Obama cites donor pressure re Iran, but ‘NYT’ won’t tell you what he means

US Politics
on 96 Comments

President Obama touched on the power of the Israel lobby yesterday in a meeting with Democratic senators, but in its report on the meeting, The New York Times did a magic trick: it never used the word Israel.

Obama met for two hours with a group of Democratic senators in Baltimore and pleaded with them not to apply more sanctions to Iran now negotiations are underway. He got an argument from Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

According to one of the senators and another person who was present, the president urged lawmakers to stop pursuing sanctions, saying such a move would undermine his authority and could derail the talks. Mr. Obama also said that such a provocative action could lead international observers to blame the Americans, rather than the Iranians, if the talks collapsed before the June 30 deadline.

The president said he understood the pressures that senators face from donors and others, but he urged the lawmakers to take the long view rather than make a move for short-term political gain, according to the senator. Mr. Menendez, who was seated at a table in front of the podium, stood up and said he took “personal offense.”

Mr. Menendez told the president that he had worked for more than 20 years to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and had always been focused on the long-term implications. Mr. Menendez also warned the president that sanctions could not be imposed quickly if Congress waited to act and the talks failed, according to two people who were present.

So the president addressed donor pressure on the senators! What donors? What others? This is clearly a reference to the Israel lobby in the Democratic Party. But our leading newspaper is opaque about a central political issue. Chris Matthews will in turn be just as opaque. Did the Koch brothers ever get this kind of immunity? Never.

A few weeks back the Washington Post reported on these pressures inside the Democratic Party in a story on “the billionaire political kingmakers planning to bankroll much of the 2016 presidential campaign.” Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, leading American Zionists.

Haim Saban, a media mogul and close Democratic ally of Hillary Rodham Clinton, criticized President Obama’s outreach to Iran, declaring that “we’ve shown too many carrots and a very small stick.”

Maybe that’s who Obama means?

Or maybe he is reading Daniel Zoughbie’s new book on Israel/Palestine policy, from MIT Press. It’s remarkable for all the insiders who dished dirt. Lord Patten, a leading British politician, was European Commissioner when he met a group of senators in Washington in 2002 in the runup to the Iraq war. According to Patten, one of the senators said:

“What you’ve got to understand, Commissioner, is that we’re all members of the Likud Party here.”

Walt and Mearsheimer made the Israel lobby an issue 9 years ago. But they still can’t get arrested on Connecticut Avenue. Isn’t it time Americans got to discuss this central question of the national interest versus a political faction?

Update: The Republican Jewish Coalition and neoconservative Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post have both pushed back against the Times story, saying in essence that it is anti-semitic for suggesting that conservative Jews are leveraging U.S. policy, when we all dislike Iran in the U.S. Rubin says Obama was invoking “the hideous trope that lawmakers are in the pocket of the ‘Israel lobby.’” The RJC’s Matt Brooks:

“What exactly was President Obama suggesting when he said opposition to his Iran policy is due to ‘donors’?  No one would say opposition to his Russia policy is due to ‘donors,’ or his Cuba policy is due to ‘donors,’ or his general foreign policy is due to ‘donors.’  So why did President Obama single out those who seek tougher sanctions on Iran and say their viewpoints are based on ‘donors’?

“The threat Iran poses to Israel and the western world is a national security issue.”

Update: Yesterday’s Times has a big editorial: Standing Up to the N.R.A. It uses the word “lobby” four times. It ends: “An additional gun is always the N.R.A.’s panacea for the nation’s troubles.”

 Thanks to James North.

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96 Responses

  1. hophmi
    January 16, 2015, 11:10 am

    Because only the Jews support a hard line on Iran, right? No one else but the Jews have ever given money to a member of Congress in order to support a hard line on Iran. Certainly not Christian conversatives. I mean, that could never happen. If it happens in the Middle East, the best thing to do is to blame the Jews, right?

    • Giles
      January 16, 2015, 1:44 pm

      Israel and her loyalists are pushing us into this war with Iran. Of that there is ZERO doubt. Nobody else. And since Israel presents itself as the nation for all Jews and since so many Jews buy into this, the answer is yes. It is likely “the Jews” will be blamed for this war which will be an absolute disaster for all concerned. Most will have had nothing to do with it — just as most Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism — but all will be blamed, just as all Muslims are vilified.

      • Krauss
        January 16, 2015, 2:03 pm

        Giles you speak so much truth.

        But the main problem here is and remains the media. The NYT is shilling for the lobby in a way it wouldn’t ever do for any other organization. I would in fact go as far as to call the NYT as part of the lobby itself, even if it views itself as a “liberal” Zionist institution, it still nevertheless supports the ideology.

        It’s okay to criticize Zionism, so long as you do it in a shoot-and-cry way. If you do it out of liberal principles, like Salaita, you’re out of a job or like Shipman at Yale.

        We’ve made progress in this last decade, but let’s not kid ourselves: the Zionist camp is far more entrenched than we are and will remain so for years to come. 2016 will not see a debate on Israel, Hillary and Warren are the two main candidates and both are shills for the lobby.

        Mid-2020s is the earliest time we’ll see a real political debate on it. Until then we have to win the university campus and the progressive media. No time to slack off.

      • JeffB
        January 16, 2015, 4:01 pm

        @Giles

        Too many Christians in the mix for that to work. Because there is doubt and there are other people.

        The #1 public advocate for war with Iran is Mark Kirk (R-IL), United Church of Christ same as Obama.

        Sure there are people like Richard Holbrooke who are ethnically Jewish but religiously Quaker. But I think you are going to have a tough time arguing the Jews did it.

      • lysias
        January 16, 2015, 5:28 pm

        I suspect the reason the NYT takes the line that it does on I/P is to keep advertisers on board.

      • Giles
        January 16, 2015, 5:40 pm

        I would never blame “the Jews” for anything, dishonest Jeff. It ain’t me they have to worry about.

        It is quite clear it is Israel and her supporters and nobody else pushing war with Iran. It is also clear to most that such a war would be an absolute disaster.

        Those same folks that the Lobby has obsessed with the evilness of Muslims will be the ones that the Jewish people will have to fear.

        Not us on the left who believe in justice for all.

      • seanmcbride
        January 16, 2015, 6:05 pm

        JeffB,

        “The #1 public advocate for war with Iran is Mark Kirk (R-IL), United Church of Christ same as Obama.”

        Isn’t the pro-Israel wing of the Jewish lobby the most important factor in the anti-Iran, pro-Iran sanctions and pro-Iran War lobby?

        A few examples:

        1. Abram Shulsky
        2. AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)
        3. Alan Dershowitz
        4. Alan Kuperman
        5. Anne Applebaum
        6. Avigdor Lieberman
        7. Ben Chouake
        8. Ben Stein
        9. Benjamin Netanyahu
        10. Benny Morris
        11. Bret Stephens
        12. Caroline Glick
        13. Charles Krauthammer
        14. Cliff May
        15. Commentary Magazine
        16. Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
        17. Dan Meridor
        18. Daniel Pipes
        19. Danielle Pletka
        20. Danny Dayon
        21. Danny Yatom
        22. David Brog
        23. David Frum
        24. David Horowitz
        25. David Makovsky
        26. David Wurmser
        27. Dennis Ross
        28. Dick Morris
        29. Dore Gold
        30. Douglas Feith
        31. ECI (Emergency Committee for Israel)
        32. Ehud Barak
        33. Elliott Abrams
        34. Eric Cantor
        35. Frank Gaffney
        36. Fred Hiatt
        37. Fred Kagan
        38. Frontpage Magazine
        39. Haim Saban
        40. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
        41. INSS (Institute for National Security Studies)
        42. Israeli government
        43. Jamie Glazov
        44. Jane Harman
        45. Jeffrey Goldberg
        46. Jennifer Rubin
        47. Jewish neoconservatives
        48. Jewish neoliberals
        49. Jewish World Review
        50. JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs)
        51. Joe Lieberman
        52. John Podhoretz
        53. Jonathan Schanzer
        54. Joshua Muravchik
        55. Kevin Bergner
        56. Lester Crown
        57. Likud
        58. Malcolm Hoenlein
        59. Matthew Kroenig
        60. Max Boot
        61. Meyrav Wurmser
        62. Michael Ledeen
        63. Michael Makovsky
        64. Michael Oren
        65. Michael Rubin
        66. Mike Evans
        67. Natan Sharansky
        68. NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council)
        69. Norman Podhoretz
        70. Oded Tira
        71. One Jerusalem
        72. Pajamas Media
        73. Pamela Geller
        74. Randy Scheunemann
        75. Reuel Marc Gerecht
        76. Richard Cohen
        77. Richard Haass
        78. Richard Perle
        79. RJC (Republican Jewish Coalition)
        80. Robert Kagan
        81. Robert Wexler
        82. Shabtai Shavit
        83. Sheldon Adelson
        84. Shimon Peres
        85. Steve Rosen
        86. William Kristol
        87. Yaron Brook
        88. ZOA (Zionist Organization of America)

        There are many others.

        What other special interest group in American politics has been as aggressive and conspicuous in instigating and promoting conflict with Iran?

      • seanmcbride
        January 16, 2015, 6:15 pm

        JeffB,

        “The #1 public advocate for war with Iran is Mark Kirk (R-IL), United Church of Christ same as Obama.”

        Regarding Mark Kirk:

        “Mark Kirk Is AIPAC’s Million Dollar Baby” (MJ Rosenberg)
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/mark-kirk-is-aipacs-milli_b_448192.html

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Mark Kirk, the House member from Chicago who is now the GOP Senate nominee, is the #1 recipient of pro-Israel PAC money in the entire House. In fact, of the top 10 recipients from both Houses, he is the only House member.

        Why do the PACs love him?

        It is because Kirk is a pure Israel-firster. For Kirk, Israel can do no wrong. Add to that that he sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations where he brings home the bacon for Israel big time. Its wish is his command….

        During the Gaza war, he famously told a pro-Gaza war pep rally in Washingtom that “it’s time to take the trash out” in Gaza. That was at a time when 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians (and 320 children) were being killed by the Israeli army.

        Kirk has courted AIPAC since he was a House staffer and now it could pay off big time for the lobbying powerhouse. In the past, AIPAC has had hundreds of senators who took all their cues on the Middle East from AIPAC. But, in Kirk, they will have something else. Their very own senator.
        END QUOTE

      • seanmcbride
        January 16, 2015, 6:36 pm

        JeffB,

        After being burned so badly by the Iraq War, you would think that Jewish neoconservatives, Jewish neoliberals and pro-Israel activists would be cautious about conspicuously leading Americans into another war — this one with Iran — that could be a much greater disaster than the Iraq War. But they have shown no such caution — their zealotry has got the better of them. Into the breach and over the cliff at full steam — the very definition of fanaticism and messianism.

        Re: into the breach:

        “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
        Or close the wall up with our English dead.
        In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
        As modest stillness and humility:
        But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
        Then imitate the action of the tiger;
        Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
        Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
        Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
        Let pry through the portage of the head
        Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
        As fearfully as doth a galled rock
        O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
        Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
        Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
        Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
        To his full height.”

        Spoken by Henry, Henry V, Act III Scene 1 (William Shakespeare)

        But few of these agitators for endless Mideast wars are willing to put their bodies on the line — they are laptop warriors. At some point they — and the entire lobby that supports them — are going to be held accountable for their actions and for the damage they have done to the American interest.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2015, 1:21 pm

        “Once more unto the breach, dear friends….”

        On St. Crispin’s Day, wasn’t it?

        “Sean”, baby are you aware that throughout his entire (and it’s big) oeuvre at every juncture possible, P.G. Wodehouse quotes lines and phrases of this speech?

        Oh well, I guess we’ll get Kipling, next. What an unforgiving minute that will be. I’ll take the sixty seconds worth of distance run.

      • lysias
        January 18, 2015, 6:22 pm

        Old men forget.

      • RoHa
        January 18, 2015, 6:59 pm

        Fair number of references to the Scottish Play, as well as other plays and poems. Old PGW knew his way round Eng. Lit.

        Kipling was very helpful to brewers. He knew the importance of keeping the fermentation organism uncontaminated by unwanted by-products, which is why he told them that yeast is yeast, and waste is waste, and never the twain shall meet.

      • Philemon
        January 24, 2015, 8:39 pm

        Sean: “Mark Kirk Is AIPAC’s Million Dollar Baby” (MJ Rosenberg) link to huffingtonpost.com

        Well, that’s nice, but why? I doubt it’s his constituents urging him to take the AIPAC money and run. Constituents are practical, of course, but they might wonder about strings attached to that money which could run counter to their interests.

        What do you want to bet he’s AIPAC’s baby because they (the good people at AIPAC, that is) have the negatives?

    • John Smithson
      January 16, 2015, 4:33 pm

      Sure Hophmi. And you can tell that to the huge raving mad mob when it finally assembles and comes after whomever it’s been that’s been pushing the US into all these recent wars…

      Your dissembling may somehow assuage your guilty conscience (if indeed you have one), but it won’t change what could quite possibly be some very cruel realities in your future and it certainly is fooling no one – even those of us with Goyish Kops.

      Reality exists – I suggest you deal with it in a more effective way. But ultimately it’s your call how to proceed. Just don’t come bitching to us later, and no you can’t stay in my basement.

      • CigarGod
        January 17, 2015, 8:16 am

        Nor the attic.
        Mobs are not surgical instruments.
        Inordinate influence returns as a catalyst…for another repeat of history.

    • pjdude
      January 16, 2015, 11:14 pm

      well to a democrat actually yes. i can’t think of a group that would promote a hardline stance. unless you seriously believe hardline christian conservatives don’t tons of money to the democrats

    • Ellen
      January 17, 2015, 11:54 am

      Nope. Saudi Arabia is also strongly behind a very hard line against Iran. Like Israel the KSA has whipped up their citizens into a state of constant fear, thinking Iran want’s to attack them.

      Israel and Saudi Arabia are on the same sheet of music here. In fact John McCain and a few other of his Senate buddies and defenders of Israel arrived in Saudi today!

      These guys are not only working hard for Israel in the halls of the Senate, but also Israel’s new best friend, that pretend and in many ways disgusting “Kingdom” which dragged a woman down the street and publicly beheaded her just hours before MCain and other Senators arrived.

      Blame ’em all.

      Ps: By “disgusting kingdom” I do not mean the people of KSA. I mean the rulers and how they rule over and thieve their own. We have the British to thank for so much re the modern Middle East and their puppets they keep in power and even to which they give legitimacy — I.e.giving Middle East “Royals” receptions by the Queen. (I now understand the anti Royalists.)

      • Walid
        January 17, 2015, 1:47 pm

        Some bad news out of SA, Kay, or rather I should say good news. The country has decided to build a 600-mile wall. moat, watch towers, electrified fencing and so on between SA and Iraq to stop any infiltration by ISIS. It already has a 1000-mile ditch/wall separating it from Yemen.

        The Christian Science Monitor says this about it; “The barrier system will have five layers of fencing, complete with razor wire and underground motion sensors that trigger a silent alarm. The 600-mile structure will be patrolled by border guards and 240 rapid response vehicles. The Saudis sent 30,000 soldiers to patrol the border in July 2014 after ISIS forces swept into western Iraq and Iraqi guards on the Saudi border fled.”

        I don’t dare guess which country will be getting the lucrative contract to build this wall. So far only one country has the expertise to do it, and it’s currently building a separation wall between The US and Mexico to keep out Mexicans.

      • Bornajoo
        January 17, 2015, 3:29 pm

        ” Like Israel the KSA has whipped up their citizens into a state of constant fear, thinking Iran want’s to attack them.”

        Ellen, even Ehud Barak, one of those in the previous GOI that was pushing for an attack on Iran, admitted in his recent interview with Haaretz that Iran would not use a nuclear bomb offensively and would only use it defensively if it thought it was the last resort.

        Haaretz:
        “If the Iranians went nuclear, would they use it offensively?”

        EB:
        “I don’t think they would initiate the use of nuclear weaponry unless they felt their regime was on the brink of destruction. ”

        The main reason for a possible attack on Iran is to stop them from gaining parity of power with israel and also to stop them gaining a deterrent from future annihilation

      • seanmcbride
        January 17, 2015, 3:35 pm

        Bornajoo,

        “The main reason for a possible attack on Iran is to stop them from gaining parity of power with israel and also to stop them gaining a deterrent from future annihilation”

        Once again, l like your clarity of thought and expression. That sums up the situation perfectly.

      • seafoid
        January 17, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Spot on Bornajoo

        Israel can only be cruel to the neighbours because it has a qualitative military advantage. Bullies are the same everywhere- stand up to them and they have no balls. Iranian nukes would change the balance of power and turn Israel back into a small country with very little strategic depth.

    • Yossarian22
      January 17, 2015, 5:06 pm

      You do realize that most Christian conservatives and neoconservatives are ardent Zionists, right?

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2015, 1:26 pm

        You do realize that most Christian conservatives and neoconservatives are ardent Zionists, right?

        So that’s the Catch 22 , huh?

  2. ckg
    January 16, 2015, 11:23 am

    Isn’t it time Americans got to discuss this central question of the national interest versus a political faction?

    On Capitol Hill they’re playing Roll over Madison and tell Hamilton the news.

  3. pabelmont
    January 16, 2015, 11:54 am

    It’s not about a political faction (except for the few true-believers). It’s about the American method of governance which I call oligarchy.

    BIG-ZION may have different goals than those of BIG-BANKS or BIG-OIL or BIG-DEFENSE but they work their magic the same way: purchase/rental/bribing (you name it) of elected officials (and candidates). Forget democracy as long as big money (whether corporate or individual, as Koch) can be legally (or illegally for that matter) spent to corrupt officials.

    • JeffB
      January 16, 2015, 12:43 pm

      @pabelmont

      Exactly! AIPAC is a lobby just like any of the other major lobbies. It is seen by most Americans as a lobby. It acts like a lobby. Lobbying is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Most Americans want more restrictions on lobbies but they want them broadly on all of them. AIPAC is for most Americans far less destructive than lobbies like the Agriculture lobby or the Pharmaceutical lobby.

      AIPAC has it easy on most issues because Americans support Israel vs. the Palestinians by about a 50 point margin. Only among Democratic liberals is there even meaningful debate. When AIPAC goes for policies that are narrowly supported or possibly narrowly opposed then money plays a big role. Most of the policies BDSers want to see enacted are strongly opposed by Americans.

      Finally this line from the original article:

      Did the Koch brothers ever get this kind of immunity? Never.

      Actually all the time.
      Americans for Prosperity issues are frequently called “Republican” because they have broad public support.
      Cato Institute policies are frequently called “Libertarian” because they have broad public support.
      Koch industries opposition to climate change legislation is rarely mentioned and this is seen as Democrat vs. Republican or environmentalists vs. pro-growth.

      etc…

      • Giles
        January 16, 2015, 1:45 pm

        AIPAC is the head of a power configuration that is far more than a Lobby.

      • seanmcbride
        January 16, 2015, 2:09 pm

        Giles,

        “AIPAC is the head of a power configuration that is far more than a Lobby.”

        For a list of some of the key components of the Israel lobby, see [# pro-Israel organizations https://friendfeed.com/mondoweiss-on-friendfeed/23aa71ab/pro-israel-organizations ]

      • Shingo
        January 16, 2015, 4:15 pm

        AIPAC is for most Americans far less destructive than lobbies like the Agriculture lobby or the Pharmaceutical lobby.

        It seems no statement is too absurd or counterfactual for Jeff to post here. When was the last time the Agriculture lobby or the Pharmaceutical lobby pushed the US into a war? AIPAC i not a lobby like any other major lobby. For one, it was historically in a tug of war with the US government to avoid registering as a lobby of a foreign government so that it would not have to disclose it’s list of donors.

        AIPAC has it easy on most issues because Americans support Israel vs. the Palestinians by about a 50 point margin.

        You have it backwards of course. If they had it so easy, they wouldn’t have to spend gazzilions of campaign dollars to keep both parties in line. In fact, it’s the very sums that they spend that are invested to ensure that 50 point margin is maintained.

        After all, polls show that in no other country in the world does Israel enjoy any approval. So it is clearly the lack of US laws on restriction of campaign finance that allow AIPAC to do what it does.

        Most of the policies BDSers want to see enacted are strongly opposed by Americans.

        Based on what evidence Jeff?

        Is there anything you don’t make up just to make yourself feel better?

      • CigarGod
        January 17, 2015, 8:28 am

        Really?
        Other big non-aipac and non-israeli corporations/
        Lobbying groups pledge loyalty to Israel?
        Bibi means Christians…when he says all Jews in the world know in their heart Israel is their home?

      • Marnie
        January 17, 2015, 1:56 pm

        Right, the agriculture lobby and pharmaceutical lobby mostly kills Americans while AIPAC lobbying kills only Arabs. Was that your point? BTW, thanks for speaking for Americans and Israelis, you do a marvelous job of conflating the two.

      • pjdude
        January 17, 2015, 4:11 pm

        other lobbing groups don’t demand the US sacrifice its own interests for a foreign power responsible for the most unprovoked deaths of americans in the region.

      • Pixel
        January 19, 2015, 5:41 am

        @ JeffB

        “AIPAC is for most Americans far less destructive than lobbies like the Agriculture lobby or the Pharmaceutical lobby.”

        If so, it’s only because they don’t know any better.

    • ckg
      January 16, 2015, 4:05 pm

      It is about big money, and faction. Madison in Federalist 10:

      Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction…By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community…But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold, and those who are without property, have ever formed distinct interests in society.

      Clearly our well-constructed Union is broken by these donations.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2015, 12:22 am

        Those old founding fathers were pretty clever guys. Maybe one day Americans will pay attention to them.

    • Boomer
      January 16, 2015, 8:26 pm

      @ pabelmont “the American method of governance which I call oligarchy.”

      You are not alone. From an academic study:

      “A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

      “Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

      “Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.”

      from: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/princeton-experts-say-us-no-longer-democracy

    • Mooser
      January 18, 2015, 1:28 pm

      “pabelmont” you gave JeffyB the brush, and a full porta-potty, and he promptly used it to paint himself into a corner. He’s good at that.

  4. HarryLaw
    January 16, 2015, 12:09 pm

    The call to bomb Syria over chemical weapons was decisively rejected by the American people in spite of the Israeli lobby who wanted to bomb. In the Iran case, the lobby are even more in favor of the talks breaking down and the application of more sanctions and eventually war. Obama is right, the other members of the 5 plus1 group will see the malign influence of the lobby and cause the unilateral sanctions regime to fall apart. If Obama, even with the support of the lobby could not gin up a war against a weakened Syria, it would be impossible to do so against a regional giant like Iran, Iran has the ability to close the Strait of Hormuz and with it the economic prospects of many western countries. In the event of war, Iran with its partners Syria and Hezbollah has the rocket power to reach every city in Israel http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=190749&cid=23&fromval=1&frid=23&seccatid=18&s1=1 Is that what the lobby wants? Sheldon Adelson thinks Israel will use nuclear weapons as a demonstration, he is a fool, Israels destruction would be assured if that happened. The Iranian parliament very narrowly averted a vote on the negotiating tactics of the government team and threatened that in the event that more sanctions were imposed the government should commit to no limits to uranium enrichment. Will the US make the same mistake they made with North Korea, then US intransigence and bad faith led directly to the North Korean bomb?

  5. Walid
    January 16, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Harry, last night, Nasrallah explained what was behind the hangup with the negotiatiions with Iran, and if anyone knows about Iran, it’s Nasrallah. It seems that the Western powers have been insisting all along that any discussions on the nuclear with Iran have to be linked to the Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah situations and all along Iran has been putting its foot down in refusing any linkage. Iran wants to settle the nuclear issue and once that is resolved, it’s ready to discuss the 3 other issues that the West is desperate to settle. Nasrallah said that never in a million years would Iran accept linkage and the West is wasting its time trying to get it. Other than for that hurdle being imposed by the West, it seems that the 2 parties are very close to agreeing.

  6. flyod
    January 16, 2015, 1:05 pm

    Yes, Menendez @ $341,170 in Pro-Israel campaign contributions earns him a solid 3rd place in the race for lobby dollars…NY Times can never tell you that

    • Pixel
      January 19, 2015, 5:47 am

      You know, I used to think millions and millions of dollars were involved in these things.

      It’s shocking how little it takes for so many politicians to sell their souls.

      • RoHa
        January 19, 2015, 6:29 am

        How much would you pay for something that doesn’t exist?

      • CigarGod
        January 19, 2015, 8:39 am

        Me too, pixel.
        But, while we have documentation of some of the money that changes hands…we seldom have documentation of the promises of rewarding lobbying jobs…once out of office.

  7. Whizdom
    January 16, 2015, 2:14 pm

    An Iran deal would be a blow to Netanyahu’s electoral prospects.

    • Bornajoo
      January 17, 2015, 8:46 am

      I hope not Whizdom
      We need real honest down to earth zionists in charge, with their horns sticking out the sides of their heads and blood dripping out the sides of their mouths. We need Netanyahu back but as the most ‘left’ member of the coalition.

      Here is what Gideon levy has to say about Labor:

      Published 05:06 15.01.15
      I like Knesset candidate lists that feel right. The one chosen by Labor Party members the other night undoubtedly has a positive feel to it, reminiscent of the old Gevatron troupe breaking into songs about fields of wheat in their harmonious and pleasant voices. Any Jewish mother would be proud to have her son or daughter adorn this likable list. Any scout master would be happy to lead such a group. They dress well, eat with their mouths closed, keep their arms off the table and don’t make a noise between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, if ever.

      Topping the list is Isaac Herzog, whose second name is Mr. Nice Guy. A man with no enemies, of whom it is said that he’s never quarreled with anyone or annoyed anyone. A good guy, in the bad sense of the word. Right behind him is Shelly Yacimovich. She, in contrast to Herzog, is not (always) so nice, and has no patience for all this occupation nonsense. She devotes her life to the struggle for social justice, but for Israelis only. This is a strange breed of left-wingers, espousing a nationalist social democracy, a local invention not seen elsewhere – the pursuit of justice halts at the Green Line. There is also support for contract workers, but not those who had to struggle through checkpoints [from the West Bank] in the middle of the night.

      The following candidate is Stav Shaffir, an impressive and determined young woman, also involved in the fight for social justice. Whereas Yacimovich once explained that a school built in the settlements would have been built in any case, Shaffir at least tries to oppose the scandalous funds pouring into the settlements. Shaffir’s comrade in the social protest Itzik Shmuli is also not concerned with the occupation. He is the one most associated with “social” issues, to the exclusion of Palestinians.

      After him comes Omer Bar-Lev, who is the “defense” expert, responsible only for military issues, not those relating to morality or justice. Merav Michaeli used to write courageous and pointed articles in Haaretz, but has changed her agenda since being elected. Expectations from Nachman Shai never exceeded anything beyond explaining to the world and sanctifying anything Israel did. The opinions of Revital Swid are unknown so far, but she is no Machsom Watch participant. Candidates Eitan Cabel, Erel Margalit, Hilik Bar and Miki Rosenthal are all occupied with their own affairs, some of which are very important but have no bearing on Israel’s number one problem. Don’t disturb them, they’re busy.

      It’s not that the Labor Party has no diplomatic platform and it’s not that it doesn’t believe something should be done. Of course something should be done. The party, after all, favors the diplomatic process more than anyone else does. It also favors a two-state solution, but not right now, maybe not even here. Herzog talks of negotiations with the Palestinians that will last – get this – five years (!), which means five more years of photo-ops and building settlements. Herzog promises to freeze construction outside the large settlement blocs – wow! Earth-shattering news! However, the Etzion Bloc will remain ours forever and ever since it “protects Jerusalem.”

      This is a return to the lies of the 1970s. One of Herzog’s predecessors, Shimon Peres, established Ofra in order to protect an IDF antenna, as well to defend Israel’s Jerusalem. Now his successor will retain the Etzion Bloc for the same purpose. This is the same old “tower and stockade” settlement policy used in Mandatory times. The old Labor Party’s genetic makeup has not changed and its spirit lives on: The founder of the settlement policy and its mother figure continues from one generation to the next.

      The list that was chosen two days ago by this leftist party, which may prefer to be labeled center-left, hardly attends to these issues. There is not even one candidate who sees the struggle against the occupation as his or her flagship issue. Not a single one. There is not even one social-democrat candidate who will devote time and effort to resolve the fate of asylum seekers from Africa. What does the Israeli Labor Party have to do with them?

      What is included? Beer and good cheer, tea and sympathy, a nice supportive atmosphere, without deals and cliques, in a party which, at least until yesterday, was fittingly called the “Zionist Camp.” Vote Labor, vote for something likable

  8. American
    January 16, 2015, 4:20 pm

    MJ Rosenberg‏@MJayRosenberg·

    Yeah, I’ll be live tweeting the AIPAC conference. No one knows those SOBs the way I do!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I will be sure to follow mj’s tweeting that day.

    But I really think all the msm should interrupt their regular program scheduling and bring the public live coverage of every minute of the AIPAC conference.

    • Pixel
      January 19, 2015, 5:52 am

      I find it hard to believe that they even allow him in.

  9. Whizdom
    January 16, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Let’s see, AQAP and ISIS are launching coordinated attacks on civilians in Western Europe. Opposing them are the Houthi in Yemen and the Hezbollah in Syria, backed by Iran, both with some fragile success. AQAP and ISIS are funded by sources within Saudi Arabia.

    So the logical thing is to increase sanctions on Iran, and weaken their ability to fight ISIS and AQAP, and keep tight with Saudi.

    • Walid
      January 16, 2015, 5:14 pm

      Whizdom, about those attacks on ISIS, these are jokes. 20 or 30 sorties every 2 days or so will surely not hurt ISIS in any substantial way. All the military experts are saying that what the US and its allies are doing knocking out a few trucks here and a few tanks there are merely cosmetics as the only way to put ISIS out of business is by having troops on the ground. It’s also a given that at this point of time, it’s not in US’ interests to wipe out ISIS as it’s serving to keep Assad in Syria busy and to keep the Iraqi government off balance until it throws in the towel and allows the US to have permanent bases there along with an agreement to enter into a Status Of Forces Agreement with the US that would give immunity to US forces in IRAQ. The US is still refusing Iraq the needed arms to take out ISIS and whatever Iraq is now fighting ISIS with has been provided by Iran.

      • Whizdom
        January 16, 2015, 5:39 pm

        I wasn’t talking about the US counter-ISIS efforts in the region, I was talking about Iran’s.

      • Walid
        January 17, 2015, 12:45 pm

        Whizdom, I know you weren’t, I was trying to bring a panoramic view of other events in the region that have a direct effect on what the US does to Iran. You surely heard yesterday that Obama is sending “hundreds” of American troops to train the Syrian opposition but very oddly, he is not sending any to Iraq to give the government there a helping hand against ISIS. You probably haven’t heard that there is no longer any opposition fighting force in Syria, so who is it exactly that those hundreds of US soldiers are going to train? In the old days at the start of the US involvement in Vietnam, they used to call such soldiers “advisors” but now they are called “trainers”. You mentioned the weakening of Iran by way of sanctions to give ISIS some breathing space. I mentioned that the US doesn’t want to extinguish ISIS as this point of time. Maybe in the future, but not now, so we are on the same wave length.

      • Whizdom
        January 17, 2015, 1:15 pm

        Walid, I think we agree. If neutralizing the threat from AQAP and ISIS to US citizens and interests was the principle policy objective, we would make common cause with Iran and put sanctions on KSA until they ended their support for taking causes. Instead we seem to be doing the opposite.

        Crazy. We seem to be the only party to this goat rodeo that is actively working against our own interests.

  10. Boomer
    January 16, 2015, 4:24 pm

    As Jim Lobe says, Senator Cotton makes it Kristol clear:
    http://www.lobelog.com/cotton-makes-aim-of-iran-sanctions-legislation-kristol-clear/

  11. HarryLaw
    January 16, 2015, 5:47 pm

    The Leveretts are back http://goingtotehran.com/

  12. JeffB
    January 16, 2015, 11:55 pm

    @seanmcbridge

    After being burned so badly by the Iraq War, you would think that Jewish neoconservatives, Jewish neoliberals and pro-Israel activists would be cautious about conspicuously leading Americans into another war

    Look. I don’t go in for the secret Jewish control nonsense. Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney are not Jewish. Were there Jews who favored war with Iraq? Absolutely. Were there Catholic, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Mormons and Congregationalists who favored war with Iraq? Absolutely. And far more of the later group than the former group.

    Jews are part of the foreign policy establishment. Jews were involved in getting America into war with Iraq. Jews were involved with getting America out of war with Iraq.

    Jews are going to be part of any American policy. But unless one has an unhealthy obsession with Jews there is no particular reason to focus on their role. In Israel you can focus on Jews. America is a Christian country, Christian run it Christians decide on it. The people who led America into war with Iraq were the 73% of the American population who favored war with Iraq and that population is 2% Jewish.

    What was unusual about the Jewish vote was that Jews who are normal central to the peace movement were not mostly opposed to the overthrow of Ba’ath party.

  13. JeffB
    January 17, 2015, 12:04 am

    @Seanmcbride

    What other special interest group in American politics has been as aggressive and conspicuous in instigating and promoting conflict with Iran?

    The Republican party which is essentially the white evangelical party. Republicans have been extremely aggressive with Iran starting with Reagan and continuing under Bush-43 who classified them as one of his big 3 targets.

    I see your list of Jews but so what? One could assemble a much larger list of Christians. Heck given the relative size of the denominations I imagine you could assemble a much larger list of Presbyterians, Methodists or Episcopalians.

    As for Kirk you just have an article that say:
    Mark Kirk does stuff AIPAC likes and Mark Kirk gets money from AIPAC. That’s the way it normally works. Senators who back the farm lobby get money from farm PACs. For example Mary Landrieu was #2 direct fundraiser after Mcconnell her money mainly comes from the energy sector. Why? Because she backs all sorts of policies the Energy sector PACs like.

    AIPAC is a top 20 lobby group. But they aren’t in the same league as energy or pharma.

    • Giles
      January 17, 2015, 9:30 am

      “I see your list of Jews but so what? One could assemble a much larger list of Christians.”

      Please do. By all means.

      • JeffB
        January 17, 2015, 9:53 am

        @Giles

        I may get an extra Jew in here but let’s start with the obvious Bush, Cheney, Rumseld, Rice… are all non Jewish. Then you go the non-Jewish Senators who voted for it and I think you already have his list beat and with more senior people

        Allard (R-CO)
        Allen (R-VA)
        Baucus (D-MT)
        Bayh (D-IN)
        Bennett (R-UT)
        Biden (D-DE)
        Bond (R-MO)
        Breaux (D-LA)
        Brownback (R-KS)
        Bunning (R-KY)
        Burns (R-MT)
        Campbell (R-CO)
        Cantwell (D-WA)
        Carnahan (D-MO)
        Carper (D-DE)
        Cleland (D-GA)
        Clinton (D-NY)
        Cochran (R-MS)
        Collins (R-ME)
        Craig (R-ID)
        Crapo (R-ID)
        Daschle (D-SD)
        DeWine (R-OH)
        Dodd (D-CT)
        Domenici (R-NM)
        Dorgan (D-ND)
        Edwards (D-NC)
        Ensign (R-NV)
        Enzi (R-WY)
        Fitzgerald (R-IL) (Catholic)
        Frist (R-TN)
        Gramm (R-TX)
        Grassley (R-IA)
        Gregg (R-NH)
        Hagel (R-NE)
        Harkin (D-IA)
        Hatch (R-UT)
        Helms (R-NC)
        Hollings (D-SC)
        Hutchinson (R-AR)
        Hutchison (R-TX)
        Inhofe (R-OK)
        Johnson (D-SD)
        Kerry (D-MA)
        Kohl (D-WI)
        Kyl (R-AZ)
        Landrieu (D-LA)
        Lincoln (D-AR)
        Lott (R-MS)
        Lugar (R-IN)
        McCain (R-AZ)
        McConnell (R-KY)
        Miller (D-GA)
        Murkowski (R-AK)
        Nelson (D-FL)
        Nelson (D-NE)
        Nickles (R-OK)
        Reid (D-NV)
        Roberts (R-KS)
        Rockefeller (D-WV)
        Santorum (R-PA)
        Sessions (R-AL)
        Shelby (R-AL)
        Smith (R-NH)
        Smith (R-OR)
        Snowe (R-ME)
        Stevens (R-AK)
        Thomas (R-WY)
        Thompson (R-TN)
        Thurmond (R-SC)
        Torricelli (D-NJ)
        Voinovich (R-OH)
        Warner (R-VA)

      • seanmcbride
        January 17, 2015, 11:00 am

        JeffB,

        Are you claiming that Dodd, Daschle, Hagel, Helms, Lugar, Rockefeller, Thurmond and many other names on that list were conspicuous agitators for the Iraq War and are now conspicuous agitators for an Iran War?

        You are not making the slightest sense — you really need to upgrade your hasbara efforts.

      • seanmcbride
        January 17, 2015, 11:28 am

        JeffB,

        Stand back and look at the big picture.

        One almost never notices Americans arguing with Norwegian Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans, Chinese Americans, etc. about the politics of Norway, Ireland, Italy, Germany, China, etc.

        But the arguments between Americans and Jewish Americans over Israel are torrential and often vicious — just follow the comment sections on the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, etc. (Especially take a close look at the angry responses that Jennifer Rubin has managed to provoke from Washington Post readers.)

        So what in the hell is going on? If I were you, I would be gravely worried about these developments and try to understand them — I would be wondering about where all this is going.

        You are trying to convince us — and yourself — that nothing is amiss. Most of us are not buying it. We can see what is plainly in front of our nose.

      • seanmcbride
        January 17, 2015, 12:10 pm

        JeffB,

        To start making sense of our two lists — mine and yours, we could being by comparing these two collections:

        1. anti-Iran remarks by Daniel Pipes
        2. anti-Iran remarks by Dennis Ross
        3. anti-Iran remarks by Douglas Feith
        4. anti-Iran remarks by Jennifer Rubin
        5. anti-Iran remarks by Michael Ledeen
        6. anti-Iran remarks by Pamela Geller
        7. anti-Iran remarks by William Kristol

        vs.

        1. anti-Iran remarks by Chris Dodd
        2. anti-Iran remarks by Chuck Hagel
        3. anti-Iran remarks by Jay Rockefeller
        4. anti-Iran remarks by Jesse Helms
        5. anti-Iran remarks by Richard Lugar
        6. anti-Iran remarks by Strom Thurmond
        7. anti-Iran remarks by Tom Daschle

        Your list is so weak that apparently you didn’t notice that Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond have been dead for years — they are not ringleaders of the campaign to attack Iran — and that Chuck Hagel has been a strong critic of the Israel lobby.

        Tom Daschle was highly critical of the Iraq War — he was also a target of the 9/11 anthrax attacks, which were almost certainly a false flag op. The massive cover-up concerning those attacks remains firmly in place.

      • Bornajoo
        January 18, 2015, 6:59 am

        @Sean
        Yup! That’s a very damming and convincing list. Hard, if not impossible to argue with

        The anthrax attacks were undoubtedly a false flag op. Anyone who bothers to read into it will soon realise this fact.

      • Giles
        January 19, 2015, 8:12 am

        Surely even JeffB understands that a list of politicians controlled by “The Lobby” and the Lobby itself are two different things?

    • seanmcbride
      January 17, 2015, 9:38 am

      JeffB,

      JEFFB: “I see your list of Jews but so what? One could assemble a much larger list of Christians. Heck given the relative size of the denominations I imagine you could assemble a much larger list of Presbyterians, Methodists or Episcopalians.”

      Yes, but will these mainstream Christians (not Christian Zionist extremists like John Hagee) be raucous ringleaders of a campaign to go to war against Iran?

      Please name the Presbyterian, Methodist and Episcopalian organizations that have been conspicuously agitating for an American war against Iran on behalf of Israel — that have been ringleaders of the Iraq War, the Global War on Terror, the Clash of Civilizations, an Iran War, Islamophobia, etc.

      What is the Christian equivalent of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations? See the list of CP members here: http://www.conferenceofpresidents.org/about/members

      JEFFB: “Mark Kirk does stuff AIPAC likes and Mark Kirk gets money from AIPAC. That’s the way it normally works.”

      It’s normal for an American politician to receive nearly $800,000 from a lobby that is working for the interests of a *foreign government*? And that is working night and day to drive the United States into World War III on behalf of that foreign government?

      Regarding Mark Kirk’s pro-Israel funding, see http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=n00012539

      Do you see the governments of Ireland, France, China, etc. manipulating the US government this way? Or Irish Americans, French Americans or Chinese Americans working frenetically to push Americans into self-destructive foreign wars on behalf of Ireland, France or China?

      Future historians, JeffB, are going to adjudge this situation, in which for several decades the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have subverted and controlled the US Congress to the detriment of American interests, as being highly abnormal and bizarre. This state of affairs will not go on forever — and the backlash promises to be titanic once Americans begin to realize that they’ve been led up the garden path by a narrow ethno-religious nationalist movement (cult, really) that is radically in conflict with fundamental American and modern Western democratic values.

      • JeffB
        January 17, 2015, 5:44 pm

        Yes, but will these mainstream Christians (not Christian Zionist extremists like John Hagee) be raucous ringleaders of a campaign to go to war against Iran?

        Mitt Romney, “ I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world.”

        Dick Cheney, “ Forget Baghdad, real men go to Tehran.” or telling Goldman just a few months back that his biggest regret was not doing a dual invasion.

        Michael Hayden, ““In my personal thinking — I need to emphasize that — I have begun to consider that [attacking Iran] may not be the worst of all possible outcomes

        Kim Holmes, “ the Europeans, by negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, might be preventing the U.S. from using military force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

        etc…

        Please name the Presbyterian, Methodist and Episcopalian organizations that have been conspicuously agitating for an American war against Iran

        Republican party platform, “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability threatens America, Israel, and the world. That threat has only become worse during the current Administration. A continuation of its failed engagement policy with Iran will lead to nuclear cascade. In solidarity with the international community, America must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability. We express our respect for the people of Iran, who seek peace and aspire to freedom. Their current regime is unworthy of them. It exports terror and provided weapons that killed our troops in Iraq. We affirm the unanimous resolution of the U.S. Senate calling for “elections that are free, fair, and meet international standards” and “a representative and responsive democratic government that respects human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.” We urge the next Republican President to unequivocally assert his support for the Iranian people as they protest their despotic regime. We must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the safety of our friends..

        What is the Christian equivalent of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Evangelical_parachurch_organisations

        It’s normal for an American politician to receive nearly $800,000 from a lobby that is working for the interests of a *foreign government*?

        Most lobbies are mixed. The financial lobby is heavily foreign. But if you want a lobby similar to AIPAC the U.S.-China Working Group has 56 members in the house who are committed to issues like supporting the Chinese suppression of Tibet and Xinjiang (Xinjiang is a big issue regarding the war on terror).

        There are also (with similar politics):

        House US-China Inter-parliamentary
        Senate US-China Inter-parliamentary Exchange –
        Congressional China Caucus
        US-China Senate Working Group

        As for your stuff about “against the national interest” you are begging the question. You are assuming that your opinions represent the national interest while AIPAC’s do not.

        Future historians, JeffB, are going to adjudge this situation, in which for several decades the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have subverted and controlled the US Congress

        The Israeli lobby has controlled the congress. The American people have been steadily pro Israel for decades. If anything the USA government has been substantially less pro-Israel than the USA population because of oil interests.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2015, 1:33 pm

        “Future historians, JeffB, are going to adjudge this situation, in which for several decades the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have subverted and controlled the US Congress to the detriment of American interests, as being highly abnormal and bizarre.”

        And, as I have mentioned, that will change the past. And maybe not in a way JeffyB will like. If he notices.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2015, 5:17 pm

        I don’t understand the entire discussion. Can’t understand why JeffyB isn’t taking credit for the War on Iraq, and is instead, trying to deflect blame for it.

        If he’s going to recommend the same for Iran, he could at least maintain that the War on Iraq was a success.

    • seanmcbride
      January 17, 2015, 10:25 am

      JeffB,

      Which leading Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic organizations were ringleaders of the Iraq War and are now ringleaders of the campaign to go to war against Iran?

      Keep in mind: “With 78.2 million baptized members, it [the Catholic Church] is the largest religious denomination in the United States, comprising 25% of the population.” — Wikipedia

      As I recall, the Vatican officially opposed the Iraq War.

      • JeffB
        January 17, 2015, 2:02 pm

        @ seanmcbride

        Which leading Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic organizations were ringleaders of the Iraq War

        Very few. Saying that Evangelical Protestantism was the core of the support for the war doesn’t say that Catholics were the support for the war. The Catholic position was anti-Iraq war, “ Pope John Paul II, the Holy See, and USCCB repeatedly expressed grave moral concerns regarding a possible military intervention in Iraq and the unpredictable and uncontrollable negative consequences of an invasion and occupation. The Holy See and the Conference remain highly skeptical of the concept of ‘preventive war.’” I’m not sure where you are getting that jump from Evangelicals and the bulk of the public supported the war to Catholics had to support the war.

        What you need to show is that Jews but not Christians support the war and with the war polling as high as 73% that’s just not possible. Republicans varied from 90% support before the war started to 68% when Obama pulled troops out. Democratic constituencies started at 50% and collapsed to 17% by the time of Obama’s election. White Catholics were not generally polled separately but on most surveys tend to look like independents. So they likely went from something like 66% support to 38% by Obama’s election. Throw in Hispanics and they are going to probably end up looking just a bit to the right of Democrats on Iraq.

        The people who most strongly supported the war were Evangelicals. The government at the time was run and mostly staffed by evangelicals. Its core supporters were evangelicals.

        AIPAC mostly represents the foreign policy positions of Jewish hawks, Republicans, who not shockingly look like other Republican voters. There is no great conspiracy. George Bush, an evangelical, convinced overwhelming numbers of Americans that a war with Iraq was a good idea and so congress voted for it.

        Certainly Jewish attitudes were unusual. Jewish democrats ere mostly mixed, and indifferent at the start of the war. This was devastating for the antiwar cause because Jews make up about 50% of the antiwar activists. Jewish liberals flipped once the Ba’ath party was removed from power, and became antiwar. But throughout the entire time Jews were to the left of the broader American public, including Catholics, and certainly way to the left of evangelicals on the Iraq war.

        No Jews didn’t do it. And you’ve seen a recent example of that with Syria. AIPAC was strongly in favor of war with Syria, Obama wasn’t able to sell war with Syria like Bush was able to and AIPAC lost the vote.

      • seanmcbride
        January 17, 2015, 7:09 pm

        JeffB,

        Jewish neoconservatives, not Christian evangelicals, were the prime movers behind the Iraq War and the exploitation of the PNAC’s “New Pearl Harbor” (9/11) to kick into gear their long-planned scheme to use the “Global War on Terror” and “Clash of Civilizations” to rain down destruction on Israel’s enemies.

        Everyone here can Google the factual details for themselves:

        [Google; iraq war jewish neoconservatives http://www.google.com/#q=iraq+war+jewish+neoconservatives ]

        But they probably won’t bother — they already know what’s what.

        I could go through the exercise of citing chapter and verse from the top 100 Google hits on this subject, in dozens or hundreds of comments, but I’ve got better things to do.

        Jewish neoconservatives are also the lead agitators in the campaign to push the United States into a war against Iran — and Benjamin Netanyahu — the prime minister of Israel — is the foremost agitator of them all.

        This political faction is motivated entirely by its passionate loyalty to Israel, Zionism (Jewish nationalism) and Greater Israelism (Torah-based Zionism) — it couldn’t care less about the American interest or American values.

        No one has claimed that Jewish neoconservatives = “the Jews” — or that other interested parties (including Christian Zionists and non-Jewish war profiteers) didn’t march in step with them in foisting the Iraq War on the American people with a collection of deliberate lies and torrents of pro-war propaganda (much of it from the distinctly *not* Christian New York Times and Washington Post).

        What is even more repulsive than the behavior of this faction in engineering the Iraq War is its adamant refusal to accept any responsibility for its actions after the disastrous results became evident to everyone.

  14. JeffB
    January 17, 2015, 12:05 am

    @Shingo

    You have it backwards of course. If they had it so easy, they wouldn’t have to spend gazzilions of campaign dollars to keep both parties in line. In fact, it’s the very sums that they spend that are invested to ensure that 50 point margin is maintained

    AIPAC doesn’t donate to the public. The 50 point margin is among the broad population not among elected officials. Your theory doesn’t hold up.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 17, 2015, 2:18 am

      sure it adds up. politicians spend that money on advertising. it takes money to float a campaign. a politician with 50 million vs 50,000 has more influence. the theory holds up quite well.

      • JeffB
        January 17, 2015, 8:07 am

        @Annie

        Politicians don’t spend campaign funds advertising themselves not their issues. Generally running negative ads and relying on the public’s already defined beliefs. AIPAC spending on politicians doesn’t explain the 50 point gap in public opinion polls.

        Besides the fact that spending moves things a few percentage points it doesn’t get you to 50.

    • CigarGod
      January 17, 2015, 8:35 am

      Ha!
      What other group demands pledges of loyalty?
      Go ahead say it…it wont support your argument.

      • JeffB
        January 17, 2015, 9:42 am

        CigarGod

        When has AIPAC demand a pledge of loyalty from the public? Remember we are talking the public having the 50 point support for Israel not politicians.

      • CigarGod
        January 17, 2015, 8:59 pm

        From congress, jeffb.
        I think maybe you were trying to do a dodge and weave, brother.

  15. RoHa
    January 17, 2015, 12:20 am

    “we’ve shown too many carrots and a very small stick.”

    Maybe my mind is still stuck on the Epstein/Dershowitwz scandal, but the images of the negotiations that phrase conjures up ….

  16. Kay24
    January 17, 2015, 9:01 am

    It is time foreign nations and their affiliated lobbies were banned from paying for political campaigns, and interfering in our elections should be strongly prohibited. Buying their way into our political system and writing our policies are against our nation’s interest, and it is obvious an alien nation will always push for their policies benefitting it, and the US only becomes a pawn in their devious games.

    • JeffB
      January 17, 2015, 9:25 am

      @Kay24

      We have a very good system for handling foreign lobbies. They can be important for things like trade deals or military coordination. For example many of the fiberoptic cables that come out of the United States are not owned by USA telcos. We want the remixing of signal to happen on land (i.e. inside the USA proper). Which means these cables are subject to USA law. The foreign lobbies need to exist to make negotiation function between our regulators and foreign regulators.

      I think what you are upset about is a domestic lobby that is interested in a foreign policy issue. But that’s not a foreign lobby at all. And by calling it a foreign lobby you just confuse the issue.

      • Kay24
        January 17, 2015, 11:42 am

        If this is not describing a “foreign lobby” then I don’t know what is. It seems you might be the confused one, or perhaps even naive – simply read Wikipedia’s description of AIPAC, and you will realize exactly whose interests are primarily the reason for the existence of such a powerful lobby. Let’s not fool ourselves, Israel loves to tell us we cannot exist without it, and we do not need such a powerful, interfering and even devious lobby, to make negations for us, they go far beyond all that:

        “Describing itself as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby”,[3] AIPAC has more than 100,000 members,[4] seventeen regional offices, and “a vast pool of donors.”[5] It has been called “the most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel,”[6] and one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States.[5] The group does not raise funds for political candidates itself, but helps organize to channel money to candidates.[5]

        Its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a “stranglehold” on the United States Congress with its power and influence.[7] The group has been accused of being strongly allied with the Likud party of Israel, and the Republican Party in the US, but an AIPAC spokesman has called this a “malicious mischaracterization.”[5] AIPAC describes itself as a bipartisan organization,[8] and bills it lobbies for in Congress are always jointly sponsored by both a Democrat and Republican.[9]

        A couple of those who pretended they were looking after American interests, were caught getting stolen national security information and passing it on to, you guessed it, the alien nation who is so helpful, and concerned, about the US and it’s interests:

        “In April 2005, AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman were fired by AIPAC amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information received from Lawrence Franklin on to the government of Israel. They were later indicted for illegally conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to Israel.[77][78] AIPAC agreed to pay the legal fees for Weissman’s defense through appeal if necessary,[79] but charges were subsequently dropped.[80]

        In May 2005, the Justice Department announced that Lawrence Anthony Franklin, a U.S. Air Force Reserves colonel working as a Department of Defense analyst at the Pentagon in the office of Douglas Feith, had been arrested and charged by the FBI with providing classified national defense information to Israel. The six-count criminal complaint identified AIPAC by name and described a luncheon meeting in which, allegedly, Franklin disclosed top-secret information to two AIPAC officials.[81][82]”

        AIPAC is a toxic lobby causing more harm than good in the US. What you say is a very clinical version of what I have heard ad nauseam from the hasbara. The lobby should just stick to trade.

  17. RobertB
    January 17, 2015, 10:16 am

    Lawsuit Says Caltech Provost And Others Ignored Israeli Spying

    How U.S. taxpayer funded scientific technology is stolen by Israel.

    By Alison Weir

    January 16, 2015 – “If Americans Knew” –

    ” Following is a deeply disturbing excerpt from a civil lawsuit filed by a Caltech professor against Caltech, often named the world’s top research university. Caltech’s official name is the California Institute of Technology.

    According to the lawsuit, a small coterie of Caltech professors and administrators ignored Israeli spying and theft of taxpayer-funded U.S. technology and then retaliated against the professor for reporting it.

    Caltech Provost Edward Stolper, who has ties to Israel and received an honorary degree from one of its universities, seems to have been one of those leading the charge.

    The lawsuit is by a distinguished physicist named Dr. Sandra Troian, who was recruited from Princeton, has won numerous scientific awards, and serves on national and international scientific boards. In her suit Dr. Troian says that an Israeli postdoctoral student blatantly violated US laws and transmitted information on potential space technology to Israel.

    According to Troian, when she reported these violations, some Caltech administrators and professors ignored the Israeli’s extensive violations, and then, enabled by diverse cronies and subordinates, launched an escalating retaliatory campaign against her for trying to stop the Israeli’s illegal activities. Some of the actions described below were remarkably petty, others of considerable significance.

    The complaint, filed November 13th, 2014, describes the course of events in illuminating and excruciating detail. The statement also says that Stolper and others worked to impede information from reaching the FBI, which was investigating possible Israeli spying and infiltration at Caltech.

    The alleged espionage and theft largely took place at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a top NASA research and development center.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40722.htm

  18. RobertB
    January 17, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Pro-Israel PAC Contributions $$$ to Congressional Candidates $$$

    Click on links to find out how much $$$ did your US Senator(s) and/or your US Congressperson(s) received from AIPAC/Pro-Israel PAC:

    http://www.wrmea.org/pdf/201210pac_charts.pdf

    http://www.wrmea.org/congress-u.s.-aid-to-israel/pro-israel-pac-contributions-to-congressional-candidates.html

  19. Marnie
    January 17, 2015, 2:01 pm

    Geez, can Chuck Schumer take a picture without looking like an extra in Night of the Living Dead?

  20. JeffB
    January 17, 2015, 2:09 pm

    @Kay24

    If this is not describing a “foreign lobby” then I don’t know what is.

    You mean the telco example I gave of an actual foreign lobby or AIPAC? AIPAC is a lobby funded and run exclusively by Americans, ergo it is not a foreign lobby. The telco examples I gave are funded exclusively by non-USA companies and take direction from foreigners ergo they are a foreign lobby.

    It is pretty simple:
    Americans who agree with foreigns are a domestic lobby.
    Americans who get paid to do what foreigners say are a foreign lobby.

    simply read Wikipedia’s description of AIPAC, and you will realize exactly whose interests are primarily the reason for the existence of such a powerful lobby.

    It doesn’t matter whose interests you do or do not believe are served. I consider the peace movement to mostly be serving Europe’s interests that doesn’t make them a foreign lobby. It is who pays not who likes what they are doing.

    AIPAC is a toxic lobby causing more harm than good in the US. What you say is a very clinical version of what I have heard ad nauseam from the hasbara. The lobby should just stick to trade.

    AIPAC doesn’t have a problem with trade. Moreover the experts on Israeli trade issues (of which there aren’t many) are registered foreign lobbies.

    You are quite literally flipping the definition of foreign lobby.

  21. JeffB
    January 17, 2015, 9:26 pm

    @Sean

    Your list is so weak that apparently you didn’t notice that Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond have been dead for years — they are not ringleaders of the campaign to attack Iran — and that Chuck Hagel has been a strong critic of the Israel lobby.

    You all keep switching back and forth for who is pushing for war with Iran and who was pushing for war with Iraq. That list were Christian senators who voted for war with Iraq which at that point was the question being responded to. American Christians were the overwhelming majority of the people in leadership. American Christians overwhelming favored the war.

    That’s who did it. No conspiracy. No secret Jewish cabal, though certainly like any other subgroup some Jews were in favor. The war happened because Americans had a long frustrating relationship with Iraq, decided on a policy of regime change and then in Bush’s term decided to implement that policy.

    Tom Daschle was highly critical of the Iraq War — he was also a target of the 9/11 anthrax attacks, which were almost certainly a false flag op. The massive cover-up concerning those attacks remains firmly in place.

    Daschle voted yes. He voted yes on the supplementary budged in Oct 2003. Not only that in Sept 2004 he defended that vote during the election campaign.

    As for false flag operations and so forth. I’m not going to conspiracy land about “false flags”. I’ll talk about reality. The FBI investigated, came to a conclusion, that conclusion was verified by congress and unless there is excellent evidence to the contrary I’m sticking with Bruce Ivins did it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_anthrax_attacks#Bruce_Edwards_Ivins

    • lysias
      January 18, 2015, 6:29 pm

      If you think the anthrax attacks were not a false flag, you really need to read Graeme MacQueen’s new book The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy.

  22. JeffB
    January 18, 2015, 7:26 am

    @Sean

    One almost never notices Americans arguing with Norwegian Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans, Chinese Americans, etc. about the politics of Norway, Ireland, Italy, Germany, China, etc.

    It is even less true for Cubans where Cuban Americans have often wanted to run their own foreign policy. It is also not true for Mexicans. A few decades back it was not true for El Salvador. It is has been not true of Nicaragua off and on for over a century. And incidentally that’s not true for China at all.

    You are just focused on issues relating to Israel while not caring about things like Mexican drug cartels, Mexican rules regarding migrant labor or other such issues. To some extent Israel gets disproportionate attention, frankly I think that’s more of a problem with an ideology that what Jews do is of cosmic importance which comes from Christianity.

    So the big picture is yes, there is still anti-semitism. In a non anti-semitic world the proper response to stories about Israel would be “where is Israel, what are Jews”?

    But the arguments between Americans and Jewish Americans over Israel are torrential and often vicious — just follow the comment sections on the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, etc. (Especially take a close look at the angry responses that Jennifer Rubin has managed to provoke from Washington Post readers.)

    Look at the debates over abortion. Look at the debates over welfare or police violence or housing policy or anything else. Israel is a debate. There is a small group of Americans that hate Israel, about 10% of the population. They are very unhappy with current policy. So what?

    So what in the hell is going on? If I were you, I would be gravely worried about these developments and try to understand them — I would be wondering about where all this is going.

    Well you aren’t me. I’m not worried. Israel has never been a non controversial issue for the simple reason that it is an ongoing war involving a crucial commodity with different factions of Americans allied with different sides. The arguments over Yugoslavia were very heated for similar reasons. World War I and World War II prior to American involvement were heated.

    You are trying to convince us — and yourself — that nothing is amiss. Most of us are not buying it. We can see what is plainly in front of our nose.

    But it isn’t in front of your nose. It involves secret Jewish control of congress. Secret Jewish control of the public. Secret black flag operations. What’s in front of your nose is a policy that is popular with the American people (though some people disagree) and a congress mostly doing what the public wants on an issue. You are rejecting what’s in front of your nose in favor of an intuitive belief that Jews are able to secretly manipulate the world.

    Now where do you think that comes from?

    • lysias
      January 18, 2015, 6:27 pm

      As for secret control by the elites (she doesn’t speak of Jews), read Sibel Edmonds’s new novel The Lone Gladio. (Since she doesn’t speak of Jews, she doesn’t discuss how many of those elites may be Jews.) If anybody is in a position to know what is really going on, Edmonds is.(And her account of 9/11 is a real shocker.)

  23. Whizdom
    January 18, 2015, 10:59 am

    Here is the definition of Foreign Agent, under the Foreign Agent Registration act, Note, it is silent about how the source of funding for their operation.:

    One can judge for oneself if AIPAC’s activities meet the definition.

    Definition of Foreign Agents

    An agent of a foreign principal (a foreign agent) is any individual (agent, representative, employee, servant) or organization that acts at the order, request, or under the direction or control of a foreign principal, or whose activities are directed by a foreign principal,[4] who:

    Engages in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal. The term “political activities” means any activity that the person engaging in believes will in any way influence any agency or official of the United States government or any section of the public with reference to U.S. domestic or foreign policies or with reference to the political or public interests of a foreign principal.[5]
    Acts in a public relations capacity for a foreign principal. The term also includes any person who is engaged in furnishing, disseminating, or publishing accounts, descriptions, information, or data with respect to the political, economic, cultural, or other benefits of any foreign principal.
    Solicits or dispenses any thing of value within the United States for a foreign principal.
    Represents the interests of a foreign principal before any agency or official of the U.S. government

    • Bornajoo
      January 18, 2015, 11:31 am

      @Whizdom

      Under most of that definition, AIPAC = Foreign Agent

    • CigarGod
      January 18, 2015, 11:35 am

      Yes. This also includes “honorary consul”. A person who may simply volunteer to help a given nationality with translation, fill out paperwork, help in communication with police or other agencies. Most do this because of a love of a particular culture. Big problem: if one’s hobby country all of a sudden produces conflict of any kind with the usa, you may be treated by the usa…as an enemy agent. Important to operate very professionally/openly and with very transparent documentation.

    • JeffB
      January 18, 2015, 12:12 pm

      @Whizdom

      at the order, request, or under the direction or control of a foreign principal

      OK let’s go with your theory.
      1) Which Israelis control AIPAC? (specifically names or titles).
      2) What is the the mechanism of control for those Israelis who control AIPAC? How do they enforce their will on the organization?
      3) How do these Israelis recruit for AIPAC? That is how do they find Americans who otherwise wouldn’t agree with them and how do you bribe, threaten… them to act in Israeli’s interests?

      There is no foreign principal ergo it is not a foreign lobby.

  24. Whizdom
    January 18, 2015, 4:07 pm

    All good questions, would you say further investigation into these quite apt questions would help clarify the matter? Remove any questions?

    • JeffB
      January 20, 2015, 2:34 am

      @Whizdom

      All good questions, would you say further investigation into these quite apt questions would help clarify the matter? Remove any questions?

      Well if you were to show
      1) Which Israelis control AIPAC
      2) What is the mechanism of control
      3) The method for recruiting
      then it would unquestionably be a foreign lobby and quite possibly a subversive organization.

      The point of those questions in my mind was to say essentially
      1) There are no Israelis
      2) There is no mechanism for control

      Rather what AIPAC is, is a bunch of American Republican Jews who like Israel and agree with the Israeli right. The relationship of Jewish organizations to Israel is not like football players to the NFL (analogous to a foreign lobby) but rather more like football fans to the NFL (analogous to a domestic lobby). The NFL is influenced by their fans and the fans are influenced by NFL but the relationship isn’t one of control and commerce like it is for players.

      Just to give an example. Italy–USA Foundation is a genuine foreign lobby. I as an American can approach the Foundation to lobby the Italian government if I have an issue. They sort of act like an alternative embassy / trade council for business. This effectively keeps the PdL (center right) in the loop with Americans even when the PD (social democratic) party is in power. It runs both ways so the PdL can conduct semi-independent foreign policy and maintain continuity of relationships in America for Italian businesses. And since as an American I like the PdL and can’t stand dealing with the PD (not uncommon) and Italians realize that they want to have both the ability to elect PD to power and at the same have trade continuity everyone is OK with this. They have meetings in Seattle and New York, but the headquarters is in Rome and the whole point of talking to them is to be talking to Rome.

      That’s nothing like what AIPAC does with Israel. If I have a problem with Israel I can’t talk to AIPAC to resolve it. There are no Israelis on the other end just rightwing Jewish Americans.

  25. Kathleen
    January 18, 2015, 9:46 pm

    Obama is doing his part hope we all do ours. Contact your Reps over and over again. No new sanctions on Iran!

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