Plans Flop for Moderate Pro-Israel Lobby
Michael Collins Piper
American Free Press
ALTHOUGH MUCH IS OFTEN MADE in the mainstream press about the significant pro-Obama vote by American Jews during the last election, The New York Times dropped a bombshell on October 31 when it revealed that Obama’s favorable rating in Israel dropped to about 4 percent this past fall according to a poll for The Jerusalem Post.
This news reflects the fact that despite apparent cosmetic differences between political factions in Israel and American Jews, hard-liners in Israel (and in the American lobby for Israel) reflect popular opinion within their respective constituencies.
Another evidence of this is the fact that what appeared to be an ambitious effort to launch a “moderate” pro-Israel lobby to counter the heavy-handed clout of the hard-line pro-Israel lobby known as AIPAC appears to have gone belly-up.
As a consequence, AIPAC—which is short for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—continues to reign supreme in official Washington.
The newly established pro-Israel organization known as J Street recently held its first national conference in Washington but the meeting—from a public relations standpoint—was a bust. Not only did Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. boycott the conference (suggesting rather pointedly that the government of Israel doesn’t particularly care for “moderate” American Jewish organizations) but also a bevy of U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives who had initially agreed to attend —or otherwise lend their public support for the conference— ultimately decided it would not be in their best interests to do so. That is, AIPAC and Israel wouldn’t approve.
In addition, the actual meeting itself received sparse coverage in the mainstream press which otherwise likes to report on matters relating to gatherings of pro-Israel Americans. Clearly this group of pro-Israel Americans —who have something critical to say, on occasion, about Israel— was not seen as worthy of significant press coverage.
JStreet was set in motion as an ostensible « alternative » to AIPAC, emphasizing that J Street and its supporters were most definitely lovers and supporters of Israel but that, unlike AIPAC, they would feel free to criticize Israel as necessary.
And while some critics of Israel—such as the ardently pro-Arab (and occasionally quite blatantly anti-Jewish) magazine, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs —enthusiastically babbled on about the creation of J Street, hyping its existence as “proof ” that “not all American Jews support Israel unconditionally”—J Street has had little influence in Washington or in affecting political opinion within the American Jewish community. JStreet largely exists in the rhetoric of its own press releases. And the big flop of its first national conference drove that point home most painfully.
The fact that President Obama did dispatch his national security advisor, General James Jones, to speak at the conference was no real surprise. There have been more than a few wags who have referred to J Street as “Obama’s Jews,” in light of the fact that the president and some of his key advisors —including General Jones— have been suspected of being less than obedient toward the overall demands of Israel and its lobby.
Even Rahm Emanuel —the American-born Obama chief of staff whose father was one of the “founding terrorist fathers” of Israel and who, on his own, did a brief stint as a volunteer for the Israel military— was reportedly repeatedly denounced as a “self-hating Jew” by high-ranking Israeli government officials for lending his name and credibility (in the American Jewish community) to the initiatives of the Obama administration.
So what remains in play is the fact that Obama’s loyal opposition—the Republican Party—is firmly in lockstep with the “mainstream” hardliners in AIPAC. And J Street is a road to nowhere.
Although the Democratic leadership in Washington has always been firmly in the camp of Israel, the GOP cemented its ties with AIPAC in particular (and the well-heeled fanatics who support that lobby) during the Ronald Reagan era.
At that time, traditional American nationalism went by the wayside as far as the GOP leadership was concerned. Reagan and the national Republican power brokers not only firmly aligned themselves with Israel, but also supported sovereignty-surrendering free trade internationalism and flagrantly opened up American borders to wave upon wave of illegal immigrants as never before.
The few elements of the Democratic Party in Washington that do dare to question all-out support for Israel — right or wrong— are largely isolated to increasingly smaller numbers in the Congressional Black Caucus and a few independent-minded folks like Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and a handful of others, largely those who have substantial numbers of Arab-Americans in their congressional districts.
As far as the American Jewish community itself is concerned, polls taken both by J Street and the AIPAC-allied Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith during Israel’s violent attack on Gaza—including the slaughter of helpless caged animals in the little Gaza zoo—reflected that roughly eight out of every ten American Jews admittedly supported Israel’s Gaza venture (which most people around the world viewed as a horrific series of war crimes). And considering the fact that the Gaza rampage was particularly grotesque, the fact that so many American Jews openly supported it is revealing.
Thus, the hopes of a handful of good people who dreamed that J Street would somehow add an element of sanity, balance and common sense to the Middle East debate (to the extent that there is any “debate” at all) seems to be just that: a dream.
