Israel’s lobby (updated)

Reid McConnell and Netanyahu
Reid McConnell and Netanyahu, by Kevin Lamarque

This photograph by Kevin Lamarque of Reuters appeared on the New York Times site yesterday. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, center, met on Tuesday with Senators Harry Reid, left, and Mitch McConnell. Iran’s nuclear program continues to dominate discussions.”

Wait a second! Just two days ago, McConnell blasted his president’s foreign policy on Iran as “blurred” and flawed in a speech to the Israel lobby, and said that he would be coming up with a policy to use “overwhelming force” against Iran in the Congress and he would gain broad bipartisan support for it.

And Obama has said that he doesn’t want war, he wants diplomacy.

And lo and behold, a day later, McConnell is meeting with the warmongering prime minister of Israel and with the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who is supposed to be working for Obama??? WTF. 

Update (from Alex Kane): The Republican Jewish Coalition has released an ad hitting Obama on his Israel policy, and the stars are leading Democrats who broke with Obama to back Netanyahu. Watch it (via BuzzFeed):

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged

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

  1. Dan Crowther says:

    Yeah – now you got the post title right, brother Phil.

    • Dan Crowther says:

      “The Jewish Community Will Remember in November”

      WOW.

      This ad basically calls the “jewish community” de facto agents for Israel – and not in a derogatory war either. This is insane.

      • Accordingly, is it any wonder that a large part of the ‘American community’ gets the idea that a large part of the ‘Jewish community’ acts as de facto agents for a foreign country, not very friendly to the U.S.? As Netanyahu said so wittily the other day, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, why then it must be ….”

  2. Taxi says:

    Why are the American congressmen’s lips so tightly sealed? Don’t they know we already know their funky secret?

    The chandelier halo over the head of their messiah?

  3. pabelmont says:

    These guys are amazing. They do not constantly say that Pakistan’s nukes are destabilizing (or a threat, directly or via terrorists, to USA), but they say that Iran’s non-nukes are so much a threat as to justify war — and say so despite USA’s military (and president).

    Well, money talks! And who pays the piper calls the tune. We’ll see if the CinC can resist his Congress, bought and paid for.

    • ahhiyawa says:

      Like water off a ducks back.

      Obama and his team knew his dismissal of Bibi’s ‘red lines’ would result in attacks from the I/Lobby, and from an increasingly weakening and irrelevant Congress composed of cheap dates on a cheap Saturday night.

      One thing a first term POTUS must learn if he is to win a 2nd term, is that his greatest enemies aren’t the opposition, its his own party. Obama learned that lesson in spades before the 1st year of his 1st term played out.

      In the natural order of republican (the US is a republic, not a democracy) politics, the most powerful lobby and constituency is the rising ‘national security state’ that’s got Obama’s back. These are the guys and gals with all the secrets and dirt on every enemy Obama’s got, and was the source of much of the leaked scandals & bad press that rocked Bush and the Republicans during that goofs 2nd term.

      There have been rocky moments, but Obama’s CinC bona fides vis a vis the ‘national security state’ are infinitely stronger and far more respected than anyone the Republicans are running for office November next.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Just returned from the Occupy Aipac conference actions in DC. Most of us have read about the Aipac (I lobby) for decades. Many of us have lobbied against the disproportionate amount of power and influence that the lobby has on US foreign policy for decades But as is often the case when you see the numbers (thousands) of people standing outside of congressional buildings in DC to go in and talk, lobby their Reps to vote a particular way say on Senate Resolution 380 etc you visually get what kind of pressure our Reps are under. Went to see and talk with legislative aides in both Ohio Senator Portmans and Senator Sherrod Browns offices about why they both co sponsored Senate Resolution 380 which the Aipac lobbyist were pushing for this week. Both legislative aides repeated almost identical responses. “capability” of Iran. “red line” Senator Sherrod Browns legislative aide also mentioned “constituent pressure” I mentioned to both aides that they should come to this site as well as RACE FOR IRAN to learn more about the facts on the ground. Reminded them that Iran has the right to enrich uranium up to 20% and that they were not going to give up that right under the NPT. That SR 380 demand that Iran give up their right to enrich which is not going to happen.

    The legislative aide in Senator Portmans (oh) office seemed dangerously uninformed about the Iran issue.

    As I drove back from DC to Ohio I heard NPR’s Robert Siegel interviewing Micheal Oren on All Things Considered. Oren was repeating inflammatory rhetoric about Iran as well as complete lies “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” Siegel did not challenge Oren’s false claims once. Not once. NPR’s Robert Siegel once again allows a push for an attack on Iran to be promoted under his watch as well as lies to be repeated about Iran

    The link to Robert Siegel allowing Micheal Oren to repeat lies about Iran
    Middle East
    link to npr.org
    Israeli Ambassador Weighs In On Netanyahu Visit
    [4 min 32 sec]
    ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

    Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama at the White House. The number one topic on their agenda was Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Obama appealed to the Israeli leader to allow more time to pass for sanctions against Tehran to work rather than resort to military action soon. But Netanyahu insisted that his country remain master of its own fate. And here to talk with us about what all this means is Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. Good to see you again.

    MICHAEL OREN: Always good to be with you, Robert.

    SIEGEL: The president says the U.S. has Israel’s back, while Prime Minister Netanyahu reserves the right to strike preemptively. Does Israel accept that for several months the world can wait to see if Iran is responsive to sanctions?

    OREN: Well, we think that there is time, but there’s not a lot. Keep in mind we have been warning about this Iranian nuclear program for close to two decades now. We appreciate President Obama’s great commitment. But keep in mind Israel also lives in a very tough neighborhood.

    SIEGEL: Does Israel acknowledge, though, that the current round of sanctions, not all of which have taken effect yet, are indeed tougher than what has been applied to Tehran in the past?

    OREN: Definitely tougher. And we’ve seen that they have had an impact on the Iranian economy. What they have not impacted yet is the Iranian nuclear program.

    SIEGEL: But Israel says that after a strike against Iran, if there is such a strike, there should be a regime of tough sanctions applied against Iran to prevent them from restarting. This was, I believe, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement. There obviously is an acceptance by Israel in that case of the logic of sanctions.

    OREN: The main goal will always be to prevent Iran from acquiring the ability to make nuclear weapons. This is a regime that is sponsoring terror worldwide. It’s actually the largest state sponsor of terror, giving, you know, tens of thousands of rockets to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. It’s supporting terror in Africa, in South America. This is all they’re doing without a nuclear weapon. Imagine what they would do with a nuclear weapon.

    SIEGEL: But today, are Israel and the United States essentially in agreement about how to treat the Iranian nuclear program, or would you describe Israel’s view of it as being in some way qualitatively different from that of the U.S.?

    OREN: It’s qualitatively different only in the sense that we are right next to Iran. We’re a much smaller country. We’re less than 1 percent the size of the United States. And the Iranian regime is openly saying it wants these weapons to wipe Israel off the map.

    SIEGEL: Well, what do you make of Iran never conceding that it’s making a nuclear weapon?

    OREN: Well, Iran has systematically lied about its nuclear program for three decades now. They’ve said that they weren’t enriching uranium to 20 percent; they’re enriching uranium to 20 percent. There’s lie after lie after lie here. The way we see that this could be resolved peacefully is that if Iran would give up its nuclear-enriched stockpile of uranium, it would cease enriching, and it would dismantle that secret facility at Qom. I think that’s the way we could be assured that Iran is no longer threatening to wipe Israel, as they say, off the map.

    SIEGEL: The prime minister said that for Iran, the U.S. is the great Satan; Israel is the little Satan. For them, he said, we are you, and you are us. And he said on that point, they’re right. We are you, and you are us. We’re together. That togetherness would also apply to Iranian reprisals for a strike, that is if the U.S. struck at Iran, the Iranian terror counterstrikes could be at Israel or vice versa. In that case, wouldn’t an Israeli preemptive strike be something that the U.S. should be on board with and approve of if we’re going into the risk together?

    OREN: Let’s understand that Iran has already killed hundreds, if not thousands of Americans, whether it be the 241 Marines killed in Beirut or the American soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq by Iran. But rather than focusing on the price of what happens if there’s any type of action against Iran, let’s pause for a second and consider what will be the price of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

    Imagine Iran which today has a bunch of speedboats trying to close the Strait of Hormuz. Imagine if Iran has a nuclear weapon. Imagine if they could hold the entire world oil market blackmailed. Imagine if Iran is conducting terrorist organizations through its terrorist proxies – Hamas, Hezbollah. Now we know there’s a connection with al-Qaida. You can’t respond to them because they have an atomic weapon.

    SIEGEL: Yes. You’re saying the consequences of Iran going nuclear are potentially global, and the consequences of a U.S. strike on Iran might also be further such attacks against the United States. Why shouldn’t the U.S. be informed of any Israeli plan to strike at Tehran given the fact that, as the prime minister says, you are us and we are you?

    OREN: We have very close relationships with the Obama administration, as with the previous administrations. This is a historic alliance between the American and Israeli peoples. And, of course, America’s interests are part of our calculus in anything we do. At the end of the day, though, Israel must have responsibility for itself.

    SIEGEL: Ambassador Michael Oren of Israel, thank you very much for talking with us.

    OREN: As always, thank you, Robert.

    WHEN HAS ROBERT SIEGEL HAD FLYNT OR HILLARY MANN LEVERETT ON HIS PROGRAM? WHEN HAVE YOU HEARD FLYNT OR HILLARY SAY “AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU, ROBERT”

  5. seafoid says:

    The boys references always remind me of this

    link to hurricanevanessa.com

    but 3 zionist sociopath heads wouldn’t fit in a wonderbra. Even with push up from AIPAC.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Hillary and Flynt Mann Leverett have some great post up.
    link to raceforiran.com

    Really appreciated how Occupy Aipac attendees kept asking why are there sanctions against Iran? Based on what?

    The press conference with retired Lt Colonel Anne Wright, Medea Benjaman and Veterans for Peace National President Retired US Navy Commander Leah Bolger

    link to occupyaipac.org

    This was an especially moving press conference. All panelist addressed facts on the ground as well as heartfelt compassionate statements about the people in Iran etc. Hope someone puts up a link to the live conference. Powerful statements

    Press Conference at National Press Club on AIPAC and Israel’s Policy on Iran, followed by protest at White House
    March 5th, 2012 · Posted by Occupy AIPAC!

    For Immediate Release

    Press Conference: 11am, Monday, March 5, 2012, Morrow Room, National Press Club, 529 14th Street, Washington, DC 20045
    Protest: 12:30pm, White House (Pennsylvania Ave)

    Washington, DC—Veteran, Iranian-American and interfaith groups will challenge The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its support for an Israeli attack on Iran in a press conference, at 11am, Monday, March 5, 2012 as President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Conference and protest are timed to coincide with AIPAC’s annual conference, which has been laying the groundwork for a military confrontation with Iran.

    Veterans for Peace National President Retired US Navy Commander Leah Bolger said, “Obama needs to talk sense to Netanyahu when he meets him on Monday.” Bolger emphasized that “we need the President to announce that he will not allow the United States to be drawn into war if Israel attacks Iran or provokes hostilities in some other way.”

    Retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat Ann Wright said, “President Obama in his speech to AIPAC said that a nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the nonproliferation regime that we’ve done so much to build, yet Iran has signed the non-proliferation treaty and has submitted its facilities to international inspection while Israeli has not signed the NPT, nor allowed international inspectors into its nuclear facilities that have produced from 400-600 nuclear weapons.” Wright insists that must challenge the rhetoric of the Obama and Netanyahu governments concerning Iran’s nuclear program and not let them force the United States into another war.

    Also speaking will be National Iranian American Council (NIAC) representative Jamal Adbi, who said, “In the past three years, the Obama administration has had discussions with the Iranian government for only 45 minutes –that is hardly what one would call ‘diplomacy’.”

    At the 12:30pm protest, demonstrators will be out in front of the White House when Obama meets with Netanyahu to promote the message of diplomacy. Visuals will include giant letters to spell out “NO WAR ON IRAN”, puppets, mock checkpoint and Annexation Wall.

    At 7:00PM, Another protest will take place outside of the AIPAC conference as Congressional representatives and dignitaries arrive for the Gala night. Night visuals will include a lit-up banner and visuals projected unto the Convention Center.

    The Occupy AIPAC coalition is gathering to urge Obama to reject the Israeli administration’s push for war on Iran and insist on respect for Palestinian rights. Timed to coincide with the annual AIPAC policy conference from March 3-6, the Occupy AIPAC summit will be a long weekend of events and protests that draw attention to the role of AIPAC as a special interest lobby that maintains a stranglehold over US policies. As the Occupy Movement has focused public ire on the role of large corporations and powerful lobby groups, hundreds will gather in DC to protest AIPAC’s push for war.

    Occupy Aipac..Occupy Ros Lehtinens persistent efforts to take the US to war with Iran

  7. Woody Tanaka says:

    People say there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Ds and Rs. They’re right. Look at this picture. I thought Reid and McConnell were the same person.

    • Kathleen says:

      On this issue there is no difference. As Mearsheimer has said they all say their “pledge of allegiance to Israel” And as Mearsheimer and other experts have so often pointed out US and Israel’s interest in the region are very different and have never been the same.
      link to raceforiran.com

      Even though Aipac, Jinsa, Netanyahu, Micheal Oren etc all keep repeating that US and Israeli interest are one and the same. Just not the truth no matter how many times they keep repeating this myth

  8. Chu says:

    I think I am going to pencil in Netanyahu for our 2012 president.
    He’s the real Big Daddy for the US Congress.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Hillary Mann Leverett’s interview with Anti war’s Scott Horton
    link to antiwar.com

  10. Mndwss says:

    The picture made me think about:

    Pearl Jam – Do The Evolution:

    “I’m a thief, I’m a liar
    There’s my church, I sing in the choir:
    Hal-le-lu-jah
    Hal-le-lu-jah”

    link to youtube.com

    Reid and McConnell is just about to join in and sing “Hal-le-lu-jah”…

  11. Danaa says:

    Title for the picture:

    “The Yahoo and his Yokels”

  12. RE: “The Republican Jewish Coalition has released an ad hitting Obama on his Israel policy, and the stars are leading Democrats who broke with Obama to back Netanyahu.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Totally excellent! Go RJC, go!

    • P.S. Now remind me, does RJC stand for Republican Jewish Coalition or Republican Jabotinskyite Coalition?

      FROM WIKIPEDIA [Iron Wall (essay)]:

      (excerpt)…Jabotinsky argued that the Palestinians would not agree to a Jewish majority in Palestine, and that “Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach.”[1] The only solution to achieve peace and a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he [Ze'ev Jabotinsky] argued, would be for Jews to unilaterally decide its borders and defend them with the strongest security possible…

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org
      ALSO: The Iron Wall, Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, 1923 – link to mideastweb.org

      FROM WIKIPEDIA:

      (excerpt)…In 1930, while [Ze'ev] Jabotinsky was visiting South Africa, he was informed by the British Colonial Office that he would not be allowed to return to Palestine…
      …During his time in exile, Jabotinsky started regarding Benito Mussolini as a potential ally against the British, and contacts were made with Italy. In 1934 Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Zionist movement set up the Betar Naval Academy in Mussolini’s Italy, which operated until 1938…

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  13. Taxi says:

    Inside Story US 2012- “The AIPAC primary.”

    In the 25 minute show, Al Jazeera’s Anand Naidoo looks at the role AIPAC in the 2012 race. On the biggest day of the US primary season so far, three of the four Republican candidates took the time to address the post powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. either in the flesh or via videolink. Why?

    Anand discusses with John Mearsheimer, the co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy; Larry Greenfield from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; and Hillary Mann Leverett, a former White House and US state department official.

    link to aljazeera.com

  14. optimax says:

    Is that Tinkerbell whispering magic incantations in McConnell’s ear? “I will make you great. I will make you rich. You will be blessed in the eyes of the Lord?”

  15. Kathleen says:

    “the Jewish community will remember in November” Ruh roh. Netanyahu trying to take out Obama. With Kagan and Max Boot setting Romney’s foreign policy stances the I lobby will likely line up behind Romney…..
    President Obama asking that Israel recognize the 67 border…what a concept

  16. Inanna says:

    Let the lobby keep doing what they’re doing. It’s the surest way to make themselves irrelevant.