Media Blackout as Israel’s Largest Banks Pay Over $1 Billion in Fines for US Tax Evasion Schemes

By Whitney Webb
Source

F090408AA03 edited 4bd5e

Israel’s three largest banks — Hapoalim Bank, Leumi Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank — have all been ordered to pay record fines, which collectively are set to total over $1 billion, to the U.S. government after the banks were found to have actively colluded with thousands of wealthy Americans in massive tax-evasion schemes.

The scandal, though it has been reported on in Israeli media, has garnered little attention in the United States. The media black-out has been so surprising it was even directly mentioned by the Times of Israel, given that similar revelations about other banks and offshore tax-evasion schemes — such as those contained within the Panama Papers — led to global protests and even the resignations of some world leaders.

The settlements are the end result of a series of Department of Justice (DOJ) probes that were related to the DOJ’s 2007 investigation targeting UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank. The focus of the probe turned to Israel a few years later in 2011, when it was determined that the Swiss subsidiaries of several of Israel’s largest banks had actively aided Americans seeking to launder their money.

As the probes advanced, the DOJ found that the three banks — Israel’s largest when ranked by net income and total assets — had a history of collaborating with wealthy Americans in tax evasion schemes, not just in their Swiss subsidiaries but in Israel as well. Most of those wealthy Americans were Jewish Americans or dual U.S.-Israeli citizens who hid their U.S. citizenship from the Israeli banks.

A year after the probes into Leumi, Hapoalim and Mizrahi Tefahot were made public, the U.S. State Department notably listed Israel as a “major money laundering country… whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking … or other serious crime.”

Settlements reached and pending

Bank Leumi was the first to admit to wrongdoing and reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ in 2014 that eventually resulted in the bank paying $400 million in fines to the U.S. government and the State of New York in order to avoid prosecution. According to the DOJ, the agreement marked “the first time an Israeli bank has admitted to such criminal conduct, which spanned over a 10 year period.”

The investigations into the other two banks, Mizrahi Tefahot and Hapoalim, continued until just last Wednesday, when Mizrahi Tefahot agreed to pay $195 million in fines for “conspiring” with U.S. clients to avoid taxes. Like Leumi Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot admitted its guilt.

A settlement with Hapoalim Bank, Israel’s largest bank, has yet to be reached. The bank had set aside $343 million for a potential settlement as of last February, though that figure has since ballooned to $616 million as of this week. Hapoalim CEO Arik Pinto told reporters on Monday that he “really hopes” that the DOJ probe will be resolved by the end of the year, a sentiment likely motivated by the fact that the probe has weighed on the bank’s profit performance.

Advertisements

Human Rights as Seen by the White House: Concessions to Israel Are Notable

By Philip Giraldi
Source

Pompeo Joins Netanyahu 6165b

The State Department’s just issued annual Human Rights Report for 2018 is a disgrace, a document so heavily politicized by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his crew of hardliners that it might be regarded as a model in how to make something that is black appear to be white. Which is not to say that it is not cleverly composed, quite the contrary, but it uses its choice of words and expressions to mitigate or even dismiss some actual human rights abuses while regarding as more grave other lesser offenses to make political points. And then there is what it does not say, deliberate omissions intended to frame situations in terms favorable to America and its dwindling number of friends in the world.

Not surprisingly, the region that has received the most massaging by the authors of the report is the Middle East, where an effort has been made to depict Israel in a positive light while also denigrating the Palestinians and Iranians. The language used regarding Israel’s occupation of much of the West Bank and the Golan Heights has been particularly welcomed by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and also by the Israeli media. The word “occupation” or “occupied” to describe the status quo of those areas administered by the Israeli military has been dropped in favor of “Israeli controlled.” The difference is important as occupation has specific legal implications defined by the Geneva Conventions in terms of what the occupying power can and cannot do. To starve and dispossess the Arab inhabitants of the occupied area, as the Israelis are doing to build their settlements, is a war crime. Also, an occupation must have a terminus ante quem date whereby the occupation itself must end. It cannot be permanent.

The new language is a gift to Israel on the eve of its April 9th election and it allows incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu to claim that he is the candidate best able to obtain concessions from Washington. America’s so-called Ambassador to Israel is a former Trump bankruptcy lawyer named David Friedman who is more involved in serving up Israeli propaganda than in supporting the actual interests of the United States. He probably believes that what is good for Israelis is good for Americans.