U.S.-Israel War Games May Signal Impending Military Attack on Iran
There’s no word in the Western press, but Aljazeera reports that the U.S. and Israel are conducting tests of the high-altitude missile defense system that the U.S. has provided to Israel.
The anti-missile system is useless against the shortrange rockets of Hamas and Hezbollah. Its purpose is to protect Israel from longer-range Iranian missiles.
Everyone understands that Iran would not attack Israel except in retaliation. It is logical to conclude that the missile defense system signals an upcoming Israeli attack on Iran.
If the U.S. were opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran, the U.S. would not provide Israel with protection against retaliation and would not engage in war games with Israel to test the system. The best way to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran is to leave Israel open to retaliation.
This decision by the United States government is irresponsible in the extreme. It enables Israel to spread aggression in the Middle East. By signaling an attack, it would encourage a less cautious country than Iran to strike first before the Israeli missile defense system is operative.
The joint U.S.-Israeli war games involving 2,000 troops from the U.S. European Command, the Israeli Army, and 17 U.S. Navy ships constitute further indication to the world that no matter what crimes the Israelis commit, the U.S. will protect Israel from being held accountable.
In the world today, the U.S. and Israel are the two threats to peace.
Paul Craig Roberts
It did not take the Israel Lobby long to make mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s “no new settlements” position. Israeli prime minister Netanyahu is bragging about Israel’s latest victory over the US government as Israel continues to build illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
In May President Obama read the Israelis the riot act, telling the Israeli government that he was serious about ending the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians and that a lasting peace agreement required the Israeli government to abandon all construction of new settlements in the occupied West Bank.
On November 10 Obama’s White House chief of staff, Rahm Israel Emanuel, surrendered for his boss at the annual conference of the United Jewish Communities.
The ongoing Israeli settlements, he said, should not be a “distraction” to a peace agreement.
Allegedly, the US is a superpower and Israel is a client state whose very existence depends entirely on US military and economic aid and diplomatic protection. Yet, in the real world it works the other way. Israel is the superpower and the US is its client state.
This fact is proved to us at least once every week and sometimes two or three times in one week. A few days ago the US House of Representatives voted 344 to 36 in favor of disavowing the UN report by the distinguished Jewish judge Richard Goldstone that found that Israel had committed war crimes in its attack on the civilian population in the Gaza Ghetto. The Israel Lobby demanded that the House repudiate the fact-filled report, and the servile House did as its master ordered.
US Rep. Dennis Kucinich spoke to his colleagues for 2 minutes in an effort to make them see that their vote against the Goldstone report would be a great embarrassment to the US government and demean the House in the eyes of the world.
But none of that matters when Israel gives its servants an order. The US House of Representatives preferred to demean itself and to embarrass the US Government rather than to cross the Israel Lobby.
Retribution quickly fell upon Kucinich for his 2 minute speech. On November 9, Kucinich was forced to withdraw as the keynote speaker for the Palm Beach County (Florida) Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner. The Israel Lobby gave the order–dump Kucinich or there’s no money and no one is coming to the dinner. County Commissioner Burt Aaronson called Kucinich “an absolute horror.”
Kucinich is the rare Democrat who stands up for his party’s principles, the working class, and tried to get health care for those Americans the corporations have thrown out on the street. But helping Americans doesn’t count. Israel uber alles.
Meanwhile, the US dollar continues to decline relative to other traded currencies. Since spring, anyone could have made a double-digit rate of return betting on most any currency against the US dollar.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently expressed concern that despite the dollar’s continuing slide, it might still be over-valued. The Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy encourages speculators to use the dollar for the “carry trade.” Speculators, whether individuals or financial institutions borrow dollars at rock bottom interest rates and use the almost free capital to purchase higher yielding instruments in other countries. The demand for dollars to finance the “carry trade” keeps the dollar higher than it would otherwise be.
Last year it was the Japanese Yen that was used for the “carry trade” due to the practically zero Japanese interest rates. The next scare that unwinds the “carry trade” will cause another big drop in financial asset values. This means that the stock market is very volatile. It is based on speculation, not on fundamentals.
When the “carry trade” next unwinds, the demand for US dollars to pay off the loans will temporarily boost the dollar. But don’t be fooled. The large US trade and budget deficits are the dollar’s death warrant.
When the dollar finally goes, so will the government’s ability to conduct wars of aggression, underwrite Israel, finance its red ink and pay for imports. That’s when the printing press will really get going.