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"Israel Lobby" driving force behind any future military strikes against Tehran


Ed Haas

“Israel Lobby” driving force behind any future military strikes against Tehran

 

January 18, 2007 – During his January 10, 2007 Address to the Nation, George Bush said:

 

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges.  This begins with addressing Iran and Syria.  These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq.  Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops.  We will disrupt the attacks on our forces.  We’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria.   And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

 

We’re also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East.  I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.  We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies.  We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border.  And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.[1] 

 

Bush’s comments regarding Iran and Syria set off an avalanche of inquiry into what he actually meant by his choice of words.  For many observers, the language chosen; we will disrupt the attacks on our forces; we’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria; and we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq, all sounded eerily equivalent to the war propaganda foreplay that preceded the blatant lies Bush used to sell his war plan for Iraq to the American people over four years ago. 

 

On January 12, 2007, in response to this latest garble of all too familiar and very tiresome Bush rhetoric, and the alarm that his speech caused within the spectrum of independent and corporate media, Whitehouse Press Secretary Tony Snow, attempting to pacify the press and the people by offering in his press briefing opening statement the following false reassurances said:

Also, I want to address kind of a rumor, an urban legend that's going around -- and it comes from language in the President's Wednesday night address to the nation, that in talking about Iran and Syria, that he was trying to prepare the way for war with either country and that there are war preparations underway: There are not. What the President was talking about is defending American forces within Iraq and also doing what we can to disrupt networks that might be trying to convey weapons or fighters into battle theaters within Iraq to kill Americans and Iraqis.

As regards Iran, the United States is using diplomatic measures right now to address concerns -- including Iran's nuclear program. We've been working with the United Nations Security Council, recently got a chapter seven resolution. So this is something that is very important to push back, because I know there's been a lot of speculation about it. Let me just try to put that to rest once and for all.[2]

Of course the Bush Administration, true to its pathology of deception and misdirection, offers no prosecutable evidence that supports its allegations against Iran and Syria.  Finding Iranians, even Iranians that have joined Iraqi Shiite militias and taken up arms against the Iraqi Sunnis as well as U.S. forces in Iraq, is not evidence that the government of Iran is supporting materially, such activity. 

 

Bush also continued to beat the Iran Nuclear Weapons Program war drum in his speech.  He said:

 

And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

 

Again, the Bush Administration has presented no prosecutable evidence that proves that Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons or that it seeks to dominate the region. 

 

If there is any nation that wants to dominate the region, it is Israel through its U.S. auxiliaries and sympathizers; the same people that rushed the U.S. into war in Iraq.  However, Israeli domination goals in the region are more covert than a land grab – although gaining new territory under the Israeli flag has always remained on the Zionist wish list.  For now, Israel seeks to enhance its domination in the region by instigating wars in which the United States will fight on behalf of Israel in an effort to weaken and divide any nation that might someday aspire to become a military threat to the Zionist State. 

 

From a security standpoint, a divided Iraq engulfed in civil war is less of a threat to Israel than a united Iraq under the control of a dictator such as Saddam Hussein.  The same holds true in Iran.  A war torn Iran will become less of a threat to Israel than an Iran unified, or an Iran under the rule of a dictator.  It should be noted that Israel does not appear to be directly concerned or threatened by a nuclear North Korea.  Its only concern regarding North Korea is that Iran is North Korea's principal customer for weapons and technology. 

 

The break up of the former Soviet Union and how that event ended the cold war and made the United States feel more secure is an accurate example and parallel that illustrates the benefit Israel gains by the U.S. waging war in the Middle East.  When nations are engaged in war, when they collapse and divide, they become weaker, and therefore less of a threat to any other nation. 

 

On Thursday, December 7, 2006 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “We always felt, like other nations in our region, that the removal of Saddam Hussein was a major, major contribution to stability in our part of the world.”[3]  Israel sees what is happening in Iraq today, the result of the United States removing Saddam Hussein, as a major, major contribution to stability in Israel’s part of the world.  This is how Israel benefits from the Iraq War and hopes to benefit from the coming unless exposed, U.S. attack on Iran.  The question is does Israel have the power and influence to persuade or lead the United States into war with Iran as it did with Iraq?  To answer this question requires us to once again examine what has been dubbed the “Israel Lobby”. 