Friedman personally supports the view that the illegal Jewish settlements are legitimately part of Israel, choosing to ignore their expansion even though it has long been U.S. policy to oppose them. He has also long sought to change the State Department’s language on the Israeli control of the West Bank and Golan Heights, being particularly concerned about the expression “occupied” which has previously appeared in U.S. government texts describing the situation in the Israel-Palestine region. Friedman now appears to have won the fight over language, to the delight of the Netanyahu government.

And the elimination of “occupied” will apparently be only the first of several gifts intended to bolster Netanyahu’s chances. Senator Lindsey Graham, who also boasts of his close ties to the Israeli Prime Minister, recently stated his intention to initiate legislative action to go one step further and compel the United States to actually recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory that was annexed after fighting in 1967, but which has not been recognized as part of Israel by any other country or international body.

Last Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that the Senate vote promoted by Graham would not be necessary, that he would order the State Department to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area.  This will hugely benefit Bibi and further damage America’s standing in the Middle East and beyond. Some sources are already predicting that recognition of the annexation of the Golan Heights will soon lead to U.S. government recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over much of the West Bank, both ending forever any prospect for a Palestinian state and making it clear that the United States is running a foreign policy to benefit Israel.

There is, of course, much more in the Human Rights Report. The executive summary and first section on Israel and Palestine include text that could easily have come from an Israeli government press release or been featured as an editorial in the New York PostWashington Post or Wall Street Journal: “Human rights issues included reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, including Palestinian killings of Israeli civilians and soldiers…From March 30 to December 5, Palestinian militant groups launched more than 1,150 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip toward arbitrary or civilian targets in Israel. Gaza-based militants shot and killed one Israeli soldier, and a rocket launched by Gaza-based militants killed one Palestinian laborer in Ashkelon. More than 200 Israelis required treatment from these attacks, mostly for shock. Beginning on March 30, Israeli forces engaged in conflict with Palestinians at the Gaza fence, including armed terrorists, militants who launched incendiary devices into Israel, and unarmed protesters. This occurred during mass protests co-opted by terrorist organization Hamas and dubbed a ‘March of Return.’ The government stated that since March 30 it had been ‘contending with violent attempts led by Hamas to sabotage and destroy Israel’s defensive security infrastructure separating Israel from the Gaza Strip, penetrate Israel’s territory, harm Israeli security forces, overrun Israeli civilian areas, and murder Israeli civilians.’”

A separate report section on Gaza adds “On March 30, Palestinians in Gaza launched the ‘March of Return,’ a series of weekly protests along the fence between Gaza and Israel. The protests, some of which drew tens of thousands of people, and included armed terrorists, militants who launched incendiary devices into Israel, and unarmed protesters, continued throughout the year. Hamas took control of the weekly protests, and many of the protests were violent as encouraged by Hamas.”

Interestingly, the Report does not even have a dedicated section on Iran, only providing a link to a separate document: “Read the State Department’s new report detailing the magnitude of the Iranian regime’s destructive behavior at home and abroad. The report covers Iran’s support for terrorism, its missile program, illicit financial activities, threats to maritime security and cybersecurity, human rights abuses, as well as environmental exploitation.” A second link is to a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo given before the neocon group United Against Nuclear Iran: “The Iranian regime’s track record over the past 40 years has revealed it as among the worst violators of the UN Charter and UN Security Council resolutions – perhaps, indeed, the worst violator. It is truly an outlaw regime.”

Exonerating perpetual victim Israel of all its misdeeds and blaming the Israel-Palestine problem on the Palestinians while also labeling them as “terrorists” is both delusional and propaganda, not responsible analysis. Nor is damning Iran when speaking before a partisan group and falsely calling it a “worst violator of the U.N. Charter and U.N. Security Council resolutions” exactly informative. It is actually Israel that is the worst violator of U.N. Security Council resolutions, a fact that is not mentioned in the Human Rights Report.

