How many British MPs are working for ‘israel’?

Israeli London embassy spy Shai Masot

By Jonathan Cook

Aljazeera is to be congratulated on an undercover investigation exposing something most of us could probably have guessed: that some Israeli embassy staff in the UK – let’s not pussy around, Mossad agents – are working with senior political activists and politicians in the Conservative and Labour parties to subvert their own parties from within, and skew British foreign policy so that it benefits Israeli, rather than British, interests.

One cannot really blame Israel for doing this. Most states promote their interests as best they can. But one can and should expose and shame the British politicians who are collaborating with Israel in further harming Britain’s representative democracy.

It is not as though these people cannot be easily identified. They even advertise what they are up to. They are members of the Conservative and Labour Friends of Israel (CFI and LFI respectively). They dominate both parliamentary parties, but especially the Conservatives. According to the CFI’s figures, fully 80 per cent of Tory MPs belong to the party’s Friends of Israel group.

Traitors?

Once, no one would have hesitated to call British politicians acting in the interests of a foreign power, and very possibly taking financial benefits for doing so, “traitors”. And yet, as Aljazeera’s secretly filmed footage shows, Israeli spies like Shai Masot can readily meet and conspire with a Tory minister’s much-trusted aide to discuss how best to “take down” the deputy foreign minister, Alan Duncan, over his criticisms of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories. Maria Strizzolo, Education Minister Robert Halfon’s assistant, suggests engineering a “little scandal” to damage Duncan.

Once, no one would have hesitated to call British politicians acting in the interests of a foreign power, and very possibly taking financial benefits for doing so, “traitors”. 

Masot and Israel’s intelligence services cannot influence British foreign policy through the opposition Labour party, but that doesn’t prevent them from also taking a keen interest in Labour MPs. Masot is filmed talking to Labour Friends of Israel’s chair, Joan Ryan, about “lots of money” – more than GBP 1 million – he has received from the Israeli government to send yet another batch of Labour MPs on an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel, where they will be wined and dined, and primed by top officials to adopt even more extreme pro-Israel positions. LFI is known for sending the largest proportion of MPs to Israel on these kinds of trips.

Labour MP Joan Ryan with Israeli spy Shai Masot

Labour MP Joan Ryan was told by the Israeli spy Shai Masot at the meeting that she could go on an expenses paid trip to Israel

Does that have an effect on British domestic politics. You bet it does! Israel isn’t a charity.

A large number of those who have been making Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s life a misery belong to Labour Friends of Israel. They are the same MPs who have been talking up an “anti-Semitism crisis” in the Labour party – based on zero tangible evidence – since Corbyn became party leader. Were they following the dictates of their conscience? Did they really fear an anti-Semitism plague had suddenly beset their party? Or were they playing deeply cynical politics to oust a leader who supports justice for the Palestinian people and is considered by Israel’s right wing government, which has no interest in making peace with the Palestinians, to be bad news for Israel?

Al Jazeera’s investigation has not been shown yet, so we can rely only on the snippets released so far, either by Aljazeera itself or additional leaks of the investigation provided by the Mail on Sunday.

It is worth listening to a Tory minister in the government of recently departed David Cameron, who writes anonymously in the Mail on Sunday. S/he warns of a double whammy to British politics caused by Israel and its British partisans – one that is starting to approach the damage done to the US political system by Israel.

Agents of Israel

The British government skews its foreign policy to avoid upsetting Jewish donors, s/he says. MPs, meanwhile, act like agents of a foreign power – s/he generously assumes unwittingly – rather than representatives of the British people. Forget international law, these politicians are not even promoting British interests.

Here is what the minister writes:

British foreign policy is in hock to Israeli influence at the heart of our politics, and those in authority have ignored what is going on.

For years the CFI and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) have worked with – even for – the Israeli government and their London embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK government policy and the actions of ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights.

Lots of countries try to force their views on others, but what is scandalous in the UK is that instead of resisting it, successive governments have submitted to it, taken donors’ money, and allowed Israeli influence-peddling to shape policy and even determine the fate of ministers.

Even now, if I were to reveal who I am, I would be subjected to a relentless barrage of abuse and character assassination…

It now seems clear people in the Conservative and Labour parties have been working with the Israeli embassy, which has used them to demonise and trash MPs who criticise Israel; an army of Israel’s useful idiots in Parliament.

This is politically corrupt, and diplomatically indefensible. The conduct of certain MPs needs to be exposed as the poisonous and deceitful infiltration of our politics by the unwitting agents of another country …

We need a full inquiry into the Israeli embassy, the links, access and funding of the CFI and LFI.

It is rare that I agree with a Tory government minister, but such an inquiry cannot come too soon.