 

When thinking about and speaking of the “Israel Lobby” it is important to arrange your thoughts, and phrase your comments, in the context of the lobby being a network of organizations and groups rather than a single entity, bearing in mind that within the network is found a common objective that supercedes all other objectives – thwart or discount any public statement that could undermine perceptions of the state of Israel’s legitimacy.  It makes no difference to the lobby whether critical statements regarding Israel, Zionism, or Jewry are factually correct or warranted.  The goal is to prevent any meaningful, countervailing voices regarding Middle East foreign policy and Israel to emerge and prevail in Washington DC, regardless of whether said voices are speaking the truth.

 

The recent and ongoing attacks on President Jimmy Carter illustrate how the “Israel Lobby” monitors and responds to language that it deems unfavorable to the Zionist State.  Carter has become the latest target of the lobby as the result of his recently published book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. 

 

So what has Carter said that has the “Israel Lobby” so upset?  According to a Raw Story article that references quotes from a Newsweek interview, Carter blames the media’s ‘pro-Israel bias’ on AIPAC and ‘Christians like me.’[4]  AIPAC stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee and is to be considered a high value target by brave patriots that seek to abolish the lobby’s stranglehold on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.  AIPAC claims to maintain its headquarters at 440 First Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC. 

 

What Carter meant by ‘Christians like me’ is the fact that so many evangelical Christians have been misled into believing that the state of Israel represents some biblical mandate, with its survival being a necessary fulfillment of prophecy required to facilitate the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Consequently, the convergence of evangelical Christians and people that identify themselves as Jewish working within the corporate media apparatus are partly responsible for the ‘pro-Israel bias’ found throughout the corporate U.S. media.  Note that Carter does not say that ‘Jews’ control the media. 

 

Carter told Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift that the “effectiveness” and “powerful influence” of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has resulted in more inhibited debates regarding Israel in the United States.  According to Clift, Carter said in regard to Israel, policy, and publicity, “In this country, any sort of debate back and forth, any sort of incisive editorial comment in the major newspapers, is almost completely absent.” 

 

More incriminating is what Carter said in regard to a member of the U.S. Congress suggesting a more balanced approach towards Israel and the Middle East.  “And any member of Congress who’s looking to be re-elected couldn’t possibly say that they would take a balanced position between Israel and the Palestinians, or that they would insist on Israel withdrawing to international borders, or that they would dedicate themselves to protect human rights of Palestinians – it’s very likely that they would not be re-elected,” said Carter. 

 

The reader has to consider what Carter said carefully.  How could the “Israel Lobby” not exist?  The truth is we know it exists.  All that remains is to quantify the power it wields.  If Carter is correct when he says that no member of the U.S. Congress could “possibly say that they would take a balanced position between Israel and the Palestinians, or that they would insist on Israel withdrawing to international borders, or that they would dedicate themselves to protect human rights of Palestinians” because they would not get re-elected, then it can only be concluded that the “Israel Lobby” has gained excessive power and influence in Washington DC and therefore must be weakened or abolished. 

 

Enter the Israeli newspaper, Haartz.  On January 12, 2007 Haartz ran a Reuters article titled, Alan Dershowitz seeks to grill Jimmy Carter on Israel book.[5]  According to the article, Jewish groups have expressed outrage at Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, because they believe its comparison of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with South Africa’s former system of racial segregation could undermine perceptions of Israel’s legitimacy.  Note that in classic “Israel Lobby” fashion, the focus is placed on whether Carter’s book undermines perceptions of Israel’s legitimacy rather than addressing  the actual plight of the Palestinians. 

 

Enter Alan Dershowitz.  One of Israel's strongest defenders in the American public and academic arena, Dershowitz is quoted by Reuters as saying Carter should face “very hard questions” over his book.  Carter is scheduled to speak at Brandeis University on January 23, 2007.  Dershowitz plans to attend this event so that he can grill a former President of the United States.  Dershowitz told Reuters, “I will have my hand up the minute he finishes.  It will be polite.  It will be dignified but it will be tough.  There are some very, very hard questions that have to be asked of him.” 

 

According to Reuters, Dershowitz wants to ask why Carter has accepted money from Saudi Arabia and why the Carter Center had criticized Israel while not looking into human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.  Dershowitz is quoted as saying, “He claims that Jewish money buys the silence of politicians and the media, and yet he denies that Arab money has bought his silence.” 

 

Again, note the tactic.  Dershowitz does not address whether Jewish money buys the silence of the U.S. Congress and the media.  He deflects the assertion into misdirection by accusing Carter of accepting Arab money to buy his silence regarding human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.  In this way, Dershowitz hopes to avoid the truth, and the truth is that human rights violations occur everywhere, including the United States, that money does buy silence, including Jewish money, and that the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis is as atrocious as a Palestinain suicide bomber on an Israeli bus. 

 

Enter Haartz Chief U.S. Correspondent Shmuel Rosner.  On December 20, 2006 Rosner’s Blog published a piece titled, Is Carter an anti-Semite?[6] Oh, how the Zionists love that label! 

 

Rosner spat thusly with filthy threads of threatening talk offered by a major tool of the Israel Lobby - the Anti-Defamation League and its National Director, Abe Foxman.  According to Rosner, Foxman contends that Carter was getting to a point in which one could call him an anti-Semite.  In a letter Foxman wrote to Carter he said, “In both your book and your many television and print interviews you have been feeding into conspiracy theories about excessive Jewish power and control.”  Note the usage of the words conspiracy theories and excessive.  We will assume that Foxman can quantify what he means by excessive, but rest assured, what you and I would consider excessive Jewish power and control in Washington DC, he does not.  We can also take from his statement that he considers anybody that suggests that exessive Jewish power and control exists is a conspiracy theorist and therefore should not be taken seriously.  Note that he does not articulate to what level the Israel Lobby does influence the U.S. Congress. 

 

Beyond Foxman scolding a former President of the United States and threatening to label him an anti-semite if he didn’t mind his manners,  Rosner takes the issue a step further by seeking to once again re-define what the term anti-semite should mean by turning to a newly created position within the U.S. State Department thanks to the excessive influence of the lobby in Washington DC – the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism and its first Special Envoy, Dr. Gregg Rickman[7]

 

Shmuel Rosner writes: 

 

And what makes a person an anti-Semite anyway? This is the question that no one is able to answer in a coherent way, especially when it comes to the more modern phenomenon of channeling anti-Semitism through criticism of Israel. In The fine line between hatred of Jews and political opposition to Israel, the State Department's first envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism, Gregg Rickman, talked about the problematic nature of such definitions: "Where does the line fall between hatred of Jews and political opposition to, or even hatred of, Israel? Rickman knows that in Israeli eyes, the difference is minimal. Everyone is particularly sensitive when they are the ones being criticized, Rickman said, adding that some people consider anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism to be the same thing. He will need to come up with criteria to determine what is permissible and what is forbidden, what is anti-Semitic and what is just political when it comes to Israel."

 

Note how Rosner attempts to weasel the idea into his forum that all criticism of Israel has the potential of being anti-Semitism by his suggesting that actual anti-Semitism is being channeled through criticism of Israel.  Just think about what Rosner is suggesting!  How then does anybody that gives a damn about being labeled an anti-Semitic, I sure as hell don’t, go about honestly criticizing Israel when Israel needs criticizing – which is everyday that it continues its Apartheid activities? 

 

This should make the blood of any red-blooded American boil!  Rickman is going to come up with criteria to determine what is permissible and what is forbidden, what is anti-Semitic and what is just political when it comes to Israel?  You have to be kidding me Rosner!  I know its eating you alive inside, your wanting to call Carter an anti-Semite, but to turn to Rickman to define the fine line of anti-Semitism is like turning to Vice President Cheney to define torture!  It’s time to re-define! 

 

Muckraker Report: Official definition of anti-Semitism and an anti-Semite:

 

An anti-Semite is any person that seeks a balanced U.S. Middle East foreign policy and calls on the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States to hold the state of Israel to the same level of accountability as every other nation in the region, granting no special privilege or material and financial support that is disproportional to the support offered to the Palestinians and beyond, and seeks to withhold all material and financial support from Israel until such time when there is a fully established, unmolested Palestinian state free to tend to its own affairs, free from Israeli occupation, with unfettered access to shipping and land trade lanes. 

 

Congratulations!  If you subscribe to this definition, you’re now an anti-Semite.  Wear the badge proudly.  If anybody with a derogatory tone accuses you  of being anti-Semitic, just ask them, “By whose definition?” 

 

The Carter example demonstrates how parts of the Israel Lobby are international and inter-connected.  It shows how the elements close ranks, deflect and attack, rather then address the assertion that the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis amounts to Apartheid.  And make no mistake about it; allowing elements of the Israel Lobby to define Apartheid is like allowing Rickman to define anti-Semitism and allowing President Bush to define the U.S. Constitution. 

 

Which brings us to the point in which we have to decide whether the “Israel Lobby” is actually a driving force behind any future military strikes against Iran.  Does it really wield that much power in Washington DC?  It’s one thing to be able to close ranks and attack Jimmy Carter over a book, its an entirely different proposition to suggest that it has the power to cause U.S. military personal to fight and die in battle 7000 miles away from home on behalf of Israel. 

 

Remember senior U.N. Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter?  He was the American that had his character assassinated by the pro-Israel media bias here in the United States when he issued his proclamation, before the U.S. invaded Iraq, that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction.  Ritter’s integrity, credibility, and motive were viciously attacked on most of the 24-hour news channels.  One by one, the pro-Israel media soldiers, particularly the fools at Fox, paraded Ritter before their cameras for public ridicule and rebuke. 

 

Turns out, he was right, doesn’t it?  In his new book, Target Iran, Ritter says that Israel is pushing the Bush administration into war with Iran.  He also accuses the Israel Lobby of dual loyalty and “outright espionage”.  Ritter writes, “Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel and nowhere else.” 

 

Enter Patrick J. Buchanan.  Twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and the Reform Party’s candidate in 2000, Buchanan is also a founder and editor of The American Conservative.  He serves as a political analyst for MSNBC and a syndicated columnist, he has served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national TV shows, and is the author of seven books.  On January 9, 2007, World Net Daily published a Buchanan article titled, Who is planning our next war?[8]  Buchanan wrote: 

Bush may be sending signals, but the Israelis are preparing for war. The London Sunday Times reports that Israeli pilots have been making the 2,000-mile run to Gibraltar to train for strikes with bunker-busting nuclear bombs on Iran's heavy water plant at Arak, the uranium hexaflouride facility at Isfahan and the centrifuge cascade at Natanz.

Israel angrily denies the report. But, on Dec. 30, retired Gen. Oded Tira, who headed up all Israeli artillery units, burst into print with this admonition:

"As an American air strike in Iran is essential for our existence, we must help (Bush) pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and U.S. newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure."

"Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran," writes Tira. Thus, Israel and its U.S. lobbying arm "must turn to Hillary Clinton and other potential presidential candidates in the Democratic Party so that they publicly support immediate action by Bush against Iran."

"The Americans must act," Tira concludes. "If they don't, we'll do it ourselves ... (and) we must immediately start preparing for an Iranian response to an attack."

According to UPI editor-at-large Arnaud De Borchgrave, Tira's line tracks the New Year's Day message of Likud superhawk "Bibi" Netanyahu, the former prime minister.

Said Netanyahu, Israel "must immediately launch an intense, international public relations front first and foremost on the U.S. The goal being to encourage President Bush to live up to specific pledges he would not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. We must make clear to the (U.S.) government, the Congress and the American public that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the U.S. and the entire world, not only Israel."

Israel's war, says Bibi, must be sold as America's war.

We are thus forewarned. A propaganda campaign, using Israeli agents and their neocon auxiliaries and sympathizers, who stampeded us into war in Iraq, is being prepared to stampede us into war on Iran.

We are to be convinced that Iran, with no air force or navy to speak of, an economy not 2 percent of ours, which has not started a single war since the revolution, 27 years ago, is about to give to terrorists, to use on us, a nuclear bomb it may be 10 years away from even being able to build.

Is it possible that retired Israeli General Oded Tira and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of launching an intense, international public relations front first and foremost in the U.S. and paving the way for a U.S. attack on Iran by lobbying the Democratic Party and U.S newspaper editors if a powerful and influential pro-Israel lobbying apparatus did not already exist?  I think not. 

 

Enter retired General Wesley Clark.  As reported by Forward, The Jewish Daily, Clark says that ‘New York money people’ are pushing for war with Iran.[9]  According to the Forward piece, ‘the phrase “New York money people” struck unpleasant chords with many pro-Israel activists.  They interpreted it as referring to the Jewish community, which is known for its significant financial donations to political candidates.’  Note again, allegations that Clark levies are avoided while the Forward admits that some ‘New York money’ is ‘Jewish New York money’ and that some of that ‘Jewish New York money’ can be defined as significant financial donations made to political candidates. 

 

Another tool of the Israel Lobby, the Republican Jewish Coalition, described Clark’s comments as blatantly anti-Semitic.  Executive Director, Matthew Brooks says, “Wesley Clark owes American Jews an apology.” 

 

As reported Forward writer Nathan Guttman:

Clark made his alleged remarks to liberal blogger Arianna Huffington in response to a United Press International column by Arnaud de Borchgrave. The column described the efforts of Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud — to compare Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler, and the current geopolitical situation to pre-World War II Europe. The article quotes Netanyahu’s call to “immediately launch an intense, international, public relations front first and foremost on the U.S. The goal being to encourage President Bush to live up to specific pledges he would not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu has positioned himself in recent months as a leading voice outside Israel, calling the world’s attention to the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb. Though as leader of the opposition he does not speak for the government, Israeli sources have said in recent weeks that Netanyahu’s approach is in line with the strategy of the Olmert government.

Huffington quoted Clark as saying that the idea of bombing Iran before exhausting diplomatic avenues was “outrageous.” According to Huffington, she then asked Clark what made him so sure that the United States is headed in the direction of attacking Iran, and he replied: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”

And here comes Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, again.  Guttman contends that Foxman argues that while he does not accuse Clark of believing in conspiracy theories that paint the Jews and Israel as pushing the United States into war, the former general “fueled the flames and gave credibility to these theories. 

 

Please note again how the idea of a powerful pro-Israel influence in Washington DC is dismissed by the Israel Lobby as a conspiracy theory. 

 

On January 9, 2007, Clark sent Foxman a letter that said in part, “I will not tolerate anti-Semitic conspiracy webs to permeate the honest debate Americans must have about how best to confront Iran.” 

 

What Clark needs to realize is that is exactly what Foxman and the Israel Lobby wants.  They want all honest debate that could end up in opposition to Israeli objectives to be permeated by what the Israel Lobby defines and identifies as anti-Semitic and conspiratorial. 

 

Is there a powerful pro-Israel lobby that is now dragging our sons and daughters into battle in the Middle East?  Does the United States have a balanced foreign policy towards Israel and the Palestinians and if not, why not?  Are politicians, and reporters for the corporate media, free to criticize Israel and Israeli activities in the same way that they are free to criticize other nations and other people? 

 

Remember the words of President Carter: 

 

And any member of Congress who’s looking to be re-elected couldn’t possibly say that they would take a balanced position between Israel and the Palestinians, or that they would insist on Israel withdrawing to international borders, or that they would dedicate themselves to protect human rights of Palestinians – it’s very likely that they would not be re-elected.

 

Let your elected officials know that you know where their allegiance lies.  Let them know that you know that they selfishly continue to commit America’s sons and daughters to battlefields in the Middle East, on behalf of Israel, just so they can preserve their political aspirations rather than stand up and fight against the “outright espionage” that is the “Israel Lobby”. 

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To comment or request reprint permission, please contact Ed Haas via e-mail at efhaas@comcast.net.



[1] President’s Address to the Nation, President George W. Bush, January 10, 2007, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/print/20070110-7.html, [Accessed January 11, 2007]

[2] Press Briefing by Tony Snow, Whitehouse Press Secretary Tony Snow, January 12, 2007, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070112-4.html, [Accessed January 12, 2007] 

[3] CBS News, CBS/AP, Israel Rejects Iraq Study Group Proposals, December 7, 2006, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/07/world/main2237127.shtml, [Accessed January 15, 2007] 

[4] Raw Story, Former President Carter blames media’s ‘pro-Israel bias’ on AIPAC and ‘Christians like me’, December 17, 2006, http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Former_President_Carter_blames_media_proIsrael_1217.html, [Accessed January 17, 2007] 

[5] Haartz.com, Reuters, Alan Dershowitz seeks to grill Jimmy Carter on Israel book, January 12, 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=812845 [Accessed January 17, 2007] 

[6] Haaretz, Rosner’s Blog, Shmuel Rosner, Is Carter an anti-Semite?, December 20, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/rosnerBlog.jhtml?itemNo=803755&contrassID=25&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=1&listSrc=Y&art=1, [Accessed January 17, 2007] 

[7] U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,  Remarks at the Swearing-in of Gregg Rickman as Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, May 20, 2006, http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/66672.htm, [Accessed January 17, 2007]

[8] World Net Daily, Who is planning our next war?, Patrick J. Buchanan, January 9, 2006, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53681, [Accessed January 17, 2007] 

[9] Forward, Nathan Guttman, Top Dem Wesley Clark Says ‘N.Y. Money People’ Pushing War with Iran, January 12, 2007, http://www.forward.com/articles/top-dem-wesley-clark-says-ny-money-people-pu/,

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