Israel’s Friends overwhelm Capitol Hill
Yes folks, there is an international conspiracy and it is all about “protecting” Israel. It operates through front and lobbying groups that uniquely promote the interests of a foreign country, Israel, even when those interests do serious damage to the host country where the lobbyists actually live. In Britain, for example, there are a Conservative Friends of Israel and a Labour Friends of Israel, comprising together 216 members of parliament and party officials. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been silent about Gaza apart from expressing “deep concern” and blaming both sides while Labour leader Keir Starmer, who has also been under pressure to say something, has focused on how four car loads of alleged Palestinian supporters in London may or may not have driven around shouting out “anti-Semitic” comments. Starmer, one recalls, ran on a leadership campaign pledging to root out “anti-Semitism” in the party as a response to previous leader Jeremy Corbyn’s apparently ill-advised public recognition that Palestinians are human beings. Also in Britain, contesting details of the standard narrative of the so-called holocaust can result in a large fine and even some jailtime.
In 2017, Al-Jazeera ran an undercover operation directed against various Israeli front groups in Britain and in the US which determined that officers from the respective Israeli Embassies, presumably intelligence linked, were meeting regularly with members of the alleged non-government organizations that had been set up to provide support for the Jewish state. In Britain, the interaction included explicit discussions on how to destroy the careers of politicians who were deemed to be insufficiently pro-Israeli. In the US the objective has been to disrupt the activities of pro-Palestinian groups, most particularly the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The pro-Israeli and anti-Arab initiatives were coordinated with and sometimes initiated by the Israeli Embassy officers, suggesting that they were actually intelligence operations.
That many American Jewish groups are collaborating directly with the Israeli Embassy raises two concerns. First, it is ipso facto a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which should require registration and complete transparency regarding one’s sources of income and interactions with the foreign embassy. And second, as many of the groups are in tax exempt status with the IRS as either charitable or educational foundations, that status should be rescinded given their foreign affiliation. Of course, the reality is that the Treasury Department has known all that and more for many years and has never taken any action relating to deceptive behavior by pro-Israel groups.
Elsewhere in Europe, “Holocaust denial” even if it only consists of challenging clearly fabricated “factual” details of the event can also land you in jail in Germany and France while criticizing the state of Israel is construed as anti-Semitism, a hate crime. Jewish groups have, in fact, promoted an official “International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance” (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which includes any criticism of Israel as a defining characteristic. The United States Department of State has accepted that definition and language.
Yes, the United States has an office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and it is always headed by a Jew, as has been also the office in the Justice Department that continues to be dedicated to rooting out 90 year old Nazis. Meanwhile, the Republican Party, most particularly in its Trump version, is so close to Israel that it might reasonably be regarded as part of the Israel Lobby. And the Democrats are not much better, though there has been some dissent from progressives, which has led to the creation of a Zionist pressure group within the party called the Democratic Majority for Israel. It exists to defend Israel against any and all criticism while also protecting the billions of dollars and other benefits that the Jewish state receives from the US Treasury and government annually.
One might speculate that there is a whole federal government infrastructure devoted to Jewish and Israeli issues. How did that develop? Well, of course, money is what has made it happen. American politicians have notoriously always been easily corruptible, all it takes is a little cash. But no one is allowed to point out that obvious truth as linking Jews to money is regarded, by Jews and their captive media of course, as some kind of “anti-Semitic trope.”
Now it appears that a ceasefire is more-or-less in place but Israel’s ethnic cleansing that preceded its high-tech slaughter of Palestinian civilians who were being deliberately targeted has been perceived by the world, including many Americans, as particularly brutal. Which means the Zionist propaganda plus coercion machine has been working full time. Capitol Hill offices and the White House have no doubt been inundated with calls, emails and visits from constituents all singing the same song that was also being repeated by the President and Congress. It goes like this: “Israel is being attacked by Hamas terrorists and has a right to defend itself!” Sometimes there is a second verse which includes “The only democracy in the Middle East and America’s best friend and ally.”
Too bad that none of it is true, but the media also did its best to support the narrative by reporting how Hamas was launching “swarms” of rockets against Israel, making it appear as if a beleaguered Israel was valiantly defending itself against terrorist hordes. But the actual numbers told a different tale with only 12 Israelis killed after the violence erupted versus 232 Palestinians, including 65 children. Considerable infrastructure was also deliberately targeted and destroyed in Gaza versus limited damage in Israel while the calculated destruction of the building housing Associated Press (AP) and al-Jazeera should be seen as an attempt to eliminate any independent media observers on the ground in Gaza, even though AP predictably has hardly been critical of the Jewish state.
The Israel Lobby is, to be sure, expert at promoting and marketing its product. It is currently engaged in attacking celebrities and others who expressed any sympathy with the Palestinians while they were being slaughtered by the Israelis as anti-Semites. The larger and more openly combative Lobby groups like the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) have supporters in virtually every congressional district in the United States who can be called upon to get on the phone and start pouring out emails as needed. So every congress critter hears the call and knows what it means. And no one wants to have a hostile Israel Lobby on one’s back if there is any thought of being re-elected. In some cases, approaches include suggestions that significant donations to support one’s political campaign will either increase or be denied depending on what the legislator chooses to do or say.
And then there are the personal visits on Capitol Hill from the Israel lobbyists. The door is always open for the man or woman from AIPAC. Sometimes the Congressman is actually urged to sign a statement on his or her view of the conflict, a document carefully prepared in advance by The Lobby, of course. And the work by the Israel Firsters is almost always effective. Witness for example what took place concerning the assault on Gaza, where Congress and the White House tried to outdo each other in declaring how much they love Israel even though they don’t necessarily have to say or do anything as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did what he wanted anyway. Biden reportedly spoke with Netanyahu six times urging teethlessly “de-escalation” of the fighting but the Israeli each time insisted that he would continue the operation “mowing the grass” in Gaza until “its aim is met.”
The Israeli grip on the US government is and should be astonishing and one has to ask why the American people put up with it. They likely endure because they are unaware of the extent of it. If anyone still doubts the degree to which Jewish power is a major force in the United States it is only necessary as a test case to look at the Congressional and White House comments on Gaza, which served absolutely no American interest and which will only make the world even more anti-US due to the Administration’s enablement of the slaughter of the Palestinians. Washington’s UN Ambassador vetoed three Security Council resolutions calling for a cease fire, as is often the case, the only country to vote “no.”
Several aspects of the US role in the fighting particularly demonstrate the ability of Israel and its domestic lobby to get what they want from Washington even when it seems counterintuitive for the Administration and Congress to be falling in line. To be sure, 138 Congressmen and 29 Senators eventually signed onto letters urging a cease fire, but the texts tended to be generic, lacking any context, which means the recommendations were basically useless and not intended to go anywhere.
A highly partisan approach, in line with many of the comments by other government spokesmen, was reflected in a letter from Kevin McCarthy, the “leading Republican” (sic) in Congress, who released a statement confirming his allegiance to Israel. Part of it read:
“The ongoing rocket attacks against Israeli civilians show why America must act immediately to support Israel, condemn Hamas, and sanction those who fund terrorism. Instead of pressuring Israel to compromise with this terrorist group, Democrats should join Republicans in voting to cut off international funding for terrorists.
“That is why today, Rep. Brian Mast, a U.S. Army combat veteran who served alongside the Israel Defense Force (IDF), will push for a vote on the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2021.
“This bipartisan bill, which passed the House last Congress, would sanction foreign governments and individuals who fund Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, such as Iran.”
For starters, how exactly is it that a US Army combat veteran served alongside the Israeli Army? And now this great admirer of Israel is in Congress? Once upon a time one would lose US citizenship for serving in a foreign army. Mast must have missed something about swearing an oath to uphold the US Constitution, not Benjamin Netanyahu and his band of thugs and war criminals. And why are McCarthy and Mast including Iran in their indictment? Possibly because Tehran support of the Palestinian cause would be a pretext for another war? And what are McCarthy and Mast doing pledging anything at all to a foreign country which at the time was engaged in genocide?
Bad enough, but what is really appalling is the role of Joe Biden “the peacemaker” in hurriedly pushing through approval to provide the Israelis with $735 million dollars-worth of precision guided missiles, exactly the kind of weapon being used by Israel currently to kill Gazans. One might reasonably ask “What was Joe thinking?” but that raises the second question of “Was he thinking at all, apart from exercising knee jerk loyalty to Israel and its psychotic leader?” He did not have to provide more weapons to the Jewish state, which apparently was not running out of weapons of its own, but he did it anyway.
The United States already pays one fifth of Israel’s so-called “defense” budget and this extra contribution, as well as the funds provided annually to pay for Iron Dome defense, is on top of that. If there was any question whether the US was enabling the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians the question was surely answered by the decision made by the president, who knowingly provided US made weapons to be used by Israel to commit war crimes in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the US Arms Control Export Act and the existing Arms Supply Agreement between the US and Israel. He also was providing advanced tactical weapons to a country which is in violation of the Leahy Law due to its uninspected nuclear arsenal and is therefore ineligible for US government military assistance of any kind.
To be sure, some in Congress introduced a resolution to stop the weapons “sale” (a euphemism as Israel never pays for anything). Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib have proposed blocking the presidential authorization based on its one-sidedness and unsuitability when fighting is actually going on, but it was a futile gesture as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will surely let the bill die in committee. It will never reach the House floor for a vote. Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a similar resolution in the Senate which will likely suffer the same fate.
Tlaib has argued that “The US cannot continue to give the right-wing Netanyahu government billions each year to commit crimes against Palestinians. Atrocities like bombing schools cannot be tolerated, much less conducted with US-supplied weapons. To read the statements [from the Biden Administration] you’d hardly know Palestinians existed at all. No child, Palestinian or Israeli, whoever they are, should ever have to worry that death will fall from the sky. How many of my colleagues are willing to say the same, to stand for Palestinian human rights as they do for Israel? How many Palestinians have to die for their lives to matter?”
So it is all same old, same old. Biden, who boasts that American ties to Israel are “unbreakable,” has welcomed the cease fire in Gaza but it is at best a pause in what has become generational intercommunal warfare based on Israeli intentions to eliminate the Palestinians. And Biden will even be seen as having provided the weapons to further that process. Americans, who have no compelling interest in being involved at all apart from their domination by a ruthless Israel Lobby on foreign policy issues relating to the Middle East, will pay the piper as they rearm the Israelis and enable the next round of killing. Some believe that the tide of public opinion is turning against Israel due to its brutality, but I have my doubts as the Lobby has been in control for so long and knows exactly which buttons to push to get what it wants. That, the subversion and corruption of American democracy, is the real tragedy.