One might well question why to write a Human Rights Report at all, but that is something that can be blamed on Congress, which ordered the State Department to prepare it. And one should note the key omission in the document: there is no admission of causality. The United States foreign and national security policies over the past twenty years have created a “human rights” disaster mostly in Asia but also elsewhere, a virtual tsunami rolling over ruined countries that has killed millions of people while also displacing millions more. In reckoning the terrible circumstances being endured by many in so many places there is no mention of the American role. And, unfortunately, there is no section in the Human Rights Report for “United States of America.

US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea

By Finian Cunningham
Source

or 42395 e8ecb

In a controversial snub to international law, the United States signaled last week that it is moving to officially recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israeli territory. If the US does so, then it forfeits any moral authority to sanction Russia over allegations of “annexing Crimea”.

In its annual US State Department report, the section dealing with the Golan Heights reportedly refers to the contested area as “Israeli-controlled”, not “Israeli-occupied”. The change in wording deviates from United Nations resolutions and international norm which use the term “Israeli-occupied” to designate the land Israel annexed from Syria following the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel has occupied the western part of the Golan since 1967 as a spoil from that war. In 1981, Tel Aviv formally annexed the Syrian territory. However, the UN Security Council in 1981, including the US, unanimously condemned the annexation as illegal. The resolution mandates Israel to return the land to Syria which has historical claim to the entire Golan. The area of 1,800 square kilometers is a strategic elevation overlooking the northern Jordan Valley.

If Washington confirms its recent indications of recognizing the Golan as officially part of Israel, the development would mark an egregious flouting of international law.

But what’s more, such a move totally prohibits Washington from posturing with presumed principle over the issue of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula which since 2014 voluntarily became part of Russia.

Just last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated accusations against Russia of “annexing” Crimea. Pompeo insisted that US sanctions against Moscow would be maintained until Russia “returns Crimea to Ukraine”.

“The world has not forgotten the cynical lies Russia employed to justify its aggression and mask its attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory,” he said. “The United States will maintain respective sanctions against Russia until the Russian government returns control of Crimea to Ukraine.”

Last year, Pompeo’s State Department issued a ‘Crimea Declaration’ in which it was stated that, “Russia undermines a bedrock of international principle shared by democratic states: that no country can change the borders of another by force.”

Claims by Washington and the European Union of “illegal annexation” of Crimea by Russia are the central basis for five years of economic sanctions imposed on Moscow. Those sanctions have contributed to ever-worsening tensions with Russia and the build-up of NATO forces along Russia’s borders.

Those claims are, however, highly contestable. The people of Crimea voted in a legally constituted referendum in March 2014 to secede from Ukraine and to join the Russian Federation. That referendum followed an illegal coup in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the US and Europe against a legally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. Historically, Crimea has centuries of shared cultural heritage with Russia. Its erstwhile position within the state of Ukraine was arguably an anomaly of the Cold War and subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union.

In any case, there is scant comparison between the Golan Heights and Crimea, save, that is, for the latest hypocrisy in Washington. While Crimea and its people are arguably historically part of Russia, the Golan Heights are indisputably a sovereign part of Syria which was forcibly annexed by Israeli military occupation.

The illegality of Israel’s occupation of Golan is a matter of record under international law as stipulated in UNSC Resolution 497.

There is no such international mandate concerning Crimea. Claims of Russia’s “annexation” are simply a matter of dubious political assertion made by Washington and its European allies.

The latest move by Washington towards recognizing Golan as part of Israel – in defiance of international law – comes on the back of several other recent developments.

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham made a tour of Israeli-occupied Golan last week in the company of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pointedly transported by an IDF military helicopter. Graham said following his tour that he would recommend the Trump administration to officially recognize the area as under Israeli sovereignty.

Currently, there is legislation going through both the US Senate and House of Representatives which is aimed at declaring the entire Golan as Israeli territory.

The stark shift in pro-Israeli bias in Washington under the Trump administration is consistent with the White House declaring at the end of 2017 that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Again, that move by President Trump overturned international consensus and UN resolutions which have stipulated Jerusalem to be a shared capital between Israel and a future Palestinian state, to be worked out by (defunct) peace negotiations.

Why Washington has taken up the Golan issue as a prize for Israel at this time is not precisely clear. It could be seen as the Trump administration giving a political boost to Netanyahu for next month’s elections.

There has been previous speculation that Trump is doing the bidding for a US-based oil company, Genie Oil, which is linked to his administration through his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s family investments. The New Jersey company has a subsidiary in Israel, is tied to the Netanyahu government, and has long been aiming to drill the Golan for its abundant oil resources.

The Golan move could also be retribution meted out to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his country’s historic defeat of the US-backed covert war for regime change. The nearly eight-year war was also covertly backed by Israel which sponsored jihadist militia operating out of the Golan against the Syrian army. Having vanquished the US regime-change plot, thanks to crucial military support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, the payback could be Washington stepping up Israeli claims to annex the Golan.

But whatever the background explanation is, the initiative by Washington to legalize the annexation of Golan by Israel is a brazen violation of international law. In doing so, the US is officially sponsoring war crimes and theft of Syria’s sovereign territory. Or as the Crimea Declaration would put it: “changing the borders of another country by force” – supposedly a “bedrock principle” that Washington continually sermonizes about to Russia.

Crimea and Golan are different issues of territorial dispute, as noted already. Nevertheless, the duplicity of Washington over Golan makes its posturing on Crimea null and void. If the Europeans meekly go along with the US move on Golan, then they too should shut their mouths and their moralizing sanctions over Crimea.

Christchurch Attack: Israeli Mossad’s Years of Espionage Activities in the City

By Daniel Haqiqatjou
Source

Mossad Christchurch 463f5

The massacre of Muslims this past Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand left me in a daze of anger and grief. Muslims are being gunned down and bombed all over the world and little is being done about it.

For this post, I want to compile some of the oddities with the details of the shooting. Things are not what they seem.

The below is broken down into sections for ease of reading.

The Manifesto: No Jews?

Tarrant allegedly wrote a manifesto called The Great Replacement explaining his motivations for killing Muslims. The problem is, the 73-page document reads like it was written by someone who is trying very hard to pretend to be a White Nationalist.

What do I mean by this?

Well, whoever wrote the document claims that he was mainly influenced by the internet.

“From where did you receive/research/develop your beliefs?” the murderer responds, “The internet, of course. You will not find the truth anywhere else.”

The influence of internet meme culture is apparent in the manifesto and even in Tarrant’s horrifying video. White nationalists online immediately recognized the use of memes. In the video, for example, he says, “Subscribe to PewDiePie,” which is a white nationalist meme referring to popular white Youtuber PewDiePie, which trolls on 4chan and elsewhere envision (ironically) as a fascist neo-Nazi leader.

But there is one glaring inconsistency.

If you ever visit places on the internet frequented  and owned by White Nationalists, such as 4chan, 8chan, Daily Stormer, or Gab, one immediate, indubitable fact hits you in the face:

These people hate Jews.

More than anyone else, White Nationalists hate Jews and are not afraid of expressing it with thousands of different memes. More than Blacks, more than Latinos, more than Muslims, Jews are at the top of the hate list. This is because White Nationalists believe that Jews are engaging in a genocidal project to destroy the White race. According to the White Nationalists, Jews are doing this primarily by pushing for immigration. As high birth-rate immigrants flood White nations and non-Whites and Whites intermix, eventually the White race will become a minority and will, within a few generations, cease to exist.

This, according to the White Nationalists on the internet, is a Jewish plot that Jews have engineered through their pushing of pro-immigration legislation, their control of media, etc.

What is bizarre about Tarrant’s alleged manifesto is that he says a great deal about this plot. He rails against immigration, fertility rates, and “White genocide.” But he doesn’t mention who the supposed plotters are. Why? Why is Tarrant following the White Nationalist script to the letter but doesn’t mention Jews once in the entire 73 pages?

Well, actually, he does mention Jews just once:

“A jew living in israel is no enemy of mine, so long as they do not seek to subvert or harm my people.”

The statement is especially strange since, according to the dominant White Nationalist discourse, this is exactly what Jews are engaged in: harming white people, genociding them. In fact, White Nationalists often bemoan the fact that Jews have Israel as their Jewish ethno-state while allegedly preventing Whites from having their own White ethno-states.

Passages like this stand out:

Why attack muslims if all high fertility immigrants are the issue?
“They are the most despised group of invaders in the West, attacking them receives the greatest level of support.” He ranted about climate change, saying that by killing “the invaders” he could “kill the overpopulation and by doing so save the environment.”

White Nationalists reserve these kinds of statements for Jews, not Muslims. For White Nationalists, Muslims are just low IQ pawns used by Jews, but pose no serious threat on their own.

