touted by the White House, is troubling. At its worst, the MOU could incentivize Israel to engage in offensive war, in order to be permitted to lobby congress for funding framed as "key to its survival." In the MOU, Israel pledges not to seek additional funding "except in exceptional circumstances…such as in the event of a major armed conflict involving Israel." The MOU is silent on whether Israel is allowed to seek addition funding if it is clearly the aggressor. The only requirement is that it is "jointly agreed by the US administration and Israel" that there are indeed "exceptional circumstances" that demand MOU limits be broken. In the decades spanning Israel’s existence since 1948, military conflicts have been much more the rule than exception. More

2019-2028 US-Israel MOU (PDF)




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