The Power of Israel in the United States by James Petras

Excerpts from the bookThe Power of Israel in the United Statesby James Petras | Clarity Press, 2006, paper

former President Ariel Sharon once boasted, regarding his influence over President Bush
“We have the US under our control”.

J.J. Goldberg in his book, Jewish Power Inside the Jewish Establishment based on data in the early, 1990’s, noted that 45 percent of the fundraising for the Democratic Party and 25 percent of the funding for the Republicans came from Jewish-funded Political Action Committees (PACs).

A more recent survey by Richard Cohen of the Washington Post shows higher figures: 60 percent of Democratic financing comes from Jewish pro-Israel PACs and 35 percent of the Republican fundraising.

No single other lobby including Big Pharma, Big Oil and Agro-business plays such a dominant financial role in party funding.

The basis of the [Jewish] Lobby’s PAC power is rooted in the high proportion of Jewish families among the wealthiest families in the United States. According to Forbes, 25 to 30 percent of US multi-millionaires and billionaires are Jewish. If we add the contributions to the Lobby by Jewish-Canadian billionaires with assets worth over 30 percent of the Canadian Stock Market, we can realize the scope and depth of the Lobby’s power to dictate Middle East policy to Congress and the Executive.

A poll in Israel, published by the liberal newspaper Haaretz showed that 68 percent of Israeli Jews reject living near an Arab. Surveys show repeatedly that nearly half of Israeli Jews favor the forced emigration of Arabs from Palestine.

The power of Israel is based on that of the Diaspora, the highly structured and politically and economically powerful Jewish networks which have direct and indirect access to the centers of power and propaganda in the most powerful imperial country in the world. Tribute is exacted via the influence of these ‘internal colonialists” who operate at the level of mass media opinion makers and via Congress and the Presidency. Close to 60 percent of Democratic Party funding and 35 percent of Republican Party funding comes from pro-Israeli Jews.

Who Finances the State of Israel?

The question of who is financing the Israeli state is basic because Israel as we know it today is not a viable state without massive external support. As the July 2004 updated Congressional Research Service Issue Brief for Congress titled “Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance” points out in its opening statement: “Israelis not economically self-sufficient, and relies on foreign assistance and borrowing to maintain its economy. 1126 Despite what might seem an insurmountable obstacle not just to Israel’s prosperity, but to its sustainability, the country has nonetheless done rather well. Billions of dollars are raised from a variety of Jewish and non-Jewish institutions to sustain the Israeli war machine, its policy of generous subsidies for Jews enticed to settle in colonies in the Occupied Territories and in Israel-sufficient to place the country as the world’s 28th highest in living standards for Israel’s Jewish citizens.

Without external aid Israel’s economy would require severe cutbacks in living standards and working conditions, leading to the likely flight of most Israeli professionals, businessmen, and recent overseas immigrants. The Israeli military budget would be reduced and Israel would be obligated to reduce its military interventions in the Arab East and the Occupied Territories. Israel would cease being a rentier state living on overseas subsidies and would be obligated to engage in productive activity-a return to farming, manufacture and services minus the exploitation of low paid Asian maids, imported Eastern European farm workers, and Palestinian construction laborers.

Europe continues to privilege the importation of Israeli exports and financial services, despite overt and malicious attacks by leaders of both Israeli parties. Prominent Jewish organizations linked to major parties in France and England have muted any efforts to use the “trade card” to pressure Israel to accept European Union or United Nations mediation. European trade and financial ties to Israel however are not the basic prop for the Israeli war machine. The principle basis for long-term, large-scale financial support is found in the US, among public and private institutions.

In the United States there are essentially four basic sources of financial, ideological and political support for the Israeli rentier economy:

1. Wealthy Jewish contributors and powerful disciplined fund-raising organizations.

2. The US government-both Congress and the Presidency.

3. The mass media, particularly the New York Times, Hollywood, and the major television networks.

4. The trade union bosses and the heads of pension funds.

There is substantial overlap in these four institutional configurations. For example, Jewish supporters in the Israeli lobby work closely with Congressional leaders to secure long-term, large-scale US military and economic aid for Israel. Most of the mass media and a few trade unions are influenced by unconditional supporters of the Israeli war machine. Pro-Israel Jews are disproportionately represented in the financial, political, professional, academic, real estate, insurance and mass media sectors of the American economy. While Jews are a minority

in each and every one of these categories, their disproportionate power and influence stems from the fact that they function collectively: they are organized, active, and concentrate on a single issue-US policy in the Middle East, and specifically in securing Washington’s massive, unconditional, and continuing military, political and financial support for Israel. Operating from their strategic positions in the power structure, they are able to influence policy and censor any dissident commentators or views from circulating freely in the communications and political system.