So why does an alleged White Nationalist who is so concerned about immigration and preserving the White race completely ignore the biggest, most prominent component of White Nationalist discourse?

This is like an alleged fan of the 90s Chicago Bulls writing a detailed 70-page tribute to the team’s amazing achievements in that decade without once mentioning Michael Jordan. If someone were to read such a tribute, the lack of mentioning Jordan would be more than a glaring omission. It would seem like the writer were deliberately trying to avoid him.

The same thing with this manifesto. Something doesn’t add up.

The Manifesto: American or Australian Spelling Conventions?

Another thing I noticed while reading the document is that the author switches between English spelling conventions haphazardly. At times, his spelling is consistent with the American convention and other times with Australian. Tarrant himself is Australian, so we would expect him to use Australian conventions, or at the very least, we would expect him to be consistent in using one convention or another. But oddly this is not the case.

For example, we read about Australian spelling:

Unlike British English, which is split between -ise and -ize in words such as organise and realise, with -ize favoured by the Oxford English Dictionary and -ise listed as a variant, -ize is rare in Australian English and designated as a variant by the Macquarie Dictionary.

Yet the -ize variant, which is standard in American English, is dominant in the manifesto.

The words using this spelling are: Balkanize, energized, colonize, radicalized, globalized, industrialized, pulverized, commoditized, trivialized, strategize, realize, utilized, finalize, destabilize, deracialized, deculturalized, polarizing.

If you check these words in the official dictionary of Australian English, MacQuarie’s, you can see that the -ise spelling is standard throughout.

manifesto3 bcc6f

 

Another example of American spelling is the use of the word “practice.” In Australian spelling, when used as a noun, practice is spelled with -ice, but when it is used as a verb, such as in practised or practising, the -ise ending is used. Again, MacQuarie’s Dictionary can be consulted to see this distinction.

Yet, in the manifesto, this Australian convention is not followed. The -ice version of practice is used in the verbal form, such as when he writes on page 62:

“This is a tactic practiced not only on the French people, but on all the peoples of Europe, effectively destroying the nations identity at its core and smashing apart all bonds which a successful, unified nation is built upon.”

And also on page 69:

“In the United States, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, the cult of the individual has been practiced for the longest time and with the deepest devotion.”

Now someone might respond to this by saying, well, maybe Tarrant was educated in the US. Maybe he had American teachers when he was first learning how to read and write.

This might be a plausible explanation if it weren’t for the fact that the manifesto also uses Australian conventions for other words like: labour, rumours, colour, honours, endeavours. Also words like scepticism are in the manifesto, which in the American convention is spelled with a ‘k’.

Strangest of all is the case of “favor” and “favour” which are spelled in both the Australian and American versions in the document.

Why would we find these kinds of inconsistencies? Switching between spelling conventions is not something that happens out of sloppiness or haste. The manifesto has minimal spelling errors and the grammar is not too bad.

Perhaps one explanation is he just copy and pasted snippets from the internet and didn’t bother to standardize the spellings throughout. Perhaps. But the psychopaths who write these manifestos put a lot of time and care into their work. They are obsessed with carefully constructing what they hope will be read by millions who they want to inspire to follow their murderous footsteps. The author of this manifesto indicates having such an obsessive personality:

Q: Is this your complete writings and views?

Unfortunately not, there was a much larger work written, roughly 240 pages long that spoke on many issues and went into much depth, but in a moment of unbridled self criticism, I deleted the entire work and started again, two weeks before the attack itself.

I was left with a short period of time to create a new work and only leave my views half finished. I will let my actions speak for themselves.

Would such a self-critical writer resort to copy pasting passages into his magnum opus and overlook numerous spelling irregularities?

Perhaps.

Multiple Shooters

From the beginning of the news reporting, multiple shooters were reported by witnesses and, ultimately, multiple individuals were arrested and even appeared in court.

The Washington Post reports:

Police named Tarrant the primary suspect in what was the deadliest attack in New Zealand’s history — and one of the worst cases of right-wing terrorism in years — after the 28 year-old Australian allegedly stormed two mosques during mid-day prayers on Friday and mowed down dozens of huddling and fleeing worshipers while he streamed the killing live over the internet with a helmet-mounted camera.

Two others have been arrested in connection with the shootings: A second man, 18-year old Daniel John Burrough, was scheduled to appear in court later Saturday and face charges of inciting racial hostility or ill-will. A third accomplice remained unidentified.

They also reported that the court hearing for Tarrant was out of the ordinary:

During [Tarrant’s] hearing, which was closed to the public by Judge Paul Keller in the interest of safety — an unusual move for New Zealand courts — Tarrant did not enter a plea to the murder charge.

Yet the manifesto is written as if it were only written by one person acting alone. The self-asked questions are asked in reference to one person, e.g., “Do you carry out the attack for fame?” And the answers are also in the singular, e.g.,  “But the aftershock from my actions will ripple for years to come.”

Early police reports mentioned three active shooters.

Security analysts were also quoted on Friday saying that, based on the scope of the attack, multiple parties were involved:

3:53pm: Security Analyst Paul Buchanan says he has seen the gunman’s manifesto and the shooting is “clearly a case of a white supremacist”.

He says the shooter would likely have had support in carrying out the attack.

Later news reports mention two other “associates” being arrested along with Tarrant:

Two other people have been arrested, described as the terrorist’s “associates”, while a third who was earlier apprehended is not connected to the attacks.

If all these reports weren’t enough, there is also video footage of what is claimed to be two shooters other than Tarrant:

Was Tarrant acting alone? Or were there other shooters involved?

Christchurch

If this mass killing of 49 Muslims wasn’t carried out by a White Nationalist acting alone, who was responsible? Who would benefit from this? No need to speculate too much for now, as details are still turning up. But some interesting facts about Christchurch are worth citing.

The Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, is known to have had espionage activities in the city.

Talking About Israel

By Philip Giraldi
Source

Ilahn Omar Carlos Latuff c6e3e

recent article by Andrew Sullivan in the New York magazine considers how one might discuss the issue of Israel and its powerful domestic lobby without being accused of anti-Semitism. Sullivan is a keen observer of the dynamics of American political power and the article pretty clearly lays out why the relationship with Israel is poison for the United States, but he cautions that words matter and one has to be careful about the packaging surrounding any critique of the Israel Lobby and its American Jewish supporters.

Sullivan begins with:

“Let’s get this out of the way first: Using the phrases ‘all about the Benjamins’ and ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ when referring to the Israel lobby in D.C., as freshman Democratic representative Ilhan Omar recently did, is anti-Semitic. It should be possible to criticize Washington’s relationship with Israel without deploying crude and freighted language like this.”

And that is precisely where some critics of the Israel-America relationship might have a problem with observers like Sullivan as what for him passes as “crude and freighted” is for others frankness. Okay, “all about the Benjamins” is slang and the implication is that Jewish money is what has corrupted American politics and the media to stifle any honest discussion on Israel-Palestine and to skew U.S. government activity in the Middle East so that it favors what Israel perceives to be its own interests. This process operates right out in the open with Israel-firster Jewish billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban respectively serving as principal donors for the Republican and Democratic parties.

Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson b6f0f

This flood of Jewish money into foreign policy generation has done incalculable damage to the actual interests of the United States as Sullivan, to his credit, makes clear in his article. The point is that politics in America is all about money and Ilhan Omar was quite right to make that connection. Most congress-critters do not love Israel because they honestly like the hordes of lobbyists that it is able to send their way. In fact, many of them privately complain about the pressure, but they do love the campaign donations and the lucrative sinecure jobs in the financial services industry that come with their retirements. And they also know that if they cross Israeli interests while in office they will soon be unemployed.

And as for the “allegiance to a foreign country,” how else does one describe doing everything possible to favor a foreign state at the expense of the nation where one lives? Sullivan himself provides ample evidence in his article that the one-way relationship with Israel inflicts major damage on the United States and that the enabling of that process comes from a disciplined and well-funded lobbying effort that operates at all levels of government and also through the media. Is that not allegiance to a foreign country?

After expressing the “thou shalt nots” regarding Israel, Andrew Sullivan pulls no punches in his article, which should be read in extenso. He writes “The basic facts are not really in dispute. A very powerful lobby deploys the money and passions of its members to ensure that a foreign country gets very, very special treatment from the U.S.” and then goes on to detail exactly how Israel is a major liability to America. He discusses the $3.8 billion it receives annually in spite of the fact that is a wealthy country, its failure to support U.S. foreign policy objectives, its unwillingness to curtail a brutal occupation of the West Bank, its humiliation of President Obama because he entered into an agreement with Iran, and its nearly complete subjugation of Congress, congressional leaders and the White House.

Sullivan fails to mention how Israel also spies on the United States, steals U.S. developed technology and benefits hugely from beneficial trade agreements that kill American jobs. And there are also the “suspected but not proven” issues like Israel’s role in 9/11, its apparent manipulation of Jewish American officials in the Pentagon to start the disastrous 2003 war with Iraq, and its current clandestine agitation for Washington to attack Iran. Jewish billionaires also are the prime sources of “charitable” contributions that feed the illegal settlement outposts on the West Bank populated largely by fundamentalist Jews whose prime mission is to make the lives of their Palestinian neighbors so miserable that they will emigrate. That is sometimes referred to as ethnic cleansing. Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and David Friedman, the key components of the Trump Administration Middle East “peace” team, are all passionate about Israel and have all supported the illegal settlements. Friedman, in particular, has sought to eliminate the word “occupation” from official U.S. government descriptions of the Israeli activity in Palestinian areas.

Andrew Sullivan 1c6fc

And then there is the Israeli predilection to use unarmed Palestinian demonstrators for target practice and to bomb schools and vital infrastructure in Gaza, which once upon a time most Americans would have considered war crimes or crimes against humanity. Sullivan does mention how Congress is willing to pass legislation to restrict freedom of speech if such speech involves criticism of Israel, noting that the very first bill to come up in the Senate after the recent shutdown was supporting the punishment of those who advocate nonviolent boycotting of Israel. He might have added how Israel’s friends at state and local levels are pushing to rewrite world history texts to eliminate any references to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. And holocaust study is becoming mandatory in many U.S. school systems without any suggestion that the standard narrative might be in large part bogus. And then there are the holocaust museums springing up like mushrooms at the taxpayers’ expense. Is it all driven by money and enabled by the power that money buys to propagandize for Israel? And is it maybe just a bit of allegiance to a foreign country? Yes indeed, thank you, Ilhan Omar, for saying so.

All of this warm and fuzzy feeling about Israel did not happen by magic. By one estimate there are 600 Christian and Jewish organizations in the United States that have at least part of their agendas the promotion of the relationship with Israel. Christian Zionists are formidable in numbers but the money, as well as the political and media access that drive the so-called Israel Lobby process, is Jewish. The directors and presidents of those organizations meet regularly and discuss what they can do to help Israel. How does one describe such collusion? Some might prefer to call it a conspiracy.

So how should one view the dystopic nature of the relationship with Israel? No one has ever described it better than America’s first president George Washington. In his Farewell Address he wrote:

“The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest…So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.”

Andrew Sullivan concludes with some optimism and also a warning, which should be heeded: “Can our current controversy lead to a less inhibited debate? I sure hope so. Will that actually happen? All I can say is that AIPAC will wield all the power it can muster to prevent it.” It is, to be sure, AIPAC versus all decent Americans and one has to hope that this time the voice of the people will be heard in defense of the actual interests of the United States of America rather than those of Israel.

97 Year Old Palestinian Speaks About His Battles During The Nakba — Rebel Voice

The Nakba was, as the name suggests, a catastrophe for the people of Palestine. Their villages were destroyed; their population slaughtered in numerous massacres by Zionist fanatics, and their land stolen in a concerted program of ethnic cleansing. Today, some of those who fled the brutality of the foreigners live in refugee camps surrounding their […]

via 97 Year Old Palestinian Speaks About His Battles During The Nakba — Rebel Voice

The Story Of The Nakba, The Ethnic Cleansing Of Palestine By Zionist Fanatics — Rebel Voice

The story of the Nakba (Arabic for Catastrophe) is one of ethnic cleansing and genocidal tendencies as practiced by the foreign Zionists who invaded Palestine from the end of the 19th century until after the conclusion of World War 2. During that torrid time, approximately 800,000 indigenous Palestinians were expelled from their homes by European […]

via The Story Of The Nakba, The Ethnic Cleansing Of Palestine By Zionist Fanatics — Rebel Voice

%d bloggers like this: