D.C. thinktank pushing Iran war got $19 million in one year from Israel supporters

Israel/Palestine
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Eli Clifton has a great piece of investigative reporting up at Salon revealing the leading donors to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative outfit that pushes a militant posture on Iran. “The group has risen since its 2001 founding to become Washington’s premiere hawkish think tank.”

And it turns out that five pro-Israel donors gave the thinktank over $19 million in one year, 2011.

Clifton’s list is topped by Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus, contributing $10,745,000.

A public critic of the Obama administration, blasting it as “amateurs in the White House” and “amateurs surrounded by amateurs” in a 2011 Wall Street Journal interview, Marcus maxed out his personal contributions to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. …

FDD’s second largest contributor is hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major fundraiser for Romney’s presidential campaign and a significant campaign contributor in his own right. Singer, who gave $3.6 million to FDD, infused $1 million into Restore Our Future and over $1 million into the American Unity PAC, a Republican Party PAC that supports gay marriage.

Singer is a big supporter of Israel. So is Bernard Marcus. So does the third largest donor:

Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson — FDD’s third largest donor — has been far less guarded about his foreign policy views than Singer or Marcus. Adelson, who contributed $1,510,059, is a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a proponent of a hawkish U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

No wonder that FDD supports attacking Iran:

A top FDD scholar and tireless advocate for bombing Iran, Reuel Marc Gerecht, has mirrored exactly Adelson’s brand of disregard for what Iranians might think of an attack.

According to its site, FDD is all about Israel:

“FDD was founded shortly after 9/11 by a group of visionary philanthropists and policymakers to support the defense of democratic societies under assault by terrorism and militant Islamism.”

It pushes a militant position on Iran because Iran has vowed to “destroy” Israel. Its board of advisers includes Bill Kristol, Bret Stephens, Joe Lieberman and Charles Krauthammer.

FDD’s National Security Trip to Israel is a trip for D.C.-area young professionals “interested in careers in U.S. national security.” So, they go to Israel to learn about U.S. security!

And though these Washington-area young professionals are interested in careers in US security, they have to have had experience in Israel:

FDD’s National Security Trip to Israel is an advanced trip for those who have previous experience in Israel….Previous Israel experience is a requisite for application.

The other two Israel-supporters in Clifton’s findings are the Abramson Foundation and Newton and Rochelle Becker. Rochelle Becker epitomizes the Israel lobby: she gives money to Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer and pro-Israel groups. World Alliance for Israel PAC. The Abramsons also epitomize the lobby. They give a ton to Temple University. Madlyn Abramson gives money to Democratic candidates. Her daughter Judith A. Felgoise gives money to Democratic candidates. And then they support neoconservatives.

No wonder Barbara Boxer is a hawk on Israel. Because that’s where the money is. Chris Christie just visited Sheldon Adelson in Vegas. Rick Perry is going to Israel in the fall. And though Liam Hoare in Haaretz says it’s anti-Semitic to point this out, all but one of the 6 major donors to FDD in 2011 are apparently Jewish. Because Zionism is embedded in Jewish life.

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