In the political sphere, pro-Israeli politicians and powerful Jewish organizations have joined forces with (and even animate)29 pro-Israel ultra rightwing mass-based Christian fundamentalist powerful political leaders tied to the military-industrial complex, such as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney. Israel’s unconditional support of Washington’s Cold War and subsequent anti-terrorist military offensive has further strengthened ideological and military ties between US rightwing political leaders, pro-Israeli politicians and the leaders of the leading Jewish organizations. The politics of Washington’s new imperialism coincides splendidly with the Sharon-Olmert conquest and destruction of the Occupied Territories.

Wealthy and organized Jewish organizations, compliant Congressional representatives and rightwing fundamentalist organizations are not the only financial supporters of Israel. US taxpayers have been funding the Israeli war machine with over $3 billion a year of direct assistance for over 35 years (now totaling over $100 billion and continuing to mount).

Support for Israel from the US government

The data below, compiled by the CRS [Congressional Research Service] Issue Brief in 2004, provide some notion of the extent of U.S. aid and special features.

* Israel has received more than $90 billion in US aid up to 2003, of which $75 billion has been in grants (i.e. nonrepayable), and $15 billion in loans.

* Since 1985, the United States has provided $3 billion in grants annually to Israel.

* Resettlement assistance for Soviet and Ethiopian immigrants peaked in 1992 at $80 million, but continues to be subsidized at $60 million for 2003, $50 million in 2004 and again in 2005.

* In 1990, Israel requested $10 billion in loan guarantees, which would enable Israel to borrow from US commercial establishments, with their loans guaranteed against default by the US government. In 2004, a further $9 billion in loan guarantees was included in FL. 1088-11.

Israel Bonds

Over its fifty years of existence, the sale of Israel Bonds raised some $22 billion for the State of Israel. Gideon Pratt, CEO of Israel Bonds, claims the bonds have financed over 50% of Israel’s development

… Rank and file trade union members might have been surprised to learn that their pension funds had been invested in Israel Bonds with below normal rates of return and higher risk. Despite the poor investment quality of Israel Bonds, some of the largest US trade unions, employee pension funds, and major multi-national corporations have collectively loaned billions of dollars to the Israeli regime. In all cases, the decisions to purchase a foreign government’s bonds were made by the trade union bosses and corporate fund managers without consulting the membership or stockholders.” Nathan Zirkin, a financial director of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, when asked if his union would continue to purchase Israel Bonds despite Israel’s repression and arrest of Palestinian trade unionists and activists, replied “Absolutely. The Palestinians didn’t have a damn thing until Israel came in.

Many of the trade unions, which are purchasers of Israeli bonds, are controlled or influenced by the Mafia. The Teamsters Union is the biggest purchaser of Israel Bonds; it is also the union which has seen more senior officials indicted for Mafia ties, illicit use of union funds, and massive robbery of membership pension funds. In this case the trade union Mafioso were buying favorable propaganda from the mass media and support from the “respectable” Jewish organizations via the purchase of Israel Bonds.

Union pension funds have also been used by trade union bureaucrats to purchase Israel Bonds. The most notorious case is the former international Ladies Garment Workers Unions (ILGWU), now called UNITE, a union whose workers are 95% Black, Hispanic, and Chinese, most earning at or below the minimum wage. UNITE’s leadership and staff is overwhelming Jewish and earning between $100,000 to $350,000 a year plus expenses. By channeling over $25 million in pension funds to Israel, the US workers are deprived of access to loans for housing, social services, legal defense, etc. Clearly the Jewish trade union bosses have a greater affinity for the State of Israel and its oppression of Palestinian workers than they have with their own poorly organized workers, employed under some of the worst working conditions in the US.

Israel Bond promoters, with support from Mafia-influenced corrupt trade union bosses, have sold vast holdings of Israel bonds to 1500 labor organizations at interest rates below those of other available securities and well below what most investors would expect from loans to an economically troubled foreign government like Israel. On March 22, 2002, the Jewish weekly Forward actually put a figure on that amount, quoting the director of the National Committee for Labor Israel as estimating that “the American labor community holds $5 billion in Israel Bonds.’

Many factors accounted for the US trade union bosses channeling their members pension funds and union dues into Israel Bonds: political protection and respectability in being associated with Israel and its lobbyists-this was especially important to Mafia-linked and corrupt officials. Ideological and ethnic ties between Jewish trade union leaders and Israel has been a second factor.

While Israel bonds may represent a diminishing factor in the contemporary Israeli economy-perhaps because the $US 10 billion loan guarantee terminated in 1 998?42-they are nonetheless still purchased and held, inter alia, by state and city governments, teachers, universities, and police in the United States, as well as 100,000 individuals.

In April 2002, over 100,000 people, mostly Jews and Christian fundamentalists, marched in support of the Sharon regime in the midst of the siege of Jenin, and were addressed, inter alia, by Paul Wolfowitz, William Bennett, Hillary Clinton, Dick Armey, Rudy Giuliani, Dick Gephardt, and AFL-CIO president John Sweeney. In Israel two out of three Israelis (65 percent) polled in late April 2002 supported Sharon and almost 90 percent believed the regime’s propaganda that the UN commission to investigate Israeli devastation of the Occupied Territories “will not be fair to Israel.” The Israeli public, the US trade union bosses, and the American political and financial elites who financed Sharon thereby became accomplices to the crimes against the Palestinian people. Obviously the shrinking minority of Jews in Israel who oppose the military machine have little or no influence in policy, in the media, or in securing overseas financial support.

… Wealthy and powerful reactionary Jews in the Diaspora also gravitated toward Sharon. Seven of the eight billionaire Russian Mafia Oligarchs have donated generously to the Israeli state, were on excellent terms with Sharon and Shimon Peres, and have no use for dissident military reservists. In fact, two of these, Israeli-Russian partners of the Russian oil company, Yukos, have taken up residence in Israel to avoid Interpol interdiction, while a third, Boris Berezovsky, though resident in London, is an Israeli citizen. Six out of the seven are Jews .

Because of powerful unconditional external financial and military support primarily from influential Jews in the US, Christian Fundamentalists, the military industrial complex, Pentagon extremists, and corrupt US trade unionists, Israel is able to defy world public opinion, slander humanitarian organizations and human rights leaders, and brazenly continue its genocidal policies. Israeli leaders know “their people”: they know they have unconditional supporters who have already been tested.

Israel and the Right of Free Speech

There is presently an inability in America even to formulate or sustain a discourse related to the subject of Israeli influence on the United States. Such an opportunity seemed to open with the courageous publication of a well-documented essay written by Professor Walt of Harvard University and Professor Mearsheimer of University of Chicago critical of the Lobby’s influence on US Middle East policy. However, a virulent campaign against Mearsheimer and Walt was then waged by all the major Jewish publications and pro-Israel organizations. From the ultra-rightwing Orthodox Jewish Press (which claims to be the largest “independent” Jewish newspaper in the US), to the formerly social democratic Forward, to the Jewish Weekly, all have launched, together with all the major Jewish organizations, a propaganda campaign of defamation (“the new Protocols of Zion”, “anti-Semitic”, “sources from Neo-Nazi websites…”) and pressure for their purge from academia.

The Jewish authoritarians have already partially succeeded. Their press releases have been published by the mass media without allowing for rebuttal by the academics under attack. Harvard University has demanded that the identification of the Harvard Kennedy School be removed from the paper. The financier of the professorial chair (in his name) which Professor Walt, as academic dean, occupies at the Harvard Kennedy School, is no longer mentioned in his publication. Ultra-Zionist and torture advocate Professor Dershowitz and his fellow Harvard zealots called into question their moral and academic qualification to teach-this concerning professors of the highest standing, with an established record at America’s top universities.

In both the United States and France, legislation is being prepared to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and to criminalize as a ‘hate crime’ the free expression of outrage over Israeli atrocities and any criticism of the Lobby’s control of US Middle East policy.

Empire Building

Military violence, direct and through surrogates, was crucial to the expansion and consolidation of the empire in South and Central America and the Caribbean-from 1964 to 1990 US-backed surrogate military regimes and paramilitary forces took power in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Dominican Republic-and later in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Over 500,000 people were slaughtered in order to impose the imperial-centered system of accumulation (later called “neoliberalism”). The imperial strategy of invasion and intervention established the parameters for long-term consolidation: an economic system ‘open’ to imperial penetration and control (“free market economies”) and a state apparatus (judiciary, military, central bank, etc.) capable of deepening and consolidating the imperial-centered economy. Subsequently the domesticated electoral politicians accepted the imperial parameters and Washington encouraged political competition. In the case of Mexico, voter fraud ensured the election in 1988 of “President” Salinas who proceeded to “integrate” Mexico via NAFTA into the US Empire.

A similar process took place in Africa. From 1970 through to the 1990’s, massive US military intervention and support of “surrogate” mercenaries aided by US strategic ally, South Africa, killed millions in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, and Congo, destroying the economic and political basis for development and establishing client regimes. These mineral and oil rich countries were incorporated into the empire. In the case of South Africa, the leadership of the African National Congress was coerced and then co-opted and became an integral part of the Euro-US imperial system. Similar processes took place in Asia where imperial wars were followed by economic ‘openings’ extending imperial dominance throughout the region… at the cost of over 11 million dead Koreans, Indochinese, Filipinos, Indonesians, Timorese.

Between the 1990’s and the present the US empire expanded into the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries, Central Asia and the Caucasus by aggressive ideological intervention aided by the corruption and deep rot in the dominant Communist parties ruling in those countries. The Middle East, Southwest Asia and the Balkans were next, in part because they are integral to exploiting oil resources, building pipelines and building military bases. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded. Satellite regimes were established in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. A US puppet regime in Kabul rules in alliance with opium-subsidized mercenary warlords. Iraq was invaded, occupied and ruled initially by a US pro-consul. The US Empire has been built on wars, using its own military forces, surrogate mercenaries and paramilitary forces.

We in the United States appear to have accepted to live in a House of Horrors-where empire building via torture and assassination is executive policy, where White House-approved torture is exposed in the media but continues to be state practice. The mass media promoters and publicists of the House of Horrors count on our short memory: they praise Ronald Reagan, whose infamous presidency marked a decade of genocide against Mayan Indians in Guatemala (300,000), and in Nicaragua (50,000), El Salvador (75,000), Honduras (several thousands). It was Reagan who publicly defended General Rios Montt, the butcher of Guatemala, from criticism for human rights abuses (“He’s getting a raw deal”) and who praised the butchers of Afghanistan’s secular society as ‘The moral equivalent of our founding fathers”.

Ariel Sharon, former Likud Party Prime Minister, Agence France Press, November 15, 1998

“It is the duty of Israel/ leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonization or Jewish state without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands”

David Ben Gurian, former Labor Party Prime Minister, 1937

“We must expel Arabs and take their place.”

Golda Meir, former Labor Party Prime Minister

“There’s no such thing as a Palestinian people. It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”

Menachem Begin, former Likud Party Prime Minister

“The partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever.”

Ehud Olmert, Israeli Prime Minister, to the US House of Representatives, June 2006

“I believed and to this day still believe, in our people’s eternal and historic right to this entire land.”

Beginning on the night of June 28, 2006, Israel launched a massive land and air assault on the Gaza Strip. As scores of helicopter gunships and fighter jets fired missiles and rockets into populated centers, destroying the basic infrastructure of over 1.4 million Palestinians, over 5,000 soldiers poured into the territory following hundreds of tanks and armored carriers. The Jewish State’s pretext for total war was to free a single captured Israeli soldier held as a prisoner of war (erroneously described as a “kidnapped” soldier) held by a Palestinian resistance group.

Even the pro-Israeli Financial Times saw through Prime Minister Olmert’s flimsy excuse, remarking that: “…the disproportion between the means and ends suggest this (the release of the Israeli prisoner) may be a pretext”. The FT goes on to argue that the purpose of Israel’s assault was to destroy the democratically elected government, claim that it had no one to negotiate with, and then … ..unilaterally [set] new borders for an expanded Israeli state, by annexing large swaths of the occupied territory on which the Palestinians had hoped to build their independent state

Israel’s strategic goal as each and every one of its Prime Ministers – Labor, Likud or Kadima – have explicitly stated is the total control of all of Palestine by the Jewish state, the forcible seizure of Palestinian land and the expulsion of millions of Palestinians from the “Land of Greater Israel”. This totalitarian vision of a Final Solution has advanced methodically over the years, accelerating over the past year through the systematic destruction of the elementary conditions for Palestinian survival.

US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton

“I think it’s important that we not fall into the trap of moral equivalency here. What Hizbollah has done is kidnap Israeli soldiers and rain rockets and mortar shells on Israeli civilians. What Israel has done in response is act in self-defense.”

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, July 2006

“Israeli leaders could be charged with war crimes.”

Daniel Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, July 2006

“The Third World War.., has already started What we’re seeing today in the Middle East is a chapter of it.”

Poll conducted by the European Union in early 2006

“Israel is the biggest threat to peace in the eyes of most Europeans.”

Kristalnacht, the 1939 Nazi assault on Jewish homes, stores and persons in ‘reprisal’ for a Jew killing a German Embassy officer, was a garden party compared to the Jewish State’s ongoing destruction of Lebanon. The Nazi ‘reprisal’ led to the killing of several Jews and property damage in the millions of dollars. Israel’s murder and destruction toll as at August 1st, 2006 already included over 828 Lebanese civilians dead, 3200 wounded, 750,000 (some say 900,000) refugees, hundreds of destroyed apartment buildings, thousands of homes, schools, factories, aqueducts, water and sewage treatment facilities, churches and mosques, radio and television stations, all the major bridges and highways, the airports and ports-in fact anything and anybody standing, hiding, or fleeing for safety.

Israel’s deliberate ‘total blockade’ in addition to its carpet-bombing has created a humanitarian catastrophe for 2.5 million Lebanese, including the 750,000 refugees. According to the Financial Times, “The humanitarian situation has been made worse by an Israeli sea and air blockade and the targeting of roads and bridges that hinder the distribution of aid, both to the refugees and to the people who have stayed behind.

Professor Juan Cole argues persuasively that the war on Lebanon was planned for at least a year, citing the presentations by senior Israeli army officers to Washington think tanks, diplomats and journalists outlining the coming invasion.

The Israeli pretext of rescuing two captured soldiers is laughable given the instant massive offensive and the sustained destruction of all of Lebanon, including large areas of central and northern Lebanon where there are few if any Hezbollah.

For Israel, the military attack [on Lebanon] was directed toward destroying all of Lebanon, converting it into an economic wasteland while ethnically cleansing the Lebanese civilians from southern Lebanon, facilitating its declaring the country a ‘free-fire’ zone-to be bombed at will, killing any remaining persons on the grounds that they were Hezbollah sympathizers, activists, social workers, medics, and fighters. The strategy was to ’empty the pond (southern Lebanon and south Beirut-perhaps 40 percent of the country’s population) to catch the fish (Hezbollah)’. (Hezbollah is a mass political and social movement with a mass base of 1.1 million Lebanese which, inter alia, provided social services to local populations in what might have been viewed as in the best traditions of progressive socio-political movements, had not racist bias and antipathy toward religion-or only specifically toward Islam, since if similar activity had been undertaken by Christian activists in Latin America, would it not have been embraced?-prevented western progressives from arriving at such an assessment.) In the process, Israel sought to create a client regime in Lebanon and to cut off the moral and material support that Hezbollah gives to the democratically elected Hamas government in Palestine.

In the course of events, Israeli and US assumptions failed. Israel’s massive terror bombing undermined the pro-US Beirut regime and turned the great majority of Lebanese in favor of Hezbollah-as surely might have been anticipated, since recent infliction of collective punishment on the population of Iraq with a view to turning them against even such a tyrant as Saddam Hussein had miserably failed. In the total absence of the Lebanese government, it was Hezbollah that rushed victims to hospitals, provided food, evacuation convoys, and a modicum of relief to all Lebanese-regardless of affiliation. Washington’s precautions to the Israelis to respect (Lebanese) civilians and civilian infrastructure were brazenly ignored by the Jewish state from the start, which knew full well that the Jewish Lobby in the US would ensure Washington’s complicity in mass murder and the undermining of its (n client regime.

The entire massive Jewish and pro-Israel propaganda machine has’\ covered the US media with messages of unconditional support for Israeli murder, denials of Lebanese suffering, and justification of the wanton destruction, presented as an act of heroic defense… by the ‘mad dogs’ (ref. Moshe Dayan) of Israel. The voices of Americans horrified by Israeli atrocities or who just feel sympathy for its victims go unheeded, or worse, are attacked and ridiculed. (The veteran octogenarian White House correspondent, Helen Thomas, of Lebanese ethnic origin, was taunted as the ‘voice of Hezbollah’ by the President’s Press Secretary, Tony Snow.) The US peace movement, prohibited by its Jewish progressives from voicing outrage at Israel, let alone the Lobby, is moribund. Once again, Israel gets away with murder; its overseas political transmission belts dominate the mass media. The US Congress kneels to the Lobby’s dictates

… The US submission and complicity in the Gaza ethnocide and now the destruction of Lebanon without internal debate in Congress, in the mass media, or even in the so-called ‘peace movements’, speaks loudly and clearly to the stranglehold of Israeli power within the United States and to the enormous and continuing damage to our basic democratic freedoms. To stand against totalitarian terror and US complicity should be a common reflexive act of decency. Today under the Lobby’s all pervasive domain, it is an act of courage, even though it may reach only a few tens of thousands through the alternative media.

Israel’s political and military leadership have repeatedly and openly declared their preparation to militarily attack Iran in the immediate future. Their influential supporters in the US have made Israel’s war policy the number one priority in their efforts to secure Presidential and Congressional backing. The arguments put forth by the Israeli government and echoed by their followers in the US regarding Iran’s nuclear threat are without substance or fact and have aroused opposition and misgivings throughout the world, among European governments, international agencies, among most US military leaders and the public, the world oil industry, and even among sectors of the Bush Administration.

An Israeli air and commando attack on Iran will have catastrophic military consequences for US forces, cause severe loss of human life in Iraq, and most likely ignite political and military violence against pro-US Arab-Muslim regimes, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, perhaps leading to their overthrow. Without a doubt Israeli war preparations are the greatest immediate threat to world peace and political stability.

Pushing the US into a confrontation with Iran via economic sanctions and military attack has been a top priority for Israel and its supporters in the US for more than a decade.” AIPAC believes the Islamic Republic poses a grave threat to Israel’s supremacy in the Middle East. In line with its policy of forcing a US confrontation with Iran, AIPAC, the Israeli PACs (political action committees) and the CPMAJO [Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations] have successfully lined up a majority of Congress people to challenge what they describe as the “appeasement” of Iran. According to the Jewish Times, “If it comes down to a political battle, signs are that AIPAC could muster strong support in Congress to press the White House to demand sanctions on Iran.”

The pro-Israel Lobby’s power, which includes AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the PACs and hundreds of local formal and informal organizations, is magnified by their influence and hegemony over Congress, the mass media, financial institutions, pension funds and fundamentalist Christian organizations. Within the executive branch, their influence in these institutions amplifies their power far beyond their number and direct control and representation in strategic public and private institutions (which itself is formidable). AIPAC’s “Progress and Policy Report for 2005”-published on its website-lists, among its accomplishments getting Congress to approve 100 pro-Israel legislative initiatives, $3 billion in direct aid and more than $10 billion in guaranteed loans, transfer of the most advanced military technology to Israel’s multibillion dollar arms export corporations, and the lining up of a 410 to 1 vote in the House of Representatives committing the US to Israel’s security-as defined by Israel.

Despite the near unanimous support and widespread influence of I the major Jewish organizations, 20 percent of American Jews do not support Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. Even more significantly, 61 percent of Jews almost never talk about Israel or defend Israel in conversation with Goyim (nonJews).” Only 29 percent of Jews are active promoters of Israel. Even in Israel, the support fluctuates.

It is important to note that the Israel First crowd represents less than a third of the Jewish community and hence their claim to speak for ‘all’ US Jews is false and a misrepresentation In fact, there is more opposition to Israel among Jews than there is in the US Congress. Having said that, however, most Jewish critics of Israel are not influential in the big Jewish organizations and the Israel lobby; they are excluded from the mass media and mostly intimidated from speaking out, especially on Israel’s war preparations against Iran. The minority Jewish critics cannot match the five to eight million dollars spent in buying Congressional votes each year by the pro-Israel lobbies.

Fabrication of Iran’s Nuclear Threat

Israeli intelligence has determined that Iran has neither the enriched uranium nor the capability to produce an atomic weapon now or in the immediate future, in contrast to the hysterical claims publicized by the US pro-Israel lobbies. Mohammed El Baradei, head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has inspected Iran for several years, has pointed out that the IAEA has found no proof that Iran is trying to construct nuclear weapons. He criticized Israeli and US war plans indirectly by warning that a “military solution would be completely unproductive”.

The principal result will be a massive escalation of war throughout the Middle East. Iran, a country of 70 million, with several times the military forces that Iraq possessed and with highly motivated and committed military and paramilitary forces, can be expected to cross into Iraq. Iraqi Shiites sympathetic to or allied with Iran would most likely break their ties with Washington and go into combat. US military bases, troops and clients would be under tremendous attack. US military casualties would multiply. All troop withdrawal plans would be disrupted. The ‘Iraqization’ strategy would disintegrate, as the US ‘loyal’ Shia armed forces would turn against their American officers.

Beyond Iraq, there would likely be major military-civilian uprisings in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Pakistan. The conflagration would spread beyond the Middle East, as the Israel-US attack on an Islamic country would ignite mass protests throughout Asia. Most likely new terrorist incidents would occur in Western Europe, North America, and Australia and against US multinationals wherever their operations might be located. A bitter prolonged war would ensue, pitting 70 million unified Iranian nationals, millions of Muslims in Asia and Africa against an isolated US accompanied by its increasingly reluctant European allies” facing mass popular protests at home. .

The only possible beneficiary of a US or Israeli military attack on Iran or economic sanctions will be Israel: this will seem to eliminate a military adversary in the Middle East, and consolidate its military supremacy in the Middle East. But even this outcome is problematic because it fails to take account of the fact that Iran’s challenge to Israelis primarily political, and does not lie in its non-existent nuclear potential. The first target of the millions of Muslims protesting Israeli aggression will be the Arab regimes closest to Israel. An Israeli attack would be a pyrrhic victory, if a predictable political conflagration unseats the rulers of Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia. The consequences would be even worse if the US attacks: major oil wells burning, US troops in Iraq surrounded, long-term relations with Arab regimes undermined, increased oil prices and troop casualties inflaming domestic public opinion. An attack on Iran will not be a cleanly executed ‘surgical’ strike-it will be a deep jagged wound leading to gangrene.

… Already, it seems fair to say, the US is suffering geo-political repercussions from its unreasonable targeting of Iran and, in the eyes of the Muslim world, Islamic populations. While as yet they attend only as observers, Iran and also Pakistan are seeking to join the new Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which, though not yet officially a mutual defense organization similar to NATO, has nonetheless already envisaged conducting joint military operations. While China has said that no new decisions on membership are immediately pending, Russian President Vladimir Putin “suggested that the alliance form an ‘energy club’ but offered no details in public sessions. Clearly, this is far from the end of the matter:

… the SCO’s influence in the region is on the rise.., a stronger SCO, particularly one with a military component and Iran as a full member, might serve as a check to U.S. interests and ambitions in the region. “An expanded SCO would control a large part of the world’s oil and gas reserves and nuclear arsenal,” David Wall, an expert on the region at the University of Cambridge’s East Asia Institute, told the Washington Times. “It would essentially be an OPEC with bombs.

The problem is that there is no political leadership to oppose the pro-Israel war lobby within Congress or even in civil society. There are few if any influential organized lobbies challenging the pro-war Israel Lobby either from the perspective of working for coexistence in the Middle East or even defending US national interests when they diverge from those of Israel. Although numerous former diplomats, generals, intelligence officials, Reformed Jews, retired National Security advisers and State Department professionals have publicly denounced the Iran war agenda and even criticized the Israel First lobbies, their newspaper ads and media interviews have not been backed by any national political organization that can compete for influence in the White House and Congress.

As we draw closer to a major confrontation with Iran and Israeli officials set short term deadlines for igniting a Middle East conflagration, it seems that we are doomed to learn from future catastrophic losses that Americans must organize to defeat political lobbies based on overseas allegiances.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: