Sen. Boxer is on the defensive over legislation OK-ing Israeli discrimination against Arab-Americans

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

This is good news about the growing pressure inside the U.S. mainstream against the special relationship from Americans who insist on discussing Israel’s racist policies. In this case, the LA Times ran a piece (a week back) by George Bisharat calling out California Senator Barbara Boxer for sponsoring a law that would give Israelis visa-free entry to the U.S. at a time when Israel discriminates against Arab-Americans who arrive at its ports.

Bisharat:

Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced legislation last month that would allow Israel to continue racially profiling Americans of Arab and Muslim heritage who travel to Israel, even as it confers new privileges on Israelis traveling to the United States.

I wonder whether she understands what it’s like for her Arab American constituents to enter Israel…

Why such blatant racial profiling of American citizens from a country our political leaders regularly call our best friend and ally? No Arab American has ever committed crimes in Israel to warrant harassment of us all — unless criticism of Israeli policies is such a crime. For while we all experience lengthy detention and interrogation, those of us who bear public witness to Israel’s oppression of Palestinians are the most likely to be denied entry.

Palestinian Americans expect it from Israel. It merely treats us as it does other Arabs, including its own 1.4 million Palestinian citizens: with distrust and hostility, and as if our blood determined our character.

That piece is straight out of the American tradition of opposing Jim Crow and apartheid.

Well then of course, the Balancing Act kicked in. The LA Times ran several letters supportive of Israel (and one critical).

But Boxer herself was on the defensive. She also wrote a letter to the LA Times defending her legislation and saying that Israel is one of our “strongest allies”– notice, she doesn’t say it’s our best friend– and it has the right to deny entry “based on national security concerns.” But watch her wiggle:

In fact, it gives us important leverage to ensure Israel welcomes Americans by requiring a certification from our secretaries of Homeland Security and State that Israel has made “every” reasonable effort to grant reciprocal travel privileges to “all” Americans.

Of course the real question is, When does Palestine get to decide who is allowed to visit Palestine? Like, never. 

But Bisharat’s intervention demonstrates what M.J. Rosenberg has long said: As soon as these pols start getting asked about Israel at press conferences and the like, they’re going to start to hedge.

The irony is that when the Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine, their discrimination against Jewish visitors was a source of political action by Theodor Herzl and the head of the Zionist Federation in the U.S., Richard Gottheil.

Haaretz has reprinted a 1900 letter to Gottheil from Herzl, founder of political Zionism, calling on the U.S. to prevent discrimination against its Jewish citizens in Palestine.

In November 1900, the Ottoman authorities published an order prohibiting Jewish visitors to the Land of Israel from remaining there for more than three months at a time. Subsequently, on February 25, 1901, Theodor Herzl sent a letter to American Zionists… in an attempt to enlist their help by lobbying the United States to take action

“I am asking you, therefore, to initiate with the greatest speed a discussion in the Congress or the Senate on the question as to whether it is permissible to deny American citizens – be they Jews or Christians – to tread on Palestinian ground, or to make distinctions between the various American citizens,” he added.

The letter urged Gottheil to get an answer from the U.S. president:
 
It will be difficult for him to refuse, since it is not a case of taking a position on Zionism but a matter of equal rights for all American citizens…
It will be up to you to obtain the president’s remarks in the form of an interview, or in any other manner deemed suitable by you, to make sure they are spread among as much of the public at large as possible … Do not make do with a debate in the Congress and Senate or with a declaration by the president, but make an effort to obtain everything: representatives, government and public opinion.
 
Notice that Haaretz uses this letter under the headline, “When the Jewish lobby was young.” Remember when Chuck Hagel was denounced as an anti-Semite for describing the Israel lobby as the Jewish lobby? Double standard. His mistake was speaking while being non-Jewish.

Thanks to Alex Kane and Annie Robbins.

40 Responses

  1. hophmi
    May 7, 2013, 10:45 am

    When has Boxer ever called Israel “our best friend”?

    You omit, of course, that this visa privilege is enjoyed by 37 other countries, and is nothing unusual.

    • AlGhorear
      May 7, 2013, 11:33 am

      Hophmi, as you’ve already been shown on other threads, this visa-free privilege is enjoyed by 37 others countries, ALL of whom reciprocate. If Boxer’s bill passes, Israel will be the only country with this privilege that doesn’t reciprocate and allow Americans the same privilege.

      BTW, where is Mooser?!

      • Tobias
        May 7, 2013, 7:46 pm

        Yes indeed where the hell is Mooser, Mondoweiss is just not the same without him.

      • Bumblebye
        May 8, 2013, 1:05 pm

        I think he was last here on Feb 6. I asked if he’d got the sack. He and seanmcbride seemed locked in an interminable squabble at the time, and both have disappeared. Eva Smagasz found him as Mooser42001 elsewhere.

      • AlGhorear
        May 9, 2013, 7:50 pm

        I’ve seen some comments by Mooser42001 and I don’t think they sound like our Mooser. I miss him and hope he hasn’t been banned.

    • Light
      May 7, 2013, 12:24 pm

      You omit, of course, that this visa privilege is enjoyed by 37 other countries, and is nothing unusual.

      How many of those countries routinely harass Americans when they enter the country?
      How many of those countries prevent Americans from visiting a third country?

    • kylebisme
      May 7, 2013, 3:18 pm

      Rather, you omit the fact that the visa privilege is reciprocal in the case of those other countries, while Phil simply noted the fact that this bill would have it otherwise with Israel.

      • hophmi
        May 7, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Israel reciprocates as well. All countries are permitted to scrutinize those who pose possible threats to their national security.

      • Hostage
        May 8, 2013, 12:58 pm

        Israel reciprocates as well. All countries are permitted to scrutinize those who pose possible threats to their national security.

        Hasbara fail. Glen Greenwald and Ron Kampeas have both written articles which highlight the fact that Israel has a practice of routinely refusing to allow Americans of Arab ethnicity or Muslim backgrounds to enter their country or the occupied territories it controls simply because they are critical of Israeli actions or supportive of Palestinian rights. Try reading the articles and addressing their actual content:
        * link to guardian.co.uk
        * link to blogs.jta.org
        * link to jta.org

        Israel’s arbitrary policy has nothing to do with screening out legitimate security threats. Mondoweiss has carried a number of articles about harassment of travelers, like former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and denial of entrance to Quakers peace activists attending church conferences or Palestinian-American school teachers.

      • James Canning
        May 8, 2013, 1:33 pm

        Bravo, Hostage. Israel’s actions are intended to help conceal ongoing oppression of the Palestinians. By illegal Jewish settlers in West Bank. Etc.

      • MK_Ultra
        May 8, 2013, 10:45 pm

        I’d love to see any country dare to routinely single out Israelis for scrutiny on the grounds of being possible threats to their national security. ha!

    • Hostage
      May 7, 2013, 5:58 pm

      You omit, of course, that this visa privilege is enjoyed by 37 other countries, and is nothing unusual.

      That’s a false analogy:

      In order for the US to permit citizens of a foreign country to enter the US without a visa, that country must agree to certain conditions. Chief among them is reciprocity: that country must allow Americans to enter without a visa as well. There are 37 countries which have been permitted entrance into America’s “visa waiver” program, and all of them – all 37 – reciprocate by allowing American citizens to enter their country without a visa.

      — See Glenn Greenwald, Barbara Boxer, AIPAC seek to codify Israel’s right to discriminate against Americans

      Israel is not willing to do that in the case of US citizens who happen to be Arab American, so Boxer has introduced special legislation that codifies an exception which is not available to those 37 other countries. Mondoweiss and many other sources, including the LA Times, have pointed out that situation.

      • hophmi
        May 7, 2013, 6:23 pm

        As Boxer said, and as you well know, countries are permitted to protect their own national security interests. Go ahead. Tell me with a straight face that Borders and Customs in the US and similar agencies in Europe let those from Arab countries through every bit as quickly as white Europeans.

      • Hostage
        May 8, 2013, 12:34 pm

        Go ahead. Tell me with a straight face that Borders and Customs in the US and similar agencies in Europe let those from Arab countries through every bit as quickly as white Europeans.

        Okay I’ll tell you that our government uses a database created jointly by sending and receiving governments that is not grounded in blacklisting travelers on the basis of religious- and ethnicity-based entrance exclusions.

      • hophmi
        May 8, 2013, 1:00 pm

        A policy the US applies perfectly, of course, because there is no discrimination against Arabs and Muslims in the US at all, right?

      • RoHa
        May 8, 2013, 8:55 pm

        “Tell me with a straight face that Borders and Customs in the US and similar agencies in Europe let those from Arab countries through every bit as quickly as white Europeans.”

        Tell me which European countries require special legislation to make an exception for Arab-Americans.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 8:27 am

        A policy the US applies perfectly, of course, because there is no discrimination against Arabs and Muslims in the US at all, right?

        I believe the relevant question in the context of this article would be whether or not members of US minority groups can travel to participating countries under the terms of a reciprocal visa waiver program in accordance with Section 217 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Title 8 U.S.C. §1187?

        For example, where are the reports about US Jews are being deported from Brunai for refusing to permit the border police to access their email accounts? As usual, you’re desperately trying to change the subject.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 8:55 am

        Tell me which European countries require special legislation to make an exception for Arab-Americans.

        The existing statute already allows countries into the waiver program if they have a non-immigrant visa refusal rate of 3 percent or less. That indicates that the Israelis are routinely turning away something in excess of that number right now, or they wouldn’t need any special legislation.

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 11:07 am

        “For example, where are the reports about US Jews are being deported from Brunai for refusing to permit the border police to access their email accounts? As usual, you’re desperately trying to change the subject.”

        The man was deported because he was planning to travel to the West Bank to make life difficult for Israeli soldiers. If the purpose of an international traveller coming to America was to protest at Guantanamo Bay, do you think he’s getting in here? We wouldn’t even let in Tarik Ramadan!

      • talknic
        May 9, 2013, 11:55 am

        @ hophmi

        “If the purpose of an international traveller coming to America was to protest at Guantanamo Bay, do you think he’s getting in here? “

        Strange link to thejusticecampaign.org

        It’s kind of embarrassing, gringo….

        “The man was deported because he was planning to travel to the West Bank to make life difficult for Israeli soldiers. “

        Israeli soldiers still there? Why? The UNSC has ruled that Israel MUST end the occupation, get out of Arab territories, including Jerusalem. “Israel, the Occupying Power” constitutes ” a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East”; link to wp.me

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 12:02 pm

        Oh poor Israeli soldiers!

        Who will deport Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlers for making life difficult for Palestinians?

        Hoppie please chime in on your American First advice. LOL

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 12:04 pm

        Theres more discrimination in Israel even though in one day, Islamic terrorists killed more Americans than Palestinian militants and terrorists have killed in over 10 years.

        1000 dead Israelis. Meanwhile you kill 1000 + Palestinian children alone.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 6:03 pm

        The man was deported because he was planning to travel to the West Bank to make life difficult for Israeli soldiers.

        Please be specific. I was talking about cases of illegal discrimination, like the ones against Sandra Tamari, peace activists, and citizens visiting family members in Palestine, e.g. See State Dep’t official’s ‘Are you Jewish?’ question to US citizen keeps rattling Foggy Bottom: link to mondoweiss.net

        Boxer’s legislation would sanction that discrimination. An Occupying Power has no right to deport or refuse entry to anyone on the nonsensical basis that you propose. Article 46 of the Hague Convention of 1907 stipulates that “Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.”

        That applies even when the country being occupied is “Arab” or “Muslim”. Violations of the Hague regulations against Jewish family honor, rights, and property were treated as hanging offenses by the Nuremburg tribunal, even though the victims were consider “Semites”. For example, this rule of customary law means that Israel can’t deport Palestinian Quaker peace activists as “undesirables” simply because it doesn’t like their religious convictions and practices.

  2. Sumud
    May 7, 2013, 10:50 am

    As previously noted Boxer is a traitor, and I don’t doubt she knows it.

    When confronted by a sufficient number of outraged constituents she will withdraw – it is that simple. AIPAC gets away with what it can, but it is the proverbial house of cards.

    • American
      May 7, 2013, 12:43 pm

      “When confronted by a sufficient number of outraged constituents she will withdraw – it is that simple.”…Sumud

      I doubt Boxer or any of them will ever back off…..the I – Firsters are so use to dominating US policy, so use to getting away with everything they do, so oblivious to the growing grumbling in the public about our leaders higher allegiance to a foreign country– that when the final show down does come it will catch them totally by surprise.

      • CloakAndDagger
        May 7, 2013, 9:40 pm

        Can’t wait for the guillotines to be rolled out for Marie “Boxer” Antoinette. She will never get my vote – ever.

  3. seafoid
    May 7, 2013, 11:02 am

    Boxer’s “Israel right or wrong” is no better than ” my mother, drunk or sober”.

    and Israel is ,like, rilly drunk on racism, bigotry and all round vileness.

  4. pabelmont
    May 7, 2013, 11:39 am

    I wonder if anyone’s has studied the prevalence of organized Israeli crime in America, including and not limited to [1] spying on our government and [2] industrial spying (no-one has any trouble mentioning Chinese industrial spying). My guess is that there is plenty. Jes’ sayin’. So — no — it’s not enough to justify turning away all Israelis, but tit-for-tat? Any day, for me.

  5. Les
    May 7, 2013, 12:45 pm

    Our politics, including the 24-7 racist treatment of Arabs and native Middle Easterners, flows from our media to our politics and politicians, most definitely not the other way round.

  6. James Canning
    May 7, 2013, 2:26 pm

    Bravo. Boxer deserves a good drubbing on this matter.

  7. tree
    May 7, 2013, 3:14 pm

    From the Haaretz article:

    Three days after Herzl wrote the letter to his American colleague, U.S. Secretary of State John Hay officially protested to the Turks about the implicit discrimination against Jews. In reply, the Ottoman Empire clarified that the restrictions on Jews staying in Palestine applied only to those who try to come “in great numbers,” but did not prevent entry of individual tourists.

    Obviously the Ottoman Empire was trying to discourage Zionism, not prevent Jews from visiting Palestine on a short term basis. That happened over one hundred years ago, and still what the Ottoman Empire did was less restrictive than what that “light unto the nations” does today. And the US condones the Israeli attitude, while it protested the less onerous Ottoman restriction back then.

    • Hostage
      May 7, 2013, 6:36 pm

      Obviously the Ottoman Empire was trying to discourage Zionism, not prevent Jews from visiting Palestine on a short term basis. That happened over one hundred years ago, and still what the Ottoman Empire did was less restrictive than what that “light unto the nations” does today. And the US condones the Israeli attitude, while it protested the less onerous Ottoman restriction back then.

      There was no need to engage the Jewish lobby in 1900, since the US government had long-since established that it would not discriminate against its Jewish citizens in Palestine on that basis, despite objections from the indigenous Jewish community and the Ottoman authorities.

      On at least one previous occasion, the Governor of Palestine had demanded that all of the western consuls expel their visiting Jewish subjects:

      Though Jews belonging to other nationalities have been expelled from Jerusalem and Palestine, no American citizen has been expelled during my connection with this consulate. In all communications with the local authorities I have invariably and decidedly held the position that I could in no wise consent, much less render aid to expel from Palestine citizens of the United States who are Jews; that a fundamental principle of our Government was involved, which positively forbids any ‘discrimination made for or against American citizens on account of their race or religion.
      In this connection, I herewith inclose copy with translation of a communication received from his excellency Raouf Pasha, governor of Jerusalem and Palestine, dated September 10 last, a copy of which was transmitted by me to the Department of State at Washington, with my dispatch No. 26, dated September 28, 1887. This was followed by a verbal message from the governor informing me that of the ten consuls in Jerusalem I was the only one who had not assented and promised to render aid in carrying out this decree (iradeh) regarding the expulsion of the Jews. To this I simply affirmed my former declaration, informing the governor that I had made the matter the subject of a special dispatch to our Government and awaited the decision.
      As my dispatch to the Department (No. 26, above referred to) inclosing the copy of the governors letter was, as usual, transmitted through the consulate-general, I did not consider it necessary to otherwise inform Mr. Pringle regarding the matter, especially as the local Turkish authorities were tacitly consenting to await the decision of our Department of State, and their relations with me, both personally and as the representative of our Government, have always been of the most friendly and conciliatory character.
      I may add that when the verbal message of the governor was delivered to me the chancellor of the British consulate was present in this consulate, and expressed his surprise at my friendship for the Jews. When I took the occasion to ask him what the action of the British consulate was in such cases, he replied they invariably rendered the required aid to the Ottoman authorities in carrying out the decree, as did the other consulates.

      One peculiar phase of the case is that large numbers of the resident Jews share in this dislike to the coming here of more Jews. This is explained by the fact that it tends to the increase in price of all articles of living, adds little or nothing to the wealth of the city, and reduces the proportion of the charitable aid sent here by their wealthy co-religionists from abroad.
      You will at once perceive, therefore, that the position I have taken, and that I am obliged to take, is a thankless one, exposing me on one side to the disapproval of the Ottoman Government, and on the other to the animosity of many of the resident Jews, not to take into the account the feeling on the subject entertained by the representatives of the various foreign governments.

      link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      Notice that Haaretz uses this letter under the headline, “When the Jewish lobby was young.” Remember when Chuck Hagel was denounced as an anti-Semite for describing the Israel lobby as the Jewish lobby?

      The various “Jewish” federations and organizations, like the World Jewish Congress, have formal relationships with “Zionist” organizations, like the Jewish National Fund and World Zionist Organization. They frequently have interlocking boards or governors who serve on a number of “Israel”, “Zionist”, or “Jewish” special interest lobbying groups. They only complain about the situation for propaganda purposes.

    • James Canning
      May 7, 2013, 7:45 pm

      Obviously, the Ottomans were trying to prevent too many European Jews from relocating in Palestine.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    May 7, 2013, 3:36 pm

    RE: “No Arab American has ever committed crimes in Israel to warrant harassment of us all — unless criticism of Israeli policies is such a crime. For while we all experience lengthy detention and interrogation, those of us who bear public witness to Israel’s oppression of Palestinians are the most likely to be denied entry.” ~ Bisharat

    MY COMMENT: This effort by Israel’s Likudnik supporters to force the U.S. to give Israel a special exemption that would effectively allow Israel to discriminate against American travelers it sees as “security threats” (largely meaning Arab Americans), and also allow Israel to deny entry to Americans “who bear public witness to Israel’s oppression of Palestinians” (sometimes bearing this witness merely via constitutionally protected speech here in the U.S.) is yet another reason I fear that Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment [like the right to "due process" and "the right of free speech"] ! ! !
    “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”

    OTHER EXAMPLES OF ISRAEL’S VALUES TRUMPING (OVERRIDING) THE VALUES OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT HERE IN THE U.S.
    “How We Became Israel”, By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, 9/10/12
    LINK – link to theamericanconservative.com
    “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12
    LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
    “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
    LINK – link to rawstory.com
    “From Occupation to ‘Occupy': The Israelification of American Domestic Security”, By Max Blumenthal, Al-akhbar, 12/02/11
    LINK – link to english.al-akhbar.com OR link to informationclearinghouse.info
    On the Wish List from the Boston Bombings – The Israelization of America (Aaron Cohen, “National Security Expert” on Fox “News” saying that we need to “get on the Israeli page”) [VIDEO, 00:24] – link to youtube.com
    “In bill discriminating against Arab- and Muslim-Americans, Boxer and 17 other senators serve Israeli gov’t over their own — Greenwald”, By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 4/13/13
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    “The Second Battle of Gaza: Israel’s Undermining Of International Law”, by Jeff Halper, mrzine.monthlyreview.org, 02/26/10
    LINK – link to mrzine.monthlyreview.org
    “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics”, by David Theo Goldberg & Saree Makdisi, Tikkun Magazine, September/October 2009
    LINK – link to tikkun.org
    “Brooklyn College’s academic freedom increasingly threatened over Israel event”, by Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 2/02/13
    LINK – link to guardian.co.uk
    “Peter ‘Powder Keg’ Beinart is disinvited from gig at Atlanta Jewish book festival”, by Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss, 11/05/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
    LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com
    “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 11/15/12
    LINK – link to guardian.co.uk

    P.S. AND HERE’S ANOTHER THREAT TO THE VALUES OF “THE ENLIGHTENMENT” BY ISRAEL’S “CHRISTIAN” ALLIES:
    “US Religious Right Propelling Homophobia in African Countries”
    , by Common Dreams, 7/24/12
    LINK – link to commondreams.org

  9. Kathleen
    May 7, 2013, 4:38 pm

    “Israeli’s visa free entry” Trouble
    “But Boxer herself was on the defensive. She also wrote a letter to the LA Times defending her legislation and saying that Israel is one of our “strongest allies”– notice, she doesn’t say it’s our best friend– and it has the right to deny entry “based on national security concerns.” But watch her wiggle:

    In fact, it gives us important leverage to ensure Israel welcomes Americans by requiring a certification from our secretaries of Homeland Security and State that Israel has made “every” reasonable effort to grant reciprocal travel privileges to “all” Americans.”

    How many Americans has Israel turned away from entering their country? I have been reading about hundreds of people being turned away.

    How many Israeli’s have come into spy on the U.S. for Israel?
    link to counterpunch.org

    link to antiwar.com
    9/11: WHAT DID ISRAEL KNOW?
    – and when did they tell us?

    Israel had foreknowledge of 9/11 – that was Carl Cameron’s explosive contention, made last year in a blockbuster series of reports on Fox News exposing an Israeli spy ring in the U.S. New evidence confirms his story – and points to a rather ominous conclusion….

    Reporting the round-up and deportation of scores of Israeli agents – masquerading as “art students” – Cameron noted last December that several were “active Israeli military” and the rest had skills that one normally associates with spies: electronic interception, explosives, and special operations. Several failed polygraph tests when asked if they were engaged in “surveillance activities against and in the United States.” Aside from trying to penetrate U.S. government facilities, this network, which went into high gear in the months prior to 9/11, was also watching the Al Qaeda terrorists, according to Cameron:

    “There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are – quote – ‘tie-ins.’ But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, – quote – ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.'”

    This was denied up and down by the U.S. and Israeli governments, and the story was derided as an “urban myth,” denounced as an “anti-Semitic” canard, and subsequently banished from the pages of the “mainstream” media. But evidence began to pile up: reports of hundreds of Israelis descending on U.S. government facilities, and a massive round-up of these operatives claiming to be “art students,” began to leak out.

    The story refused to die. A secret government report (originating with the Drug Enforcement Agency) detailing the highly suspicious activities of these aspiring Israeli “artists” was subsequently uncovered, and a series of stories appeared in the international media: Le Monde, the British media, and then leaping across the Atlantic. An excellent article in Salon, by Christopher Ketcham, and wire stories detailing the leaked contents of the DEA report raised awareness of a possible Israeli connection to the events surrounding 9/11.

  10. irmep
    May 7, 2013, 8:01 pm

    Non-reciprocity is the essence of many AIPAC-drafted bills, no surprise there.

    America’s first “free” trade agreement in reality unilaterally dropped tarrif and quotas on all Israeli goods, while Israel was allowed to maintain “floating” tarrifs and quotas to protect certain industries.

    Predictably, the “free” trade agreement turned a more-or-less equal trading relationship into one favoring Israel two-to-one.

    It would be interesting to know what might be going on behind the scenes as AIPAC tries to ram this through. In the “free” trade case, it was investigated as espionage and theft of government property.

    link to IRmep.org

  11. Hostage
    May 8, 2013, 12:57 am

    It would be interesting to know what might be going on behind the scenes as AIPAC tries to ram this through.

    I don’t know about the behind the scenes maneuvers, but Senator Boxer has switched into full hasbara disinformation mode: See Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency blog report “Barbara Boxer suggests her visa waiver makes it tougher for Israel” link to blogs.jta.org

  12. irmep
    May 8, 2013, 8:29 am

    Still looks remarkably similar to disingenuous lobbying for the “free” trade agreement.

    When that came under fire, the “pro-Israel community” stepped forward urging that the U.S. would be at a competitive disadvantage to Europe, implementing trade preferences with Israel.

    Like the Boxer “tougher” assertion, it was 100% misdirection.

  13. Re: United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013

    Dear Senator _____:

    I greatly appreciate your service to our nation. It is not easy to undertake a large-scale election campaign or to commit oneself to meeting the unique demands on a member of the upper house of the legislature of the United States.

    I am saddened that you and your colleagues would even review a proposed law as lopsided against and costly to the United States as the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (“USISPA”). From a cursory review, USISPA appears to have been authored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. USISPA amounts to a giveaway of huge amounts of our nation’s prerogatives and assets for the benefit of a foreign nation that provides a small return to us. As a moderate American, I ask you to reject USISPA as unfavorable for the United States.

    As one example of the lopsidedness of USISPA, Section 9 of USISPA provides a visa waiver to citizens of Israel without requiring Israel to provide reciprocity on visa waiver to citizens and nationals of the United States. Section 9 reads that Israel must provide reciprocity unless Israel determines that certain citizens and nationals of the United States jeopardize the security of the State of Israel. Israel has discretion to impose visa requirements/obligations on any American citizen or national at any time on account of an arbitrary determination by Israel that such American jeopardizes the “security of the State of Israel.”

    While Section 2 of USISPA hyperbolically states that “the people and the Government of the United States and Israel share a deep and unbreakable bond, forged by over 60 years of shared interests and shares values,” Section 9 of USISPA implicitly assumes that Israel will deem that Americans jeopardize the security of the State of Israel.

    USISPA fails to specify any definition of the “security of the State of Israel” or to reasonably limit Israel’s power over Americans. How might Americans be so anticipated to jeopardize the security of the State of Israel that such likelihood is actually written into law? Why would the United States Senate provide this substantial benefit of visa-free entry to citizens of Israel when Israel may deny such benefit to citizens of the United States on arbitrary grounds? I ask you to reject USISPA as poorly conceived and poorly drafted.

  14. Citizen
    May 9, 2013, 8:23 am

    Boxer has responded to those who say her bill would codify discriminatory Israeli law into US law and immunize aid to Israel from sequester cuts. Here’s the response to her response: link to touch.latimes.com

    Meanwhile, this anti-American bill of hers is winding through Congress and the mainstream news is silent, the masses blithly ignorant.

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