$3 billion in fighter jets to Israel: reward or bribe?

The New York Times published two articles over the weekend with almost identical headlines.  The first, by Mark Landler, quotes an “official” (with no clue as to which government, Israeli or US, that official represents) characterizing $3 billion worth of military aid to Israel as contingent on a signed peace agreement. The second article, posted later in the day by Ethan Bonner, unequivocally identifies its sources as “Israeli officials”, who spin things quite differently.  Their description of the terms under which US taxpayers would provide Israel with an “extra”  $3 Billion payout looks like nothing so much as a foolish bribe:  $33 million a day for a  90-day moratorium on settlements, settlements which are, moreover, all illegal under International law!

So what is actually being proposed here?  Incentives for a quick dash toward a final settlement on borders?   Or a diplomatic blunder that will give the state of Israel more time to continue establishing “facts on the ground”, “facts” that, like Britain’s imperial settlements in Northern Ireland in the 17th century, and the Ottomans’ in the Balkans dating as early as the 14th, will succeed in only one thing–  inflaming regional and global conflict for many more generations to come?  

We should all stay tuned.

(Relevant excerpts are highlighted below)


Netanyahu Agrees to Push for Freeze in Settlements

By MARK LANDLER

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has agreed to push his cabinet to freeze most construction on settlements in the West Bank for 90 days to break an impasse in peace negotiations with the Palestinians, an official briefed on talks between the United States and Israel said Saturday evening.

In return, the Obama administration has offered Israel a package of security incentives and fighter jets worth $3 billion that would be contingent on the signing of a peace agreement, the official said.    …

and

Netanyahu Agrees to Push Freeze on New Settlements

By ETHAN BRONNER

…  The details that have been made public so far include 20 fighter jets…

Israeli officials said the planes, worth some $3 billion, were part of an American commitment to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge. They would be provided if the 90-day freeze were agreed but irrespective of a final signed deal with the Palestinians. Other, even more far-reaching security guarantees, were still being discussed and would be contingent on successful peace talks.  

Léa Park is volunteer website manager for Friends of Sabeel–North America.  Fosna supports the work of Sabeel, an international peace movement
initiated almost twenty years ago by Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land.  Last month the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) listed Fosna as one of the ten most effective advocacy groups in the United States working for Palestinians rights (though that’s not quite the way they put it).  Fosna’s response to its listing can be viewed here.
Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged , ,

{ 112 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Evildoer says:

    What is being proposed is, that Israel continues to fulfill its most important role, making the rich in the US richer.

  2. Walid says:

    Léa’s number should have been $33.3 million/day instead of $3.3/million/day.

    The $3 billion is not a reward and it’s not a bribe; the US wanted to give it to Israel and used the opportunity of the peace talks to make that generous gift. The $3 billion is nothing compared to other goodies promised on promised UNSC vetoes, the killing of the Goldsone Report, and the guarantee that the US would not allow a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians. There has to be many other goodies that have not been announced.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      thanks walid for the math

    • MarkF says:

      I used to sell hifi in the 80s and they taught us a sales technique to reduce the cost down to a daily or monthly amount. The technique was called “Reduction to Rediculous”. Pretty fitting I’d say.

      We must have the word “Charms” tatooed on our foreheads. Freeze for 90 days, take the money, then resume building, rinse, and repeat.

  3. Antidote says:

    I would agree that bribing Israel into complying with international law is not something that will lead to peace and reconciliation. The PA has already issued complaints along such lines.

    But is it a bribe or a threat?

    Is there anything new in this ‘generous offer’, or is this just a comprehensive list of things the US has been doing anyway to support Israel (diplomatic support as well as 3 billion in aid, mostly spent on military equipment from the US) that is now being made contingent on a settlement freeze, return to negotiations, and a peace agreement/declaration of borders? This is not clear to me, and neither are the precise conditions attached to the offer (i.e. will Israel get all this only for a 3 months freeze, are the 20 jets the same Barak ordered months ago, or 20 additional jets, are the 3 billion in addition to the 3 billion Israel receives annually anyway)

    • Citizen says:

      Its all additional, including a second squadron of free F-35s:

      link to jpost.com

      • Antidote says:

        Thanks, citizen. From your link:

        “Israel signed a contract for 20 F-35s – a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin – in early October in a deal valued at $2.75 billion. Under the offer made to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his meeting last week with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Israel would receive a second, free squadron of the advanced fighter jet if it agrees to impose a three-month freeze on settlement construction.

        The F-35 will be one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and will enable Israel to phase out some of its older F-15 and F-16 models.

        According to the IAF, the plane will significantly boost Israel’s deterrence in the Middle East and provide it with an edge over adversaries that operate advanced anti-aircraft systems, since it cannot be detected by existing radars.

        The offer of a second squadron of F-35s was first made to Israel in early September, in talks which Defense Minister Ehud Barak led in Washington ahead of the expiration of the previous 10- month freeze on settlement construction, in a bid to get Israel to extend the freeze. At the time, Israel rejected the offer.

        After the offer in September, the IDF established a team consisting of officers from the air force and the military’s Strategic Planning Division, which analyzed the effect the arrival of an additional squadron of F- 35s would have on Israel and its strategic standing in the Middle East.

        “This is a very difficult offer to say no to,” a senior defense official said on Sunday, amid news that Netanyahu was working to obtain a majority in his cabinet to approve a new moratorium.”

        So before the midterm elections, the offer was rejected by Netanyahu who now promotes the same in his cabinet? Did he not consult with his generals on the first occasion? And what about Max Ajl: “The F-35 apparently can barely get off the ground”

        Asset or junk?

        • Antidote says:

          The Harper government has recently announced to spend 9 billion on F 35s. Other partners and alleged benefits for the Canadian economy as of July 2010:

          “The nine partners, in order of their financial contribution, are the U.S., Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark. Israel and Singapore are also part of the program as “security co-operative participants.” Despite the partnership, the U.S. will foot the bill for about 90 per cent of the development costs.

          Canada’s investment in the JSF program totals about $168 million. Defence Minister Peter Mackay says Canada has already “doubled our return” through program contracts to Canadian companies.

          The nine major partners are expected to buy about 3,100 F-35s over the next 25 years.”

          link to cbc.ca

          Read more: link to cbc.ca

          Breaking news September 2010:

          “Israel has scored guarantees of billions of dollars of work on the stealth fighters Canada eventually hopes to buy — even though, unlike Canada and other nations, it has not invested any money in the development of the aircraft.

          Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said he approved in principle the proposed deal to buy 20 Joint Strike Fighters, adding that the country’s industries have been guaranteed more than $4 billion in work on the aircraft in exchange for the purchase.”

          Read more: link to ottawacitizen.com

        • Hostage says:

          Re:”Asset or junk?”
          Incredibly high priced junk. See CDI’s The Pentagon’s Self-Dismembering F-35

        • Shingo says:

          “Asset or junk?”

          That’s debatable.

          There is a strange phenomena taking place with the US military. First of all, they are not replacing F-15 and F-16′s because there will be fewer F35′s due to costs.

          Such planes are an order of magnitude more expensive than the ones they are replacing. What this means is that:

          1. The US buys far fewer of them, meaning that the number of planes the US will have will fall considerably
          2. Because they are so expensive and less available, pilots spend far less time training in them

          The suggestion that F35′s cannot be detected by radar is a myth, and furthermore, Israel won’t take delivery until 2015, by which time, radar systems will have adapted.

          Also, the US has lost (is stolen) 1.5T of classified design data, specs, software relating to the F35, which means this data is on the open market to be sold to the highest bidder.

  4. Max Ajl says:

    A couple thoughts.
    (a) The F-35 apparently can barely get off the ground
    (b) What is being proposed here is not a transfer from the “US” to “Israel”; it’s a transfer from US taxpayers to the US upper-class, while the Israeli upper-class gets a cut of the benefits through procurement programs in Israel, and their generals have some new baubles
    (c) it follows that characterizing this as “$3 billion worth of military aid to Israel” is actually hasbara, I am sorry to say, it is merely capitalist hasbara instead of Zionist hasbara. There is no monetary transfer from the “US” to “Israel,” and there is no “gift” going on as Walid characterizes it, except a gift from US taxpayers to the US military-industrial complex and the US-upper class, lubricated by this entity “Israel” whose national military industrial complex is by and large not owned by Israelis, while even the state-owned companies are slated for “privatization” soon. Watch them show up on the NASDAQ in short order.

    • Walid says:

      It is a gift to the US miltary-industrial people but also to Israel since will still be getting a benefit from building some the aircrafts’ systems. It doesn’t bother me to see Israel getting these freebies since the American taxpayers don’t seem to mind anyway but I’m bugged by the gift of $150 million that the PA will be getting to bring it back to the table because it means that some concessions to the detriment of the Palestinians will be made by the collaborators. So far all deals made with Israel have blown up in the Palestinians’ face.

      • Max Ajl says:

        It is helpful, in my opinion, to be aware of class differentiation within Israel, and to understand both how its domestic political economy is structured as well as the way that interacts with both the Zionism that is the consensual ideology of the settler-colonial state as well as that Zionism’s other use, which is binding together the Israeli populace through a nationalism that tries–only tries–to gloss over class differentiation. For now, this issue is irrelevant; Zionism is broadly consensual and a dissident left will not arise without changing the external conditions and structures. In the future, hopefully, it will not be, because we all, I think, want to see this end as peacefully as possible. Israel has 200 nuclear weapons and will use them.

        With that said, it is very important to keep in mind the following. The procurement contracts for Israeli aerospace firms always flow, either directly or indirectly, into the pockets of the Israeli upper class. That can happen in a myriad of ways. In this case, the wing contract and maintenance contracts so far have been sourced to IAI, a state-owned company, although managed much as a private company, in preparation for privatization. When it is privatized, it will go at bargain-basement prices and be snapped up by a mix of Israeli and trans-national capital–trans-national, meaning mostly American. In the case of other procurement contracts, they go to private aerospace firms that are already trans-nationally owned. In both cases, procurement is being “outsourced” by the Pentagon to Israeli-located American and Israeli capital. And in both cases, the Israeli ruling class is able to lubricate the functioning of the American military-industrial complex. We should hate the way the Israeli and American political economies are linked, and we should destroy that link. But we should know what we are targeting, what we are fighting: we are fighting a class war, with the benefits accruing to the American and Israeli upper classes, with the American and Israeli lower and middle-classes pacified by nationalism and Zionism, while being robbed by the taxes that pay for new Israeli toys and upper-class tribute, and with the ultimate costs borne by the Palestinians piling up in graveyards. That seems a more coherent way to oppose American links with Israel than any other.

        • Walid says:

          Israel made a big stink about the $60 billion Saudi arms purchase from the US but how much of the $60 billion will be benefitting Israel because of the joint manufacturing deals? I’m guesing the number at around 20 or 25% going to Israel. You can say that the Saudis will be actually helping Israel’s industry; Omar Barghouti should spend a little less time talking to American Jews that don’t need much convincing and a bit more time in Arab countries that don’t seem to know that there’s a BDS campaign in progress.

        • Antidote says:

          good post, max, thank you

        • Keith says:

          WALID- In addition to the points you raise, I am under the impression that in 1982, in order to overcome Israeli objects to arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the US agreed to maintain Israel’s “qualitative edge” over potential Arab adversaries. Since Israel cannot possibly afford to buy huge quantities of armaments, this means that the US is required to give Israel weapons for free every time it sells arms to the Arab countries. Since the US continually pressures the Arab states to buy billions of dollars in US armaments, this means that the defense contractors get a double order for their weapons.

    • Avi says:

      I find it strange that both Max Ajl and Evildoer are talking about the “upper-class” issue, while ignoring the lobby. Clearly, this bribe is needed because the colonies conflict with U.S. interests.

      Ignore the man behind the curtain, focus on the “upper class”.

      P.S. Aliya is wonderful, so says Evildoer.

      • Max Ajl says:

        We are talking about the F-35 Avi, so I see little reason to “find it strange” that we’re talking about what we’re talking about, since the post is talking about what we’re talking about. This “bribe” [again, this is obfuscatory rhetoric as I have laid out here and elsewhere] is needed because Obama and Netanyahu are haggling over how to manage apartheid, negotiating over the extent of the injustice to be allowed to exist in Israel-Palestine. There are differences, without question, no one has said there are not; Netanyahu wants more injustice than Obama would prefer. The Lobby is pulling for more injustice. Most concentrated capital is ambivalent, or doesn’t care. Some segments want less injustice, the two-state prison, but they’re a minority. That is the way I look at it. Why you need to drag in this poisonous rhetoric of “ignore the man behind the curtain,” I have no idea. Since we in general are not talking about the upper-class or in class terms here, it seems class is the “man behind the curtain.” Class in both Israel and America. Remember, that probably the key reason the Lobby is powerful is because it represents concentrated capital. Think about that.

        • Avi says:

          We are talking about the F-35 Avi, so I see little reason to “find it strange” that we’re talking about what we’re talking about, since the post is talking about what we’re talking about. This “bribe” [again, this is obfuscatory rhetoric as I have laid out here and elsewhere] is needed because Obama and Netanyahu are haggling over how to manage apartheid, negotiating over the extent of the injustice to be allowed to exist in Israel-Palestine. There are differences, without question, no one has said there are not; Netanyahu wants more injustice than Obama would prefer. The Lobby is pulling for more injustice. Most concentrated capital is ambivalent, or doesn’t care. Some segments want less injustice, the two-state prison, but they’re a minority. That is the way I look at it. Why you need to drag in this poisonous rhetoric of “ignore the man behind the curtain,” I have no idea. Since we in general are not talking about the upper-class or in class terms here, it seems class is the “man behind the curtain.” Class in both Israel and America. Remember, that probably the key reason the Lobby is powerful is because it represents concentrated capital. Think about that.

          Max,

          If you don’t mind me asking, what do you do for a living? I’m really curious because your arguments constantly ignore the political and historical evidence and always focus on this ever-elusive, vague “class”. As though it’s the Word-of-the-Month.

          And, to completely shatter your own credibility, you conclude your post with “Think about that” — as though you have just laid out some revelatory information to be pondered for generations to come.

        • Max Ajl says:

          Avi,

          Aside from the fact that I have dealt with historical evidence in other threads, for example the Ford administration, the Obama administration, the Bush II administration and links to oil and weapons companies, you’re right. When we speak abstractly I use abstractions. I am sorry about that, but not sorry enough to do your homework for you. You are now classed with Bob:

          “Evildoer November 16, 2010 at 6:59 am

          The full sentence is “Alyah is a wonderful thing in principle, if you ask any jewish Israeli ”

          That is, it is a statement about how Jewish Israelis view Alyiah, responding to Weiss speculating that they might view it negatively.

          That you would try to represent it as my own view says everything about you that needs to be said. You are contemptible.”

          You have chosen to not communicate in an honest manner. When you are interested in understanding the world, let’s talk. But until then, shalom.

        • Avi says:

          When we speak abstractly I use abstractions. I am sorry about that, but not sorry enough to do your homework for you.

          So, when you are asked to make a compelling argument you simply waffle and walk away. That’s pretty convenient.

          When you are interested in understanding the world, let’s talk.

          More abstractions.

          But until then, shalom.

          Does “understanding the world” require one to speak more than one language? שלום ול אלהתר אות

      • VR says:

        Avi, everything is class related both here and in Israel. You might consider this a bit more, because without understanding it you have no idea what is transpiring on a foreign or domestic scale. By the way, this is not the only distinction in class, but it is by far the most destructive and prevalent. If you do not recognize the target you are bound to miss it, and than you will perpetually wonder “why don’t things change?”

        • Avi says:

          VR, you and Ajl are missing the forest for the trees. Both of your patronizing posts aside, I certainly am not under the illusion that 95 – 99% of the wealth in the US is concentrated in the hands of the top 1-5% of the population. That much is clear.

          But, I’m talking about the specific circumstances that facilitated this so-called deal.

          To talk about the upper class and the military industrial complex while ignoring the fact that the US president is being dragged through the mud on a leash pulled by the Israel Lobby seems a bit silly. Carry on.

        • VR says:

          Oh so now our posts are “patronizing”…lol It does not matter what circumstances facilitated the deal, the deal was cut in the status quo which you and illustrious Bob always miss by a mile. You say it is “clear,” but saying it means absolutely nothing because you acknowledge it to belittle it and move on – like talking about frozen Eskimos without acknowledging the environment that they live in.

          The president is not being “pulled through the mud,” the president is doing his job facilitating the current system and serving who he serves – and that is not you nor the people. He purposefully does these things, and as has been said before – every president from WW2 forward, if the conventions and international law was to be used indiscriminately (as it should be) would be summarily hung. The fact of the matter is that you portray very little knowledge of what you are addressing Avi (and you have plenty of company in here), along with Bob who feeds your ignorance – all we need now is for his (Bob’s) hobby horse mentor to arrive, Mr. Blankfort. The Israel Lobby is a part and player of the whole, it is not an alien but feeds the system which you and your compatriots continue to ignore to your own peril (or should I say primarily to the peril of the Palestinians), and you become blind leaders of the blind.

        • Avi says:

          The fact of the matter is that you portray very little knowledge of what you are addressing Avi (and you have plenty of company in here), along with Bob who feeds your ignorance – all we need now is for his (Bob’s) hobby horse mentor to arrive, Mr. Blankfort.

          Then why don’t you lead the way and explain to us mere mortals what you’re talking about in greater detail?

        • VR says:

          I was trying to think what this scenario reminded me of, and it reminded me of forms of argumentation in my early student days. It is like the induction/deduction imbalance that can be found being used by individuals who have not developed an apparatus to come to any conclusions. They argue incessantly about the particulars but never arrive at the whole – like a child who is fascinated by the wing of a plane, how it is designed and looks, who begins to argue that the wing is the entire purpose of the plane. There are probably many reasons why you argue like this, the least not being that you are enamored by some national mythology designed for you by those who “know whats best for you.” Perhaps it is time to grow up, and understand what you face, stop taking the pap you grew up with seriously, stop drinking the milk from the supposed breast of your beloved fantasies, and start to eat some substantive food – stand on your feet, start walking for yourselves. Exercise that atrophied muscle called critical anaylsis, etc. Stop believing you have discovered the ultimate meaning of life sitting at your mothers table.

        • Avi says:

          Where did that come from?

          Stop before you say something that you will truly regret.

        • tree says:

          Speaking of patronizing….. reread your post, VR, imagining it was addressed to you, rather than addressed BY you. I’m sure you’d then agree that it is patronizing and insulting. You lose your argument by making such patronizing remarks. If you can’t support your argument except by insisting on others’ lack of intellect in failing to understand it, then your argument is weak.

          Bob’s point is right on target. If you want to make an argument about the MIC then you need to be much more specific and rigorous in your argument. Its your argument, so support it with details and facts, and don’t just insist that others do your work for you, or that they lack intellect because they disagree. That’s lazy argument, as well as weak.

        • VR says:

          “Where did that come from?

          Stop before you say something that you will truly regret.”

          Where do you think it came from? Actually I do not seem to be able to get out of kindergarten in thought processes in here. That is, I cannot even get into the elementary rudiments of an argument which progresses, because we cannot get past the method of approach. It is not just with you Avi, everything is a personal affront ( especially when there are no answers forthcoming), and in the meantime we remain on first base –

          FIRST BASE

          Or as an encore –

          CALCULATIONS

        • Max Ajl says:

          Here are a number of propositions. Scribble T next to the true ones, F next to the false ones.
          1) We have a class system in this country
          2) That system is called capitalism
          3) In capitalism there are entities called corporations
          4) corporations are legally required to maximize profits
          5) to do so, they fund and influence political parties
          6) arms corporations are corporations
          7) they therefore fund political parties
          8) oil corporations are corporations
          9) they therefore fund political parties
          (we can combine some propositions now)
          10) oil and weapons manufacturers fund political parties, the Congress, and the presidency
          11) they also determine Pentagon policy through the revolving door
          12) it follows that political actors are attentive to the profit-maximizing needs of the oil and weapons companies
          13) US foreign policy according to official documents has been attentive to what is called the “stability of oil supplies”
          14) oddly, it keeps dumping weapons into the M-E, thereby destabilizing the M-E
          15) oil companies want some instability in the M-E so they can 16) maximize profits
          17) Israel and the Lobby are integral components of 1-16, enabling it all to go smoothly along, legitimating it, lubricating it, providing a constant excuse for
          18) if we put Ts next to all of the points above, we can get a picture of American political economy such that we understand the real role of Israel and the Lobby in the imperial-capitalist system. yes, these are abstractions. but they are all true, manifestly. this is a blog-post and not a bundle of toilet paper like a Sniegoski book, so I am not footnoting assertions, but if any of the above is in dispute, perhaps our assumptions–about capitalism, American foreign policy, and the way this world works–are sufficiently at variance that discussion is simply impossible. that it the point at which I arrived with bob and Avi. for everyone else–perhaps this is an aHa moment–that’s how this filthy country works. Israel is a component of this power system. So is the Lobby. these are complementary, not competing explanations and systems, they work in concert to enact class war against us regular people with the willful connivance of Israeli elites and the racist connivance of most of the Israeli population and most of the American Jewish population. it is not a coincidence that these systems works together, and it is not a coincidence that it is a misnomer, that is, factually incorrect, to speak of the Israeli economy, since there is none. it is owned by transnational capital, mostly American, and without that recognition the analytical units preferred here are simply incoherent. we need to tear this system down, and the lobby is part of this system, and must be blamed and tore apart, but it is not the only part, and without an awareness of the nature of the enemy, we cannot defeat it. that seems relatively uncontroversial.

      • I find it strange that both Max Ajl and Evildoer are talking about the “upper-class” issue, while ignoring the lobby.

        Avi :
        This all may seem academic and ultimately unimportant for actually resolving the problems plaguing the Palestinians, and others, but I do think it’s important to know what we’re up against, and it can ultimately have real consequences. I think part of the point they’re making is that the “lobby” IS part of an “upper-class” issue, in that it is a smaller subset of a larger picture and could not operate the way it does were it not for – big money. They are not arguing against the lobby thesis (which is hardly controversial)
        Edward Said spoke of it well before WM, and I’m sure there were others – though rather vaguely outlined even if it does exist (think about the slave trade in the 18th-19th centuries, there was no “slavery lobby”, it was simply accepted as normal behaviour by European standards – the question as to whether the lobby idea does apply in the media, that is if there are some egregiously using it to influence the general public is still another question).
        Think of it this way : in physics (a very simplified and superficial view of it, anyway), Isaac Newton’s universal law of gravitation was used for a long period of time because it worked for most purposes in predicting certain behaviour, as long as it was not pushed into extreme conditions. So, it worked fine. Einstein’s theories of special and general Rel questioned general assumptions and his theories could account for certain behaviour beyond what Newtonian physics could do. In this way, it encompassed Newtonian physics, but went beyond it by fundamentally re-framing certain ideas. In the same way, viewing the “lobby” as something which operates autonomously, on its own, is actually “missing the forest for the trees”. The problem is not about its power or existence, but rather seeing it through the right lens and in the right context.
        First of all, to think that the “lobby” benefits Israelis is a major misconception. Does it? All of them? Which ones?
        Second of all, I object to the fact that many seem to resent it not because it ultimately injures Palestinians (and Israelis, who will more and more be used for target practice if the expansion continues), but more out of some sort of injured sense of national pride (see even Hitchen’s recent article in Slate).
        Thirdly, “international capital” is not any more of an abstract concept than the “lobby”. There is money flowing to and from certain places, and it can be followed to some extent – this seems to be pretty concrete to me.
        Fourthly, do you really think that Netanyahu and his gang really believe that they need more of these expensive lemons in order to “protect” themselves? (from what?) Of course not. They’re trinkets, used to show off and intimidate. So, how is “Israel” – in this sense, as a collectivity of people with a common purpose – actually benefiting from these arms deals?

        • bob says:

          The problem with this are the reams of documentation of Pro-Israeli pressure against establishment concerns from Truman’s admin, to Kennedy’s era, to Bush (both) and the present.

          Slavery was a rather normalized concept, as it was employed for millenia. There were powerful establishment figures widely opposed to various pro-Israeli topics that were run over. Much of that is covered on this site directly.

          There isnt a problem accepting deep contextual information on topics, there is a problem on trying to accept a paradigm that seeks to thrust itself as a dominant structure when its basis is specualtive, unsubstantiated, and conflated. I’ve shown some of the conflations on the “MIL” with JINSA here, and I’ve shown how pro_Israeli groups defeated oil groups and overrode military and industrial figures. There is absolutely room for more information, however, it needs to meet the same rigors and standards that people faced when writing about the lobby.

        • bob says:

          “MIL” = “MIC”

        • How do you define “Pro-Israeli”?
          Are “establishment concerns” relevant to most people? This is very vague. What do “establishment concerns” represent, and whom?

          When you’re finished valiantly “thrusting paradigms” and “conflating structures”, help me because I’m at a loss as to what this all means, bob !

        • bob says:

          How do you define “Pro-Israeli”?

          This depends. As its in quotes here, it is defined by the right. As is often discussed on this site, the quotes are necessary, as this term is often co-opted by “likudniks” and the right wing. The quotations specify these groups and not the leftist groups that are often viewing the actions of likud as quite anti-Israel.

          Are “establishment concerns” relevant to most people?
          When discussing the “elites,” it is necessary to point out how various establishment figures were beat by those in the “pro-Israeli” camp. This doesnt have a point with “most people.”

          When you’re finished valiantly “thrusting paradigms” and “conflating structures”,

          I’m discussing how others here are thrusting paradigms.

          Take the heavily, heavily researched topic citing the specific people shaping direct events.

          Take another one which tries to place itself as more important, despite its speculative and unsubstantiated base.

          The conflation issue is important here as (see above) you can easily devise a number of unsubstantiated paradigms that secretly rules and superimpose themselves on top of heavily researched thick contextual evidence. People making the claims of “the elders of zion” do it all the time. Banks, Finance, Media… this is dispelled once you break up the conflation. Once you do the hard research, you don’t see it as “the jooz,” you see specific people that act within specific actions. its the same problem when the “elites” or “MIC” is blamed. It needs more rigorous study before it can join.

        • I’ve shown some of the conflations on the “MIL” with JINSA here, and I’ve shown how pro_Israeli groups defeated oil groups and overrode military and industrial figures.

          Are you sad that “pro-Israeli” groups defeated “Oil groups” (in your opinion)? Do “oil groups” represent you?
          (I’ve read the Jason Vest article, it’s very good)

        • bob says:

          Are you sad that “pro-Israeli” groups defeated “Oil groups”

          I’m indifferent, really. What makes me unhappy is when these events are ignored when someone wants to promote a paradigm were these evends become uncomfortable to bring up.

          The construction of history doesnt have to be an emotional endeavor. It is hard work, and I seriously do not envy the torrent of criticism that people face when grabbing the third rail of “the lobby.” My professional historical period does not face throngs of people emotionally invested in litigating each point. Peer review is hard enough.

        • bob says:

          were = where.

          (we need a preview function)

        • VR says:

          The history of these groups is that they always – that’s right, always jokey for prominence. Unlike the “undeveloped” parts of the world, which violently fight one another, the USA is a haven for elites which jostle one another in a non-violent fashion (not that this does not means violence for their victims), they lobby their way and make backroom deals for their interest. Some are prominent like the MIL, which no matter who wins the floor (so to speak) they always get their pound of flesh.

          However, talking to you people in here is like encountering a group which is totally oblivious that anything like this (above) is transpiring. Then, when one faction wins, lets say “the lobby” interest (in some form or fashion) you act like it controls everything – it is just immature and plain silly, an exercise in ignorance. Actually, it is a shame that you do not even know what is transpiring in your own country – how are you going to address international concerns?

        • bob says:

          totally oblivious
          Special pleading.

          you act like it controls everything

          Strawman

          I’m not passing a paradigm that controls all. The speculative paradigms that are pushed here, and the ones that try to superimpose themselves as the “dominant” structure, need to get it together and come up with more rigorous contextual connections.

          Get to working on it, and its more productive than angrily insulting people on the internet.

        • VR says:

          Bob syndrome, arguing for a proposition while denying arguing for it – “I’m not passing a paradigm that controls all.”

          “…reams of documentation of Pro-Israeli pressure against establishment concerns…”

          “…pro_Israeli groups defeated oil groups and overrode military and industrial figures…”

          “When discussing the “elites,” it is necessary to point out how various establishment figures were beat by those in the “pro-Israeli” camp. ”

          “Also see if the point is raised about how the Israeli lobby dominated the oil lobby, or how this happened with Saddam as well.”

          “…specuative paradigm serves to superimpose itself on the thoroughly researched lobby work and try to dismiss it as “less important” to a larger and undefined structure. This removes agency from the people within the lobby, neocons, etc. and serves to paint them as victims in a larger system.”

          “Plus, add the various weapons sales that the Israeli lobby killed that were to go to various arab nations.”

          “…these people regularly ignore the Lobby’s hand in contorting military policy on ideological grounds. ”

          “Theres quite a bit of history that occurred between 1989 and 9/11. Neocons and “the lobby” made powerful moves in this era., and its not something to skip over.”

          “The neocons flipped too and changed their tune and started beating their war drums in the early nineties. AIPAC, Bronfman et. al. defeated the oil companies and passed the sanctions. Neocons are still beating those war drums.”

          All quotes from Bob, and yet we have these confessions from him – note the contradictory quality with the above –

          “People do not come on here blaming a loose conflation of “the Jews.” We specify the people involved and make large efforts to not make that conflation.”

          “Much like the people who erroneously try to conflate arguments into “the Jews,” you need to create specific connections for your arguments to break down the conflations inherent in blaming “elites” and “MIL.” ”

          “Its a similar problem when people used to (still as well) make speculative, unsubstantiated, and conflated paradigms that superimpose themselves on top of other work and claim that “the elders of Zion” and “the Jooz” secretly run it all. Finance and banking? Clearly the Rothchilds manipulation. Media? Easy. Politics – behind the scenes.”

          “All of a sudden, the conflation melts away, and you don’t see it as a “Joo” conspiracy.”

          Need I go on? Incredible…

        • VR says:

          So essentially the argument is (of Bob) when we route the lobby and the neocon influences all will return to a serene calm, we will “beat our swords into plow shears and pruning hooks”…lol The snake will leave the garden of Eden. The only problem is that you are going to have to undo all of history to this point, that we have been involved in major wars and plenty of minor skirmishes every twenty years since this county’s inception. You have to wipe clean what the “father” of the Constitution said the major job of government is – protecting the moneyed and propertied from those who are almost penniless. In other words, you have to wipe out all of history and become a blithering idiot. Keep confessing that it is all “conflation” outside of the lobby et al, forget how much of the budget is cut for the MIC, dismiss all activity of foreign aggression, etc. Don’t forget to sing “hallelujah the lobby is gone.” What utter hog wash.

    • bob says:

      Speculate less and provide direct connections, specify the persons, and prove how they made it happen. Why? People do not come on here blaming a loose conflation of “the Jews.” We specify the people involved and make large efforts to not make that conflation. People making arguments on a “military industrial complex need to do the same, or have their argument criticized for the use of a conflation and a weak argument.

      These planes are being given away. Blaming a generic military-industrial complex ignores what people like Freeman say:

      American taxpayers fund between 20 and 25 percent of Israel’s defense budget (depending on how you calculate this). Twenty-six percent of the $3 billion in military aid we grant to the Jewish state each year is spent in Israel on Israeli defense products. Uniquely, Israeli companies are treated like American companies for purposes of U.S. defense procurement. Thanks to congressional earmarks, we also often pay half the costs of special Israeli research and development projects, even when – as in the case of defense against very short-range unguided missiles — the technology being developed

      is essentially irrelevant to our own military requirements. In short, in many ways, American taxpayers fund jobs in Israel’s military industries that could have gone to our own workers and companies. Meanwhile, Israel gets pretty much whatever it wants in terms of our top-of-the-line weapons systems, and we pick up the tab.

      You need to specify your argument. Much like the people who erroneously try to conflate arguments into “the Jews,” you need to create specific connections for your arguments to break down the conflations inherent in blaming “elites” and “MIL.” Otherwise, the reliance on blaming these groups without specific connections renders the argument as a loose speculatory conflated argument.

      • VR says:

        Is that so Bob, apparently you do not know the difference between systemic activity and “conflation.” Why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee, your spurious arguments are like hanging fine sounding words in the definitive “air.” One may identify a man in a crowd, and fail to see the environment in which one sees him – this in a nutshell is what you do repeatedly without fail –

        “CONFLATION”

      • Avi says:

        You need to specify your argument. Much like the people who erroneously try to conflate arguments into “the Jews,” you need to create specific connections for your arguments to break down the conflations inherent in blaming “elites” and “MIL.” Otherwise, the reliance on blaming these groups without specific connections renders the argument as a loose speculatory conflated argument.

        Thank you.

        That’s my point exactly. I keep hearing about the Military Industrial Complex, a point that I brought to Max’s and David Green’s attention when I made suggestions to them about a possible argument they could make. Neither one pursued that link. Instead, since I made that suggestion they have both been dropping that term as though it’s magic. “MIC”, boom, case closed.

        And if Max Ajl wants to dispute my paragraph above, then I’ll be more than happy to spend an extra 2 minutes to find that specific post for him, you know, just as a reminder.

        Oh what the heck, here it is:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        By the way, note how in a post below mine, the one numbered 11, you admit that you have only started writing about the Lobby in the 12 months prior.

        Either way, I have yet to hear you make a convincing argument, whether about the MIC or the Lobby.

        • bob says:

          No problem.

          Its a similar problem when people used to (still as well) make speculative, unsubstantiated, and conflated paradigms that superimpose themselves on top of other work and claim that “the elders of Zion” and “the Jooz” secretly run it all. Finance and banking? Clearly the Rothchilds manipulation. Media? Easy. Politics – behind the scenes.
          The problem is that its conflationary. You see a better picture once you strip it down to what you actually know and can show direct contextual connections for specific people. All of a sudden, the conflation melts away, and you don’t see it as a “Joo” conspiracy. Of course, this comes with a great deal of work and research. People trying to pass of “elites” and “MIC” in a similar way need to follow the same standards so they do not make the same errors.

    • LeaNder says:

      Max, I found your comment interesting, but the best responses are probably Antidote’s and bob’s.

      The “class story” = elites profit from it, is only part of the larger story. Obviously the “military industrial complex” is also a job creation machinery as it is connected to a larger research network and specific actors and dynamics that dominate something of which we only see the surface. I would find it worthwhile to closer into this larger context and than come back and tell us what this signifies.

      That said, I had the impression the what motivated your response is the fact that Israel stands here as scapegoat of bigger multinational processes in which it only is involved, which I can understand.

      not much time but two or maybe three chains of association come to mind:

      military sales – secrecy – decision processes – intelligence: Here in Germany I found out in the post 911 world these decisions are dealt with high up in the chancellery in interaction with a special small expert circle.

      Myth and reality of Israel’s image as a central force in innovations: Remember the anti-BDS video? Don’t buy computers since they contain Intel chips which are both developed (what about science history in this context?) and produced in Israel, don’t use cell-phones, don’t use Windows developed in Israel, …

      And last but not least, can Bruno Latour’s Actor Network Theory or ANT help in this context and how.

      • LeaNder says:

        oooh, shit, I hope there is not more, I won’t reread it, but this immediately stuck out:

        than come – obviously: and then come back

      • Max Ajl says:

        Leander,
        I do not mean this in a hostile way, but I am not here to do anyone’s homework for them. I have explained repeatedly how the Lobby fits into the larger American and imperial power system. The burden of a theory in the social sciences is to make sense of the facts. Now, if you want to plop some facts in front of me that dis-confirm the theory, you are welcome to do so. Until then it stands, because it can accommodate the facts. The theory is that the Lobby facilitates the functioning of the capital accumulation process, chiefly in the oil and weapons sectors, which have extensive links to every presidency. Is that true? Yes. Have I explained the modalities? Yes; conflict maintained at a low ember, elevated oil prices, more money for Arab weapons sales, “giveaways” to Israel are veiled transfers from taxpayers to the upper-class, a class-war legitimized by tribal ideology, and so on. This makes general sense of the system. This does not mean the Lobby does not have its own agenda. But those are finer details, not the broader picture. Bob is a troll and frankly not worth answering, because he doesn’t understand the difference between blaming “the Jews” which would be anti-Semitic, and blaming the MIC, which not only doesn’t carry that burden but turns out to be true when we investigate specific cases. (His post quotes Freeman writing at precisely the same level of abstraction I write at; it’s just that Freeman replicates comforting pieties and I do not). What I have to say is not comfortable for reformists. It suggests we need systemic change. For those who want a merry bloodless world of liberal-capitalist accumulation with justice in Palestine, the Lobby thesis, as it’s presented in this blog, is comforting. It is not, however, representative of reality. If you have a question about how this works in a specific conjuncture, please ask me. If you want a 10,000 word essay on the Lobby’s insertion into the political economy of American military Keynesianism and oil-based tribute extraction, I think you’ll agree: this is not the place. Wait a little bit for that one.

        • LeaNder says:

          I do not mean this in a hostile way

          Don’t you worry, there were a couple of patronizing trigger phrases, so making clear they were understood from the very start is fine with me.

          I didn’t have the time to pay enough attention for more than a year now so introducing me to your larger theory:

          The theory is that the Lobby facilitates the functioning of the capital accumulation process, chiefly in the oil and weapons sectors, which have extensive links to every presidency. Is that true? Yes. Have I explained the modalities? Yes; conflict maintained at a low ember, elevated oil prices, more money for Arab weapons sales, “giveaways” to Israel are veiled transfers from taxpayers to the upper-class, a class-war legitimized by tribal ideology, and so on.

          I have huge problems with the troll blame:
          Bob is a troll and frankly not worth answering
          just as I think you are avoiding bob’s point here.

          If you want a 10,000 word essay on the Lobby’s insertion into the political economy of American military Keynesianism and oil-based tribute extraction, I think you’ll agree: this is not the place. Wait a little bit for that one.

          Well, I am patient.

        • bob says:

          See if there are mentions above on pointing out how the neocons changed the direction of the “military industrial complex” as mentioned at 12:30 pm. Also see if the point is raised about how the Israeli lobby dominated the oil lobby, or how this happened with Saddam as well. See if there is a mention of the many “military industrial complex” leaders who broke with the neoconservatives and thought the Iraq invasion was a bad idea.

          This is a problem of confirmation bias. He presents a paradigm first, and, as shown above, will ignore or downplay evidence to the contrary. Moreover, this paradigm isnt build off of contextual data. Wheres the exact people who made this alleged paradigm happen?

          Worse, this specuative paradigm serves to superimpose itself on the thoroughly researched lobby work and try to dismiss it as “less important” to a larger and undefined structure. This removes agency from the people within the lobby, neocons, etc. and serves to paint them as victims in a larger system.

          Id be willing to accept direct connections of direct people who actually made specific policies. I am not willing to accept speculation that serves to present itself as the dominant and superimposing structure without following the rigors and heavy scrutiny that is so regularly subjected to anyone presenting information about people who are ideologically attached to a “pro-Israeli” agenda.
          Same rules for all. Its going to be hard work, and theres going to be heavy scrutiny.

        • Max Ajl says:

          Leander,
          Again, I will not reply to Bob because he has shown himself unable to understand the words splayed on the page in front of him. I will briefly argue with Freeman, although it’s not a lot better.

          “American taxpayers fund between 20 and 25 percent of Israel’s defense budget (depending on how you calculate this).” And?

          “Twenty-six percent of the $3 billion in military aid we grant to the Jewish state each year is spent in Israel on Israeli defense products.” Missing the fact that 75 percent is a direct transfer from “taxpayers” to the upper-class through the military-industrial complex.

          “Uniquely, Israeli companies are treated like American companies for purposes of U.S. defense procurement. Thanks to congressional earmarks, we also often pay half the costs of special Israeli research and development projects, even when – as in the case of defense against very short-range unguided missiles — the technology being developed is essentially irrelevant to our own military requirements. In short, in many ways, American taxpayers fund jobs in Israel’s military industries that could have gone to our own workers and companies. Meanwhile, Israel gets pretty much whatever it wants in terms of our top-of-the-line weapons systems, and we pick up the tab.”

          Missing the fact that Israeli companies, except state-owned entities, are not “Israeli.” They are owned by trans-national mostly American capital which is why the TASE and the NASDAQ move in lockstep. “We” do pick up the tab, but we pay and who benefits? Those who own the “Israeli” and American arms-manufacturing companies that manufacture these weapons. Sure, American workers could be making the bombs that kill Lebanese peasants, but is that the argument you wish to make? It’s not the argument that I will make. I will argue that no one should be paying those war taxes, no one should be building the bombs, that the Israeli and American upper-classes pocket our taxes, that the Palestinian peasants perish from our bombs, that the Lobby keeps the whole game moving along smoothly, pressuring politicians, co-opting the labor leadership, working(?) with a prostituted intellectual class, while the same game keeps puttering along. That game is class war and you don’t need Bruno Latour to understand it. What side are you on?

        • bob says:

          Plus, add the various weapons sales that the Israeli lobby killed that were to go to various arab nations.

        • LeaNder says:

          “Twenty-six percent of the $3 billion in military aid we grant to the Jewish state each year is spent in Israel on Israeli defense products.” Missing the fact that 75 percent is a direct transfer from “taxpayers” to the upper-class through the military-industrial complex.

          Well the first sentence is of course peculiar. How impertinent of them to spent our money on their product and tools.

          But your 25 – 75 statements is just as peculiar. You surely don’t think it works that neatly. But why do write this then? You should explain this further. Does the money only flow to give the world the image of Israeli military strength, and via what channels do the 75 % flow into the bank accounts of whom?

          *******************************************************
          After the last paragraph the question, whose side are you on, feels slightly rhetorical given the fact that you just told us/me that 75 % of the money Israel gets for weapons can’t kill people. In that case shouldn’t I be on the side of the elites that grab all the money before it can be turned into weapons?

        • Max Ajl says:

          The 25 percent is spent on weapons and materiel in Israel. “Israeli” firms get the money. But those firms are hardly “Israeli,” since the privately-owned Israeli military-industrial complex is owned by American, Russian, and Israeli capital. Thus we are talking quite a bit more than 75 percent of that ~3 billion goes to the American MIC which is almost wholly owned by American capital. Yes it is quite that “neat,” it is a transfer from taxpayers to the upper-class. Most of the upper-class we are referring to here is American, hence the Lobby and Israel are a component, a gear, in the system of American class war.

          You write that “Does the money only flow to give the world the image of Israeli military strength”; no, it does not, although in the case of the F-35s which don’t function it may approximate that condition. We are talking about a system much bigger than that 3 billion dollars, or the Israeli MIC. We have billions of arms sales to Arab states and to Israel in a cyclical process that explodes in war from time to time. Do you think the managers of this system want “stability”? Why do they pour weapons into the region? Yes in the past the Lobby has blocked arms deals. Of course it has, because it is run by people with their own motivations. But it no longer does, instead we supply weapons to Israel for free while domestic arms manufacturers double-down on arms sales to both the Gulf State and Israel. JINSA meanwhile writes the ideological boilerplate and calls for more, more, more weapons, and yes, people affiliated with it get into government, but what do they want? They want arm sales or arms gifts to Israel–it hardly makes a difference from the perspective of the domestic Pentagon system, the core of the American political economy (1 trillion dollars a year). This all works very well, and you don’t need to think of the Lobby or the domestic MIC as in opposition, they work together, manifest in record profits for weapons companies, and soaring stock prices and this is all they care about. Meanwhile since 2002 oil prices have been elevated with record profits for the oil and gas majors and companies like Halliburton that make money off plant infrastructure, in concert with war and petroleum production. Do you think they’re unaware of the correlation between elevated oil prices, elevated profits, and war? That’s what all the above windy posturing suggests, and it just doesn’t fly. They are not so stupid, in the first case; in the second, they are legally obligated to maximize profits according to their charters and policy reflects that injunction. Meanwhile the Lobby not only functions to ideologically legitimate all of the above, and to derive the consent of sectors like labor unions, the intelligentsia, many liberal-minded Jews, and the Democratic Party that would otherwise be slightly harder-pressed to justify these policies to its constituencies, it keeps us talking about it, instead of it as a component of a larger system.

          What does this have to do with the grammatical train-wreck you wrote, “After the last paragraph the question, whose side are you on, feels slightly rhetorical given the fact that you just told us/me that 75 % of the money Israel gets for weapons can’t kill people. In that case shouldn’t I be on the side of the elites that grab all the money before it can be turned into weapons?”? no idea. translate it into English then get back to me.

        • LeaNder says:

          grammatical train-wreck you wrote

          Well, OK again in short plain and simple sentences. As I excuse for all spelling errors and grammatical or verbal Germanisms in advance.

          If 75 percent is a direct transfer from “taxpayers” to the upper-class through the military-industrial complex.

          Then these 75% do not serve to produce weapons, thus cannot kill anybody.

          Now if you ask me if I support an industry that serves “only” the killing of people, obviously I don’t. Rhetorical means, the way you ask, I am forced to agree with you. But it contains a trick. Is it that easy? How much do you know about the concrete economical relations between earnings and expenditures in the larger MIC. How many non-elites, average citizen profit from jobs directly or indirectly related. What percentage of the whole national industry is directly or indirectly related to it. How does it influence the national economy at large. … What about the military? Shouldn’t it be included in your scenario down to the single man from lower parts of society who joins the army and ultimately kills? Or, to ask a very German question, are the people taking orders not guilty?

          Bottom line: Is it really that easy to detect the ultimate scapegoat in this scenario? I ask myself if our debate problems have to do with age. But then, I was never attracted to the easy scapegoating of the diverse political cadres and their easy world view/ideology.

          Now let me paraphrase the part of Bob’s comment that I agree with: If it is wrong to blame “the Jews” collectively, it mustn’t be wrong to blame the elite collectively? How do you define elite? Who exactly are the people that get the 75 % of the cake in your scenario? I am assuming it doesn’t include the cleaners working for Lockheed Martin? But why not, they profit too?

          Were we agree with you though, I seem to have the same problem in singling out “the Lobby” exclusively, although it surely is a noticeable driving warrior force at the time. Partly maybe due to our raised attention.

          Agreed again: The problem is larger and America and Israel are connected both economically and militarily, as there is cooperation between Israel and NATO, and it feels there is quite a bit of cooperation between European MIC research and Israel. European arm sales: German submarines. I do have a conflict in complaining about the one given as a present and the others given for half the price, half paid by us Germans.

          The problem is that Israel seems to be a key in the “West” – “East” – “War on terrorism” confrontation? Turkey? Which seems to be based on it’s Orientalist view of the Middle east and it’s perception of the “Arab mind”. Something many of us didn’t pay attention to for several decades.

        • LeaNder says:

          Were i agree with you though

          or / alternatively

          were we seem to agree though

      • bob says:

        LeaNder, also recall that in an effort to absolve Israeli and “the lobby’s” agency in actions by bringing up loose and undefined conflations like the “Military Industrial Complex,” these people regularly ignore the Lobby’s hand in contorting military policy on ideological grounds. I’ve posted this before on JINSA

        Almost thirty years ago, a prominent group of neoconservative hawks found an effective vehicle for advocating their views via the Committee on the Present Danger, a group that fervently believed the United States was a hair away from being militarily surpassed by the Soviet Union, and whose raison d’être was strident advocacy of bigger military budgets, near-fanatical opposition to any form of arms control and zealous championing of a Likudnik Israel. Considered a marginal group in its nascent days during the Carter Administration, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 CPD went from the margins to the center of power.

        Just as the right-wing defense intellectuals made CPD a cornerstone of a shadow defense establishment during the Carter Administration, so, too, did the right during the Clinton years, in part through two organizations: the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). And just as was the case two decades ago, dozens of their members have ascended to powerful government posts, where their advocacy in support of the same agenda continues, abetted by the out-of-government adjuncts from which they came. Industrious and persistent, they’ve managed to weave a number of issues–support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general–into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core.

        On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war–not just with Iraq, but “total war,” as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it last year. For this crew, “regime change” by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents–be it Colin Powell’s State Department, the CIA or career military officers–is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East–a hegemony achieved with the traditional cold war recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action.

        Of course, noting this would have a detrimental effect on creating a passive status to “the lobby” et. al.

        Max Ajl Bob is a troll

        Smear, smear, smear. Go produce actual connections with actual people making the policies, not some conflated paradigm rife sith speculation. Theres room for such ideas once you’ve done your work.

        • LeaNder says:

          LeaNder, also recall that in an effort to absolve Israeli and “the lobby’s” agency in actions by bringing up loose and undefined conflations like the “Military Industrial Complex,” these people regularly ignore the Lobby’s hand in contorting military policy on ideological grounds. I’ve posted this before on JINSA

          CSP and JINSA couldn’t become powerful if they didn’t conform with the basic philosophy of other power group members. At that point the MIC might well surface as a central factor in these shared interests. Consider the US defense budget. But admittedly, I do not know enough.

          All I remember, and I keep repeating it, since I found it rather stunning. Condi in an interview over here said:

          After 1989 everybody wondered, who would be the next enemy now? Then 911 happened and everyone knew.

          Certain people need enemies. And for these people 911 was a perfect seize the day scenario.

          Lockheed Martin

          another view.

          At least the CEO’s at Lockheed Martin surely must be attracted to the Neocon Philosophy and JINSA’s.

        • bob says:

          Don’t guess. Search and find it. Come up with direct lines of evidence.

          After 1989 everybody wondered, who would be the next enemy now? Then 911 happened and everyone knew.

          Take this for example. Theres no need to speculate, as its out in the open. Look, Ill go to the worst source in the internet, Wikipedia

          Michael Ledeen a consultant of National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane (and a guy who we know from my link above was JINSA’s first executive director and was JINSA’s “Godfather,”), requested assistance from Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres for help in the sale of arms to Iran.[25][26] At the time, Iran was in the midst of the Iran–Iraq War and could find few Western nations willing to supply it with weapons.[27] The idea behind the plan was for Israel to ship weapons through an intermediary (identified as Manucher Ghorbanifar)[3] to a supposedly moderate, politically influential Iranian group opposed to the Ayatollah Khomeni;[28]

          Following the Israeli-U.S. meeting, Israel requested permission from the U.S. to sell a small number of TOW antitank missiles (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided) to the “moderate” Iranians,[29] saying that it would demonstrate that the group actually had high-level connections to the U.S. government.[29] Reagan initially rejected the plan, until Israel sent information to the U.S. showing that the “moderate” Iranians were opposed to terrorism and had fought against it.[32] Now having a reason to trust the “moderates”, Reagan approved the transaction, which was meant to be between Israel and the “moderates” in Iran, with the U.S. reimbursing Israel.[29]

          How about Stephen J. Sniegoski?

          Neoconservatives loomed large in the covert dealings with Iran, which involved such fgures as Michael Ledeen, who served as an agent for National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane. Ledeen initially arranged the secret initiative by meeting with then-Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres in May 1985.16
          Robert Dreyfuss has noted, in his Devil’s Game: How the
          United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, that “[w]ithin the Reagan administration, a small clique of conservatives, and neoconservatives, were most intimately involved in the Iran-contra initiative, especially those U.S. officials and consultants who were closest to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment.”17
          As Trita Parsi puts it in Treacherous Alliance:
          The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States, “neoconservatives were masterminding a rapprochement with Khomeini’s government.”18
          Secretary of State George Shultz expressed concern about the Israeli-orientation of that policy. In a letter to McFarlane, he noted that Israel’s position on Iran “is not the same as ours” and that American intelligence collaboration with Israel regarding Iran “could seriously skew our own perception and analysis of the Iranian scene.”19
          The latter, as Dreyfuss points out, was the actual aim of the neoconservatives and CIA director William Casey, “who sought to reengage with Iran, in direct opposition to the official U.S. policy of supporting Iraq in its resistance to Iranian expansionism.”20
          The neocons and Israel were unsuccessful in altering American foreign policy away from Iraq and toward Iran. The exposé of the Iran/Contra affair certainly sounded the death knell to this diplomacy. Some neoconservatives, however, continued to seek this change. Michael Ledeen would write in a New York Times opinion piece on July 19, 1988, that it was essential for the United States to begin talking with Iran. He wrote that the “The United States, which should have been exploring improved relations with Iran before . . . should now seize the opportunity to do so.”21
          (When Israel later perceived Iran to be a crucial threat, Ledeen would become a leading proponent of the view that Iran was the center of world terror and that regime change was the only solution.)

          Theres quite a bit of history that occurred between 1989 and 9/11. Neocons and “the lobby” made powerful moves in this era., and its not something to skip over.

        • bob says:

          Then you have Israel flipping on Iran, first persuading the US as mentioned above, then flipping and seeing them as a crucial threat in the early 1990′s.

          The neocons flipped too and changed their tune and started beating their war drums in the early nineties. AIPAC, Bronfman et. al. defeated the oil companies and passed the sanctions. Neocons are still beating those war drums.

  5. Les says:

    That’s a lot of rent to pay for just 90 days tenancy.

  6. Neither – it’s business as usual.

    POTUS Obama must have taken up residence on Planet Delusional if he thinks this will buy him evena subatomic particle or a nanosecond’s worth of gratitude from the Israeli gov’t and The Israel Lobby.

    no, it’ll just be another case of : what have you done for us lately?

  7. I’m sure Lockheed-Martin has no problem with this whatsoever.

  8. potsherd says:

    Neither reward nor bribe – total giveaway. Total betrayal of the Palestinians. Total.

    And all for a 90 day PARTIAL freeze that won’t be enforced, even less than the previous one was.

    • Jim Haygood says:

      Which raises the question — how will the Palestinians react?

      Personally, I would refuse to participate in a rigged negotiation, in which an ostensibly neutral third-party sponsor was treacherously arming the other side with lethal weapons which would be used against my side if talks fail. This is nothing but duress and extortion.

      It’s time for the Palestinians to out the U.S. for its crooked, tendentious role in serving as Israel’s lawyer, bodyguard and hit man in a patently unfair, unequal negotiation.

      Obama and Hillary have acted in flagrant bad faith. The US Senate won’t hold them to account for this (though it certainly should). But Palestinians can decline to continue their fall-guy role in a rigged sham with a predetermined outcome which would set them up for more years of utter subjugation, as O’Bomber’s F-35s scream over the West Bank skies to remind Palestinians of their own mothballed airports.

      • annie says:

        without ej included in this 3 month delay in expansion all expansion will be focused on ej which will tank any possibility of a resolution because there won’t be a palestinian state without ej. that’s how palestinians will react, regardless of whatever other gifts the US gives israel the reprieve of any criticism over the judaization of jerusalem is by far the most damaging gift of this package.

        • Antidote says:

          and so the blame for failed peace talks will be shifted to the intransigence of Palestinians regarding EJ?

        • annie says:

          the blame for failed peace talks will be shifted to the intransigence of Palestinians

          yes, but the focus of the blame won’t mention ej, it will make it sound like palestinians are just irrational.

        • annie says:

          told you so!

          Shas would instead abstain from the critical vote, arguing that the abstention was dependent on “massive building in Jerusalem.”

        • occupyresist says:

          Officials in Jerusalem believe that the Palestinians are particularly disturbed by the following guarantees given by Clinton:

          1. The understanding would prevent the Palestinians from demanding another extension of the West Bank construction freeze at the end of the 90-day period, and would take off the agenda completely any building moratorium in East Jerusalem.

          2. The American promise to veto any anti-Israeli proposals in the United Nations for more than a year would foil the Palestinian plan to get either the Security Council or the General Assembly to recognize a unilateral declaration of statehood.

          Israeli official….you know, this is grating. Officials in Jerusalem believe that 1 and 2 are the grievances that the Palestinians have….yet Officials in Jerusalem, or it seems anyone that the person writing this article has cited (no Palestinian voices) can’t seem to wrap their head around the legitimacy of these grievances. This leak is trying to heap the blame on the Palestinians if they don’t stop ‘thwarting’ this deal, but for anyone with half a brain the deal itself stinks and this leak does more to heap mud on Israel.

          I like commenter Logios’s suggestion:

          Advice to Abbas on the freeze
          Logios 16.11.10 14:53
          My suggestion is that the Palestinians should offer Obama to not demand a freeze for 3 months. In return, the US should promise not to demand it again from them, to agree not to veto a Palestinian state resolution in the UNSC, and to give them a fraction of the monetary benefits offered to Israel. This will constitute a double victory for the Palestinians: Israel will not receive free gifts and Netanyahu will look like a loser, plus actual benefits for the PA. Much gain for a cheap price.

      • potsherd says:

        They’ve reacted angrily, and the Arab League says it will reject this deal. Although, since it’s entirely between the US and Israel, this is mostly pro forma.

  9. Dan Crowther says:

    I think that this “arms sale” or donation, however you want to look at it- needs to be put into context. Barack has spent the last couple of weeks selling, or trying to sell weapons systems- to everyone. Not just Israel.

    Juan Cole had an interesting article the other day about the new “American Hessians” – I think this deal between Israel and the US needs to be looked at through that lens. Arms are really all we have to offer at this point. Mercenaries to follow. ( And I know we already have a ‘private army’)

    • Dan Crowther says:

      When I say “sell,” I mean the US government “buying” the weapons from defense contractors. Its a bit like record sales, if the store buys the records, the record company considers it “sold” – no matter if it moves from the shelf. I agree with the earlier points about this being more about subsidizing domestic industry than enticing Israel to a peace deal; they’ve been getting free sh*t for yeeeeeeeearrrs.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Since the money for the extra fighter jets and support against the stated “delegitimization” attempts are what is publicly being offered, I wonder what the private “too sensitive for the public eye” U.S. promises are?

  11. optimax says:

    It’s tribute paid to a criminal elite from the future earnings of American’s earnings. Israel is just part of a much greater transfer of wealth from the middle-class. For the true believer it is a winning investment in their self-fulfilling eschatology.

    • Walid says:

      The picture is coming into focus now; Israel is a US air base to police the Middle East and this is what all the massive arming is about. The hundreds of containers of US arms that were unloaded at Ashdod after Cast Lead were intended for “future” American use with the understanding that Israel can help itself to some of them if it needs to. F35s are not needed to fight Hizbullah or Hamas at Israel’s borders but to reach targets much much farther away, which makes them in reality targets for America. I don’t think the Americans are as stupid as we are making them appear and I think it’s a question of the US using the Israelis more than the other way around. The added bonus for Israel is that it can screw the Palestinians as much as it wants without any objection from the US.

      • Max Ajl says:

        No, is it by no means clear that Israel is a massive arms base. Israel is a threat, it can be used to threaten. It needs arms to threaten. Other countries need the threat to justify buying arms. But who really needs what? US arms manufacturers need to sell arms and let Israel run around willy-nilly because the more destabilized the Middle East is, the more there will be weapons-spending. Higher weapons spending leads to more destabilization. More destabilization leads to higher oil prices. Higher oil prices leads too…more cash for arms purchases, and more cash in the pockets of US oil companies. And the organized Jewish community in America gets to brag about how strong it and its Lobby is, it gets the psychic identification of affiliation with a spartan warrior state, it gets occasional trips to a nice warm settler-state in the Middle East. And we are all played for the fool, while the occupation enters its 63rd year.

        • Walid says:

          The question is whether the US public is being played for the fool by the Israelis or by the US military-industrial complex. I’m gathering from Max that there is a tie-in between the Israeli and US military-industrial machines with the Lobby playing role of the middle-man.

        • hophmi says:

          The occupation is 43 years old. Not 63.

        • Max Ajl says:

          In the period 2002 – 2007, there was a 92 percent correlation between the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. From 1996-2001, it was 70 percent. Aside from state-owned companies–which are on their way to privatization in Israel–it is extremely hard to dis-entangle the Israeli and American military-industrial complexes. We are played for a fool by capital, and part of the way it keeps us dumb is the Lobby, which talks about tribalism, Jewishness, and Zionism, but is in large measure funded by those who own the “Israeli” military-industrial complex anyway. There is no reason we can’t tear it all down together.

        • Max Ajl says:

          While Israel exists as a Judaized state, the ’48 Palestinians are occupied.

        • yonira says:

          C’mon Hophmi, you know the IOF has been occupying Israel since it’s creation.

        • tree says:

          And the Palestinians left inside Israel’s control in 1948 lived under military control, subject to Israeli military law, as opposed to the civil law that ruled all Jewish Israelis. This continued until 1966. What else can you call this but occupation?

        • andrew r says:

          The IOF took over from the British occupation that began in 1917.

        • potsherd says:

          Correct. It’s the conquest that’s 63 years old. Feel better?

        • Avi says:

          tree nails it once again.

          Palestinians in Israel lived under martial law, known as Military Administration or Military Rule, between the years 1948 until 1966.

          Israel went from one occupation to the next.

          The Military Rule was subject to renewal every year and three token Palestinians, Saif al-Din al-Zu’bi, Jabri Mu’adi
          and Sliman Abu-Rabi’a of the Mapai party used to vote in favor of renewal during their terms as members of the Knesset.

          They were basically the clienteles (puppets) of the government, receiving favoritism, salaries and financial support for their families in exchange.

        • Keith says:

          MAX AJL- Parts of your analysis bother me. For starters, an ongoing attempt by the US elites to destabilize the Middle East to continually drive up oil prices is not supported by either the historical record or common sense. US geo-strategy appears to me to focus on controlling the oil reserves and influencing oil prices to complement the industrial economies. Maximizing prices and profits would tank the world economy, which isn’t in too good shape to begin with. It wouldn’t even be in the oil companies long term interest. Further, while they undoubtedly have influence, the oil company executives do not establish US policy, which has to accommodate the big picture and long term objectives.

          As for Israel as an instrument of Middle East mayhem, I somewhat agree, but am worried that if Israel is made too strong, they might get some funny ideas. Right now Israel is dependent on the US for their economic and military well-being. One of the reasons that The Lobby is strong is that it has to be to give Israel a sense of security in regards to its imperial sponsor. Yet, Israel has regional ambitions and is not entirely trustworthy. Should Israel acquire significant oil resources, that would take care of its funding needs for quite a while, allowing it to be more independent. I can’t help but think that one of the reasons that we have built “enduring” bases in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East is to draw a line around the oil reserves in case Israel becomes overly ambitious and gets funny ideas.

        • Max Ajl says:

          Keith–
          What you are saying about the American oil interest is obviously true, within reason (although look at what has happened since 2002, with little-to-no apparent substitution effect). But I never said otherwise, and have consistently said that the American oil interest is one of carefully-modulated Middle East instability. Hence, they don’t want war against Iran. Neither do other sectors. Hence, we don’t have it. Israel and America are close allies. Couples have spats. They disagree, then get back in bed together. Sometimes, they divorce. These are the dynamics. I disagree vis-a-vis imperial geo-strategy in terms of Iraq, actually, but this isn’t the place to go into it.

        • annie says:

          I think it needs to be made clear whether these people accept a Jewish state on even one square inch of land!

          i think it needs to be made clear whether people accept a palesinian state on even one square inch of land. for many of us, israel will have no legitimacy until it is no longer an apartheid state. no, i will not recognize the legitimacy of a state whose government is elected by only 1/2 the people it rules over.

        • Do you really mean that?

          Then you don’t accept most of the democratic states on the planet.

          In the two-state solution, Israel would be ruled by 80%. Would that be a significant enough majority for you to consider it valid?

        • Keith says:

          RICHARD- Jeez, gimme a break! Do you consider the more-or-less disenfranchisement of over 20% of the population a sign of a healthy democracy? Lets put the shoe on the other foot. If the US was to discriminate against Jews the way that Israel discriminates against Palestinians, would you claim that rule by a 98% majority was exemplary? There is only one answer to this injustice: Israel needs to become a state of all of its citizens (like the US, by the way) with equal rights for all. Continuing to argue in favor of Jewish “blood and soil” nationalism is the very antithesis of liberalism.

        • Bumblebye says:

          “couples have spats!
          Toxic relationship alert!
          One partner is pinching the kids pocket money to fund an addiction, while the other is abusing the step-kids!

  12. eljay says:

    >> The added bonus for Israel is that it can screw the Palestinians as much as it wants without any objection from the US.

    For now. Once its liabilities exceed its usefulness, Israel will become a “nuclear-armed rogue state”.

    • Walid says:

      Eljay, it’s already a nuclear-armed rogue state. Look at North Koreans which are suposed to be the bad guys and how the US is soooooo polite with them, simply because they have the bomb. Do you expect the US to be any less polite with Israel that had already threatened once in 1973 to use the bomb on its neighbours? It’s like having a psychopathic member of the family that you have to keep humouring because you’re terrorized of what he’d do.

  13. Obama can talk talk talk all he wants about “outreach” to the “muslim world”, in Cairo or in Indonesia, but that is not going to change facts like those fighter planes being delivered.

    Every civilian those planes are gonna kill in the future is seen not only as a victim of Israeli aggression, but US complicity as well.

    So US taxpayers in effect pay for Al Quaeda’s recruitment tools.

    • eljay says:

      >> Every civilian those planes are gonna kill in the future is seen not only as a victim of Israeli aggression, but US complicity as well.
      >> So US taxpayers in effect pay for Al Quaeda’s recruitment tools.

      Unfortunately, too many idiots will continue state – and too many idiots will continue believe – that Israel and America are hated only for their “freedoms”, and the blame for all the death and mayhem lies squarely on the shoulders of the victims. (“Oh, if only they had made ‘better wheels!”)

      • Maybe the majority knows that it is US behaviour others resent, and not US character. (btw, the US stopped being a free country some time ago…)

        Maybe this majority just hasn’t any real power, like the power to stop those fighterplanes from being gifted to one of the most war-happy governments in the Middle East.

  14. Les says:

    As of 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time Monday November 15, this “deal” has gone unnoticed on Huffington Post.

  15. Les says:

    From by Neve Gordon:

    Imagine a sheriff offering the head of a criminal gang the following deal: ‘If you agree to stop stealing from your neighbours for three months, I’ll give you cutting edge weaponry and block any efforts by other law enforcement authorities to restrain your criminal activities.’

    Sounds absurd? Then how about this: in return for a three-month freeze of illegal construction in the occupied West Bank (but not in occupied East Jerusalem, where it may continue), Barack Obama has promised to deliver 20 F-35 fighter jets to Israel, a deal worth $3 billion. Moreover, his administration has vowed to curb action by the United Nations on the Goldstone Report, block anti-Israel UN resolutions concerning the Gaza flotilla raid, and defeat resolutions aimed at exposing Israel’s nuclear programme at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    In such situations it’s important to keep in mind that the sheriff (Obama) and not the gang leader (Netanyahu) is the major culprit.

    This article appeared first appeared on the LRB blog. Neve Gordon can be contacted through his website http://www.israelsoccupation.info

    Neve Gordon is an Israeli activist and the author of Israel’s Occupation.

    link to commondreams.org

    • Shingo says:

      “If you agree to stop stealing from your neighbours for three months, I’ll give you cutting edge weaponry and block any efforts by other law enforcement authorities to restrain your criminal activities.’”

      It’s worse than that Les. Remember that Israel will reject any refernce to Jerusalem, so your example shoudl read as follows:

      “If you agree to stop stealing from your neighbours for three months, I’ll give you cutting edge weaponry and block any efforts by other law enforcement authorities to restrain your criminal activities, however, you are free to continue stealing from banks”

  16. radii says:

    bribe … but maybe Obama/Hillary’s goal is to devalue the bribes as they go along until we actually exact a real concession

  17. Kathleen says:

    What a scam. Such a deal

  18. RE: “$3 billion in fighter jets to Israel: reward or bribe?” – Lèa Park

    FROM NEVE GORDON, 11/15/10:

    Imagine a sheriff offering the head of a criminal gang the following deal: ‘If you agree to stop stealing from your neighbours for three months, I’ll give you cutting edge weaponry and block any efforts by other law enforcement authorities to restrain your criminal activities.’
    Sounds absurd? Then how about this: in return for a three-month freeze of illegal construction in the occupied West Bank (but not in occupied East Jerusalem, where it may continue), Barack Obama has promised to deliver 20 F-35 fighter jets to Israel, a deal worth $3 billion. Moreover, his administration has vowed to curb action by the United Nations on the Goldstone Report, block anti-Israel UN resolutions concerning the Gaza flotilla raid, and defeat resolutions aimed at exposing Israel’s nuclear programme…
    SOURCE – link to commondreams.org

    • Les says:

      [Below are comments on Gordon. Keep in mind the appalling fact that this really is US policy!]

      Terry Scott November 14th, 2010 11:00 am

      Let me get this right: we are rewarding Israel with billions of tax payer dollars, in the form of military goods for not doing something illegal in the first place? This is like NYPD giving guns to gangs for not selling their dope for 90 days on the street…

      Ted Markow November 14th, 2010 3:53 pm

      “This is like NYPD giving guns to gangs for not selling their dope for 90 days on the street…”
      Sort of. It’s really like the NYPD selling guns to the Mafia for not selling dope for 90 days. See, gang members don’t wear suits.

      corvo November 15th, 2010 10:41 am

      Actually, it’s like the NYPD selling guns to the Mafia in exchange for a promise to cut back a little on selling dope for 90 days.

      911SATYA November 15th, 2010 2:43 pm

      Actually, it’s like the Mafia selling guns to the Bloods for a promise to pretend to cut back a little on selling dope for 90 days.