An indictment of the UK media

Note too that it is an indictment of the UK media that Aljazeera, rather than the British fourth estate, has exposed Israel’s moves to subvert the British political system. It is not as though reporters from the BBC, the Guardian, the Timesand the Mail haven’t had ministers like the one above complaining to them for years about interference from Israel. So, why did they not long ago send in undercover teams to expose this collusion between Israel and British MPs?

Here we have documented evidence of the Israeli government secretly plotting with “friendly” British MPs to oust a British government minister. Will we… have weeks of coverage of this story in the UK media, or will it be quickly filed away and forgotten?

We have had weeks of stories about the supposed efforts of Russia and Putin to subvert the US election, without a hint yet of any evidence, and based on a central allegation against the Russians that they compromised the election result by releasing truthful information about wrongdoing in the Democratic Party. Russian diplomats have been expelled based on these evidence-free claims, and President Obama has vowed to take other, covert action against Russia.

Here we have documented evidence of the Israeli government secretly plotting with “friendly” British MPs to oust a British government minister. If that isn’t interference in the British political system, I don’t know what is. Will we similarly have weeks of coverage of this story in the UK media, or will it be quickly filed away and forgotten?

And will any action beyond the removal of Masot be demanded by the British government? It seems unlikely. The Foreign Office has already issued a statement saying that, following Masot’s dismissal, it considers the matter closed.

Advertisements

How Much Pro-Israel Money Politicians Attacking Ilhan Omar Received

March 31, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

How Much Money Israel Lobby Gave Politicians Attacking Ilhan Omar. You watch this entertaining video and make up your mind as to whether it is about the ‘Benjamins’ or not…

Kamala Harris skips AIPAC conference — but AIPAC comes to her! — Mondoweiss — Rebel Voice

Democratic Senator, Kamala Harris, is a presidential candidate for the next run out. She is making waves with her apparently fearless desire to take on the corrupt status quo. But is she all that she would like us to believe? Harris has stated that she will not be prostrating herself (Rebel Voice‘s words) before AIPAC, […]

via Kamala Harris skips AIPAC conference — but AIPAC comes to her! — Mondoweiss — Rebel Voice

Gaza Bombs Tel Aviv Again: “Israel” on Alert

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ authorities confessed that a long-range rocket launched from the Gaza Strip has struck near Tel Aviv in the center of the occupation entity, wounding seven Zionist settlers. 

The early morning operation on Mishmeret, an agricultural town north of Tel Aviv, came a day after Zionist warplanes bombed the besieged enclave ahead of the anniversary of Gaza border protests at the weekend.

In this respect, the Palestinian Information Center reported that two missiles struck the heart of the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories early on Monday. The attack destroyed a building, leaving at least seven ‘Israeli’ settlers injured.

‘Israelis’ reported an explosion, highlighting the failure of the Zionist entity’s much-hyped Iron Dome missile system to intercept the rocket, with ‘Israeli’ media reporting wide complains among settlers because sirens didn’t go off before the rocket hit its target.

The multi-billion-dollar system was dealt another blow during the latest military flare-up in November, when Hamas fired more than 460 rockets at the occupied lands in less than 24 hours in response to ‘Israeli’ aggression.

Tel Aviv and outlying towns had last come under such an attack during the 2014 war on Gaza. A week and a half ago, two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv from the Gaza Strip but the ‘Israeli’ military said they had been launched accidentally.

In wake of the operation, Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking a fifth term in next month’s ballot, was in Washington on Monday for the annual AIPAC conference and due to meet US President Donald Trump.

However, after he was informed about the rocket fire, his office announced that he is planning to cut short his trip after his meeting with Trump later on Monday.

He called for a consultation with chiefs of the military, Shin Bet and other senior security officials via telephone, according to his office.

Earlier on Sunday, ‘Israeli’ tanks shelled Gaza after “incendiary balloons” were launched across the fence throughout the evening, the military said. The day before, ‘Israeli’ warplanes struck southern Gaza Strip.

Gaza has been under ‘Israeli’ siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards. The Zionist entity has launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.

Related Videos

Related News

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.

This Is How AIPAC Really Works

This Is How AIPAC Really Works
by M.J. Rosenberg

An AIPAC and Capitol Hill veteran explains the lobby’s tactics of reward and retribution.

Senators at AIPAC

US. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (right) join hands as they take the stage to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, on March 1, 2015. (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

One thing that should be said about Representative Ilhan Omar’s tweet about the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (more commonly known as AIPAC, or the “Israel lobby”) is that the hysterical reaction to it proved her main point: The power of AIPAC over members of Congress is literally awesome, although not in a good way. Has anyone ever seen so many members of Congress, of both parties, running to the microphones and sending out press releases to denounce one first-termer for criticizing the power of… a lobby?

Somehow, I don’t think the reaction would have been the same if she had tweeted that Congress still supports the ethanol subsidy because the American Farm Bureau and other components of the corn/ethanol lobby spend millions to keep this agribusiness bonanza going (which they do). Or that if she had opposed the ethanol subsidy, she would have been accused of hating farmers.

That’s American politics; the only difference between all the domestic lobbies that essentially buy support for their agenda is that AIPAC is working for a foreign government, a distinction but not much of a difference when the goal is to maintain a status quo that is not necessarily in the national interest.

What did Omar tweet that was so terrible, anyway? Actually it was two tweets that produced the unsettling but oh-so-telling coming together of President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in common denunciation of the first-term member of Congress. Omar’s crime: daring to suggest that campaign contributions orchestrated by AIPAC play a large part in achieving bipartisan support for anything proposed by the Israeli government and/or its lobby, AIPAC.

This is, of course, something everyone knows and which even a former president of AIPAC once admitted in a conversation that was recorded by an interlocutor. In fact, as early as 1988, 60 Minutes did a segment on how AIPAC divvies up the money. (Moreover, I, as an employee of the lobby from 1973 to 1975 and 1982 to 1986, repeatedly and personally witnessed the whole process of funding and defunding, which is anything but a secret within the organization. Additionally, I spent close to 20 years as a legislative assistant to Democratic House and Senate members and saw AIPAC’s tactics of reward and retribution from that vantage point too.)

Officially, of course, AIPAC does not engage in political fundraising; it would be illegal for it to do so, and the lobby is vehement on the point that it doesn’t. And it is true that, to my knowledge, it does not directly raise money to support or defeat candidates. But that is just a technicality. Political fundraising is a huge part of AIPAC’s operation. One of the three top positions in its massive Washington, DC, headquarters is that of political director, who runs both the Washington political operation (his annual salary is over $450,000) and deputy regional directors around the country. Here is how AIPAC describes what these officials do, as described in a “help wanted” description for a Los Angeles deputy regional political director:

  • Help track House and Senate races in the region
  • Assist with planning and executing local Congressional Club events and Congressional Club components in local events
  • Attend and assist in regional events
  • Establish and maintain contact with House and Senate campaigns to assist in the scheduling of candidate meetings and facilitate the submission of position papers
  • Solicit financial support for AIPAC’s Annual Campaign
  • Conduct candidate meetings
  • Research, track and record FEC and polling data
  • Work with colleagues to increase pro-Israel political participation in the region (Solicit Congressional Club commitments)
  • Assist with AIPAC legislative grassroots mobilizations
  • Assist with scheduling and organizing of caucuses in the regions and lobbying appointments during the AIPAC Policy Conference
  • Assist with the integration of AIPAC’s activist bases in the Jewish and Outreach communities
  • Promote participation at local and national AIPAC events including regional events and national political training conferences
  • Research, gather and deliver information requested by pro-Israel political activists
  • Other duties as assigned

Not mentioned is what all the information is used for: political fundraising. That means making sure that pro-Israel PACs know what to do with their money. And making sure that individual donors know what to do with theirs. That is why AIPAC has a large national political operation. If it were not in the money-distribution business, it would simply rely on its legislative department to lobby for and draft legislation for members of Congress. Nor would its political director make a half-million dollars a year. In short, AIPAC’s political operation is used precisely as Representative Omar suggested.

Again, I know this because I witnessed it over and over again. I sat in AIPAC staff meetings at which the political director discussed whom “we” would be supporting in this campaign and whom “we” were going to “destroy” in that one. I also sat in on meetings at AIPAC’s huge annual policy conference, attended by as many as 20,000 AIPAC members and virtually the entire Congress, at which fundraising pitches were made.

AIPAC, of course, denies that anyone raises money at its policy conference. And it’s true. No one does… in the official AIPAC rooms. However, there are also the side rooms, nominally independent of the main event but just down the hall, where candidates and invited donors (only the really wealthy donors get the invites) meet and decide which candidate will get what. This arrangement is almost a metaphor for the whole AIPAC fundraising operation. The side rooms are nominally not AIPAC, so AIPAC can deny that any fundraising takes place at their conference. But in fact, they are the most exclusive venues in the country for candidates to raise money in the name of advancing the AIPAC cause.

AIPAC denies fundraising precisely the way Captain Renault in the film Casablanca declared he was “shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on” in his establishment. As he is saying it, one of the club’s crooks hands him a wad of cash, saying, “Your winnings, sir.”

Same with AIPAC: “We don’t donate to campaigns. Here’s your check.” Or, more usually, a bundle of checks that are not traceable back to AIPAC because, on paper at least, they come from individuals who like a candidate’s stand on Israel or Iran sanctions (as told to them by AIPAC’s political operatives).

So enough about AIPAC’s fundraising denials, which insult the intelligence of anyone who hears them. Except, check this out: Political activist Ady Barkan describes how a congressional candidate he worked for scored $5,000 from an AIPAC representative just by promising to support AIPAC’s pet issues. Easy money!

Back to Representative Omar. The first tweet, which resulted in ominous storm clouds over her head, was her response to a journalist who asked, by tweet of course, what accounted for such fierce defense of a foreign country by US political leaders even if it meant attacking the free-speech rights of Americans. Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” breezily referring to $100 bills. This was bad enough, suggesting that campaign contributions plays a part in AIPAC’s success at garnering support for legislation that reads like it’s written by the Likud Central Committee.

But that was nothing compared to the monsoon of invective produced by her response to a reporter from the Jewish newspaper Forward, Batya Ungar-Sargon, who (again in a tweet) disingenuously asked Omar who she thought is “paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.”

Even before Omar responded “AIPAC!” Ungar-Sargon had resorted to the lobby’s (and its media friends’) favorite tactic when exposed or criticized: charging Omar with anti-Semitism; specifically, for using what Ungar-Sargon described as an “anti-Semitic trope.” That opened the floodgates for the full “she’s an anti-Semite!” onslaught. One by one, other Jewish organizations weighed in (AIPAC is designated by virtually all the mainstream Jewish organizations as their official lobby, and they invariably jump when AIPAC tells them to). And then AIPAC’s congressional enforcers weighed in, led by Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, who has been AIPAC’s man on the House floor for decades, Pelosi, and others. They all said the same thing: that Omar’s tweet was anti-Semitic, with many adopting Ungar-Sargon’s characterization of Omar’s words as “an anti-Semitic trope,” by which they seem to mean using the words “Jewish” and “money” in the same tweet.

But that is not what Omar said. She wasn’t even talking about Israel per se. When asked whom she is accusing of buying members of Congress, Omar responded with one word: AIPAC. Period.

And here’s the thing: AIPAC is not synonymous with Jews. By its own admission, AIPAC has 100,000 members out of an American Jewish population of about 6 million. Of that number, most are Jewish but, as it proudly proclaims, many are evangelical (and other) Christians. Implying that criticizing the power of a predominantly Jewish organization is anti-Semitic is like saying that those who point to the Catholic Church’s pedophile scandal are anti-Catholic, or that condemning violent Islamist extremists is tantamount to hating Muslims. It is ridiculous. It is also clever, because it deters legitimate criticism of Israel or, God forbid, of the lobby by sending a clear message to politicians that any such criticism will cost them mightily. Watching what the lobby and its acolytes, in Congress and out, are saying about Omar would cause anyone in politics to think long and hard before saying anything at all about Israel, other than the effusive statements of praise AIPAC wants. And that is the lobby’s goal: to ensure that Congress never questions Israel about anything, that it just shuts up and keeps the billions of dollars in aid coming. And above all, without conditions, like requiring Israel to take steps to end the occupation, the blockade of Gaza, or to grant equal rights to Palestinians inside Israel and in the occupied territories.

The only thing wrong with Ilhan’s tweets about AIPAC is the seeming suggestion that money is all there is behind US support for Israel. There are many, many reasons why the United States supports the existence of the State of Israel and the security of its people. One of them has always been the Holocaust, which demonstrated that Jews do need a secure refuge because, as has been dramatically illustrated in the United States since the rise of Donald Trump, anti-Semitism remains a contagion that can infect a xenophobic population anywhere. Tell me that there is no need for a Jewish state anymore, and I’ll point to the massacre at the kosher supermarket in Paris or, even more frightening, the slaughter of 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh (the worst act of anti-Jewish terrorism in the history of the United States).

But believing that Israel has every right to exist in peace is not the same as saying that it should continue to occupy or blockade Palestinian lands or deny full democratic rights to the people who live there. It does not mean that we should enact laws that penalize people who choose to boycott Israel because they oppose its policies toward the Palestinians. It does not mean that we should continue to support members of Congress who refuse to put conditions on our aid to Israel, just as we impose conditions on other congressional appropriations, including those that go to our own states and local governments. It certainly does not mean that we have to embrace AIPAC’s number-one priority of recent years: preventing and then destroying President Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran simply because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers to deter an Iranian nuclear bomb through war (preferably an American attack) rather than diplomacy.

No, supporting Israel has very little, if anything, to do with keeping quiet about the dangers represented by its out-of-control lobby. In fact, it more likely represents the opposite. AIPAC is bad for America, but it could well be catastrophic for Israel, if it hasn’t been already. This is something more and more Jews (particularly the young) now understand, which is why groups like J Street, IfNotNow, Americans For Peace Now, and Jewish Voice for Peace have come to the fore in recent years and have grabbed their share of the congressional turf, which was once exclusively owned by AIPAC. Joining them are the newly energized Arab American Institute and a significant new player, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, as well as various Palestinian student groups which are ensuring that Palestinian voices are heard, sometimes in concert with the progressive Jewish groups and sometimes on their own. But finally heard.

The bottom line is that despite all the congressional denunciations of Omar and the hysterical denials that AIPAC buys support for Israel with its “Benjamins,” the times are changing. On February 5, when AIPAC’s “Combating BDS” bill passed the Senate, 22 Democrats voted against it. That is a decent number, but the real sign that AIPAC’s power is on the wane is that every Democratic senator who is a candidate for president (except Amy Klobuchar) voted No. They voted No because they are seeking to win support from the Democratic grassroots, which, naturally enough, skews younger and younger, more and more progressive, and less and less white, leading naturally enough to more sympathy for Palestinians and less for Netanyahu’s Israel. That wouldn’t have happened before 2016, when Bernie Sanders embraced Palestinians and their cause as part of his coalition and not only did not lose support because of it but gained it. By 2020, it will be close to impossible for any Democrat to claim the progressive mantle while aligning with AIPAC.

For now, with the Baby Boomers still the most influential segment of the population, AIPAC is holding its own, even happily raising money over the whole Omar incident. But its future looks dim, especially its post-Trump future. And that is very good news.

 

Zionism Contradicts Judaism

Zionism Contradicts Judaism

New York historian, journalist, and lecturer, Alfred M. Lilienthal, was the leading 20th century American Jewish spokesman against the Zionist project of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. His views gained a wide audience in the United States when his essay, “Israel’s Flag Is Not My Flag,” was published in the September 1949 Reader’s Digest. The following is an excerpt from that article, which was written in the form of a letter to his mother:

The plain fact is that we Jews are not a race and we should not let the Zionists persuade us that we are. Proof to the contrary lies in Palestine, plain for all to see. You had my letter, Mother, from my Army furlough there. I was second to none in my enthusiasm for. what my co-religionists had done for a desert brought to bloom, for clean new cities rising out of age-old sand dunes. All of these wonders had come to pass while only a few fanatics talked of statehood. One evening I went to see a performance of an opera in Jerusalem. In that theater lobby you could distinguish almost at a glance the Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazic Jew from Poland, the Spanish-speaking Sephardic Jew from North Africa or Turkey, the German Jew, Jews from a score of countries all differing in dress, language, manners and mental attitudes. I had visual proof of the arguments of anthropologists. who laugh at the notion of a distinct Jewish race.

Anyone who tells me those foreign Jews are exclusively my people that I should be closer to them than to Bob McCormick, the kid on the block with whom I used to play ball: or to Nick Galbraith, who roomed next to me at Cornell; or Dave Du Vivier with whom I studied in law school that man is talking dangerous nonsense. I have also learned, Mother, that when something. goes wrong in my relations with non-Jews. I avoid the habit of thinking that it happened just because I am a Jew. Such self-pity is comforting, but it is usually wrong and therefore dangerous.

It is dangerous, indeed, because it is precisely the sort of paranoia and us-against-the-world mentality upon which the very dangerous little state of Israel is founded. Take it from Lilienthal, as bad ideas go, this Israel foolishness has to be just about the worst.

The sentiments that Lilienthal expressed in that article, I dare say, were also the sentiments of a very large proportion of American Jews at the time. It is certainly the sort of sensible approach to the Israel issue that I encountered among the first group of Jews that I rubbed shoulders with in graduate school at the University of North Carolina, 1968-1972. In my first year I shared an apartment with two of them and my office mate was also Jewish for most of the time I was there. Several other of my student colleagues in the economics department were also Jewish, as were a few of my professors. Almost all of them were sort of standard left-liberal in their politics and as a consequence their sentiments probably leaned naturally toward the plight of the native Palestinians. The one exception was a professor for whom I was a teaching assistant for one semester, and I was amazed by his extreme Zionist, Israel-first attitude. It was really a brand-new experience for me, and I frankly found it shocking. My thought at the time—which I dared not express to him—was that he was really living in the wrong country. In fact, his son, he told me, was planning to emigrate to Israel. From my admittedly very small sample, I got the impression that his views were that of a quite small minority of American Jews.

Perhaps Lilienthal’s best known book is the brief little 1969 volume, What Price Israel? The reviewing customer, Herbert Fleschner, of Washington, DC, sums it up very well:

This highly intelligent, well-educated man was Jewish. He was strictly against the creation of the State of Israel and said that it would spawn great problems in the Middle East. So it has. The Zionist creators of the State of Israel operated by lies, deception, trickery, subterfuge, and even harassed their own Jewish people in order to force them to immigrate to Palestine. They even had the power to manipulate the delegates of the United Nations who made recommendations for this situation at that time. Enter King David Hotel Bombing into your search engine, and you will discover Menachem Begin, former Prime Minister of Israel, was a Zionist terrorist, who masterminded this bombing, resulting in the death of a great number of people, including the British High Command whose job it was to keep law and order under the British Mandate. An excellent read for those of you who are not afraid to discover the truth. Remember, Lilienthal was Jewish.

He might also have suggested a search of “Menachem Begin Deir Yassin Massacre” to get a bit more of the flavor of the terrorist role that Begin played in the creation of the state of Israel. One of the better articles one comes up with is “Deir Yassin: The Massacre that Sparked the Nakba” by Britt Wilkins on Counterpunch.

The Zionist Connection II

One can also learn quite a bit about Deir Yassin and its foundational importance to Israel in Chapter Five, entitled “What Palestinians?”, of Lilienthal’s 1978, 904-page magnum opusThe Zionist Connection II: What Price Peace? The flavor of that book is well-captured by the opening of his 24th and penultimate chapter, which is headed by a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.”

In a controversial 1970 Commentary article, Robert Alter raised a most basic question:

Does a Jewish state belong in an area where, even as late as 1947, the majority of the population was Arab? How can Israel be imagined, even in the most diffuse sense, as a continuation of the moral heritage of Judaism if its existence depends upon a manifest historical injustice? (link added)

That Judaic heritage is clear and unmistakable and has been unwavering. Where Zionism is particularist and segregationalist, Judaism has been universalist and integrationalist. Judaism, like its offspring monotheistic faiths, Christianity and Islam, has always represented a moral choice, a spiritual link between man and his Creator in whose ethos there is little room for narrow chauvinism. Whereas Zionism staked its claim to a land that had not belonged to Jews for 2,000 years, Judaism’s power to survive has always depended on its being unrelated to any particular geographic tract. The Jews were chosen by the Lord neither to possess a specific piece of land nor to be favored over others of his children. They were selected for the task of spreading the message that there is one and only one God.

In exchanging their birthright for the “mess” of statehood, and staking the future of American Judaism on the roulette of power politics, Jewish leaders surrendered to the noxious dualism of religion and nationalism.

Fifty years ago, these same Jews had vigorously opposed being classified with Italian, Germans, Czechs, French, etc. on an ethnic basis rather than with Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Muslims, etc., as a religious community. But with the triumph of the Zionist revival in Palestine, the ethnicity of the Jew elsewhere shifted; and without protest the subtle transmutation from Jewish Americans, a religious grouping, into American Jews, an ethnic-national entity, was accomplished. (link added)

To conceal the dual national attachment, the link with Israel was passed off as a religious tie, the worship of Israelism increasingly supplanting Judaism. It was much simpler to write a check to the UJA, and pleasanter than to attend synagogue services. The new idolatry had no time for immutable principles and universal values. Jews accepted situations they otherwise would have rejected, but now welcomed in the name of Israel. (link added)

Opposed to violence and war, Jews accepted Israel’s acts of military might and aggression. Opposed to union of church and state, they accepted such a unity wherever Israel was involved. Long dedicated to integration into the body politic, they moved toward separateness and segregation. Judaistic tradition had placed its followers alongside those who struggled against the limitation of human and civil rights. In the name of Israelism, they sanctioned the suppression of Palestinian Arab civil and human rights within Israel proper and in the occupied territories. Expressed another way, Jews have come to lose their own traditional universal, human ethos through their identification with Israelism. Intellectual and staunch defenders of Israel Arthur Waskow noted pertinently, “and it’s not just politics the Jewish institutions want to avoid; it’s God, too. Try talking of God to a rabbi!—he’s too busy trying to raise money for Israel or the synagogue mortgage.”

Many people might be surprised to learn that today there are still quite a few people who call themselves Jews who think like Lilienthal did. They, like he, would agree that modern-day Israel exemplifies the sort of behavior that the prophets of the Old Testament deplored among the descendants of Abraham. The largest organized group of such people call themselves Neturei Karta. The following is from the “About Us” section of their web site:

The true Jews are against dispossessing the Arabs of their land and homes. According to the Torah, the land should be returned to them.

Neturei Karta deplore the systematic uprooting of ancient Jewish communities by the Zionists, the shedding of Jewish and non-Jewish blood for the sake of Zionist sovereignty and the Neturei Karta favor a peaceful transition from the present Zionist rule to a non-Zionist entity.

According to Judaic Law the Torah has the last word. There is no such thing as a majority of Jews who happen to be Jewish by birth who can alter Torah Law in any way. In fact even the greatest rabbi or as Maimonides writes, “even the greatest prophet” [referring actually to an authentic prophet], has no right to distort or amend even one letter of the Torah.

Rabbi Blau stated shortly before his death that the acceptance by the United Nations of the Zionist state as a member state constituted a grave injustice to the Jewish people. Neturei Karta hope that this great error will be corrected at the earliest opportunity. The Neturei Karta regret that the Zionist state has usurped the holy name of Israel and that the Zionists so often pretend to speak in the name of the Jewish people and assume the right to act on our behalf. Only those rabbis who have not been affected or influenced by the poison of Zionism, can be considered the spiritual leaders of today’s Jewry.

The world must know that the Zionists have illegitimately seized the name Israel and have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people!

The United States really ought to be just about the last place where the Zionist ideology should resonate. The foundational premise for the creation of the state of Israel in the heart of the Arab world is that Jews are discriminated against in countries where they are minorities and in danger of even worse things happening to them, and therefore they must have a state of their own. Nowhere is this premise more absurd than in the United States, which has especially been a land of opportunity for Jews. The statement submitted to the Versailles Peace Conference at the end of World War I by a group of prominent U.S. Jews was, as a consequence, quite representative of Jewish sentiment in the country at the time:

As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly be considered by the approaching Peace Conference, we, the undersigned citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting forth our objections to the organization of a Jewish State in Palestine as proposed by the Zionist Societies in this country and Europe and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit in any country.

We feel that in so doing we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of 3,500,000. (American Jewish Year Book, 1918, Philadelphia).

At the outset we wish to indicate our entire sympathy with the efforts of Zionists which aim to secure for Jews at present living in lands of oppression a refuge in Palestine or elsewhere, where they may freely develop their capabilities and carry on their activities as free citizens.

But we raise our voices in warning and protest against the demand of the Zionists for the reorganisation of the Jews as a national unit, to whom, now or in the future, territorial sovereignty in Palestine shall be committed. This demand not only misrepresents the trend of the history of the Jews, who ceased to be a nation 2000 years ago, but involves the limitation and possible annulment of the larger claims of Jews for full citizenship and human rights in all lands in which those rights are not yet secure. For the very reason that the new era upon which the world is entering aims to establish government everywhere on principles of true democracy, we reject the Zionistic project of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”.

Zionism arose as a result of the intolerable conditions under which Jews have been forced to live in Russia and Roumania. But it is evident that for the Jewish population of these countries, variously estimated at from six to ten millions, Palestine can become no homeland. Even with the improvement of the neglected condition of this country, its limited area can offer no solution. The Jewish question in Russia and Roumania can be settled only within those countries by the grant of full rights of citizenship to Jews.

We are all the more opposed to the Zionists, because they, themselves, distinctly repudiate the solely ameliorative program. They demand and hail with delight the “Balfour Declaration” to establish “a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”, i.e., a home not merely for Jews living in countries in which they are oppressed, but for Jews universally. No Jew, wherever he may live, can consider himself free from the implications of such a grant.

Leading British and French Anti-Zionists

That very cynical war measure known as the Balfour Declaration, designed to enlist world Jewry on its side by promising other people’s land to the Jews, hardly had the overwhelming support of British Jews, either. The one Jewish member of the British cabinet at the time, Edwin Montagu, was, in fact, about as anti-Zionist as Lilienthal, as we see from his observations here:

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman. I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to be inconceivable that Zionism should be officially recognised by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the “national home of the Jewish people”. I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mahommedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.

Montagu’s prediction was absolutely accurate with respect to what Zionism has meant for the Muslim and Christian residents of Palestine. The consequent rise of ill will toward Jews in other countries that he foresaw, however, has been forestalled by something that he could hardly have envisioned, that is the creation of the “Holocaustianity” religion, which we shall discuss later, and by the sheer power of money to control public opinion.

Perhaps the most prominent Jewish political figure in France at the time of the Dreyfus Affair around the end of the 19th century was Chamber of Deputies member, Joseph Reinach. His crystal ball at that time with respect to the prospects for Zionism might have been a bit faulty, but he took a similar view to Montagu’s in an article in the newspaper, Le Figaro:

The sole result of this campaign, which in any case is destined for a pitiful failure, would be to give the impression…that those Frenchmen who belong to the Jewish faith are subordinating the idea of the fatherland to I cannot imagine what sort of solidarity which existed in a vague way during barbarous times, which was prevalent no doubt at the origin of civilized societies, but which in modern societies is an anachronism.

Unfortunately, that vicious anachronism is ruling the roost these days. Lilienthal attributes its pivotal rise in the dominant world power coming out of World War II, the United States, to the wave of Jewish immigrants in the early part of the 20th century from Eastern Europe, where they were accustomed to living in a separate “state within a state.” They brought with them, in a word, the ghetto mentality. They might have been virtually all descendants of Khazarian converts to Judaism and not blood heirs to ancient Israel, but they bought heavily into the tribal “chosen people” idea. Arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz unintentionally revealed the controlling mentality on Fox News in an interview. My grandmother, born in Poland, always wanted to know, he said, “Is it good for the Jews?”

It is not said, but what is implied, is that nobody else and nothing else counts for anything. That is the precise opposite of the universalist sentiment that Lilienthal extols in the Judaism that he embraces, but, unfortunately, it tends to represent the Judaism of the shtetl that so many 20th century immigrants brought with them to the United States.

The Zionist success in the U.S. has also been made possible by the strategic use of money. A case in point, as we learn from Lilienthal, is the transformation of the Jewish-owned New York Times from anti-Zionist to pro-Zionist. They were among the last holdouts in the early 1940’s until succumbing to a massive boycott from their major advertisers, without whose support they would have gone out of business. From that time on they have been little more than propagandists for Israel, just like all the other heavily Jewish-controlled major news organs.

Most recently, the newly elected Muslim Congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, in observing the power of Jewish money in influencing lawmakers, has illustrated the power of money in controlling the news media. They all ganged up on her, calling her anti-Semitic for noting what everyone knows is true. What is illustrated here is that she just didn’t go nearly far enough when she just blamed Jewish money for its power over Republicans. They wield the same power over American politicians of all political stripes and over the news media as well, across the political spectrum.

Why are the Democrats so Russophobic these days other than the fact that Russia is thwarting Israeli ambitions in Syria and in the Middle East generally? The card that the Zionists are predictably playing against her is what Lilienthal calls “anti-anti-Semitism.” They use it like a gun, and, says Lilienthal, “Who is strong enough to remove the gun ever-pointed at the White House by the combined hands of supine politicians, the controlled media and the Zionist lobby?” (p. 808, The Zionist Connection II) The only shortcoming in his observation is that it’s not just the White House at which it is aimed, and he implies that it is only a figurative gun.

Lilienthal also says that it is “Israelism” that has replaced Judaism as the religion of many Jewish Americans. One might say that it is just a subcategory or a supporting tenet of Israelism, but the actual faux religion that has replaced Judaism and they would have it replace Christianity and other religions as well, is what Jérôme Bourbon, the editor of the Paris weekly, Rivarol, calls “Holocaustianity”:

Not only did Professor [Robert] Faurisson by his research and famous phrase of 60 words threaten the ideological foundations of the world order issuing from World War II, but he also called in question the religion, or counter-religion, of “Holocaustianity.” It is a veritable religion, demanding respect and submission. Its false god requires a homage of adoration, a constant burning of incense before it, a flame to be lit like at Yad Vashem, flowers to be offered, and wailing to go up to Heaven, like at the pilgrimages and processions to Auschwitz and elsewhere, while people must beat their breast, crying out “Never again.”

“Holocaustianity,” taught from primary school to the end of one’s days, by television, cinema and every form of entertainment, does in fact ape all features of the Catholic religion. It has its martyrs (the Six Million), its Saints (Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank), its miracles (“Holocaust” survivors), its stigmatists (tattooed camp-inmates), its pilgrimages (to Auschwitz, etc.), its temples and cathedrals (“Holocaust” museums and memorials), its alms-giving to obtain pardon (never-ending reparation payments to Israel and to “Holocaust” survivors), its relics (camp inmates’ teeth, hair, shoes, etc.), its lives of the Saints (books by Elie WieselAnne Frank, etc.), its torture chambers (gas-chambers), its Gospel (the verdict of the post-war Nuremberg military tribunal), its High Priests and Pontiffs (Simon Wiesenthal), its Inquisition (anti-Revisionist civil law-courts), its laws against blasphemy (strictly forbidding any questioning of the “Holocaust”), its Holy City (modern Jerusalem), its preachers and guardians (all instructors and associations in politics, the media, religion, trade unions, sports and economics), its religious Congregations (World Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith, AIPAC, etc., etc.), its Hell (for all nationalists – except Israelis! –, all revisionists, all believers in the deicide and in the New Testament replacing the Old, etc.), and its faithful (almost all of mankind).

However, not only does “Holocaustianity” ape Christianity, it also turns it inside out: instead of love, hate; instead of truth, lies; instead of forgiveness, Talmudic vengeance; instead of respect for elders, the hunting down of aged camp-guards; instead of the spirit of poverty, the pursuit of reparation payments; instead of humility, the drive to dominate; instead of sharing, the pursuit of personal gain, instead of charity, blackmail: instead of respect for others, lynching: instead of quiet and discretion, publicity and noisy accusations in the media; instead of the boundless justice of God, the brazen injustice of conquerors setting themselves up as judges of the conquered, and so on and so on. (links added)

David Martin

%d bloggers like this: