AIPAC behind new US/EU trade legislation designed to thwart BDS

US Politics
on 57 Comments

A new bipartisan bill engineered by AIPAC was introduced in Congress yesterday that ties the rejection of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel to future U.S. trade agreements with the European Union. H.R.825, The Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act (pdf) was sponsored by Congressmen Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) and the Israel lobby has been behind the scenes pushing it for months.

A press release issued from Congressman Roskam’s website implies the legislation intends to leverage U.S. trade to protect Israel’s economic security:

This bipartisan bill would counter the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and strengthen the U.S.-Israel economic relationship. Over the past several years, a growing contingency of countries across the globe have sought to isolate and delegitimize Israel through BDS. This bill leverages ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel….”The U.S-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting U.S. companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel.”

Israeli news reports and several American Jewish publications have reported the proposed legislation although it has yet to be picked up by any mainstream U.S. news publication.

JTA reports the bill

makes rejecting the BDS movement a prerequisite for moving ahead with a U.S.-EU trade plan that proponents say could be the largest free trade deal in history.

“Today, an alarming number of countries within the European Union and beyond have embraced BDS as a form of economic warfare aimed to cripple Israel’s economy and demonize its very existence,” Roskam said Tuesday. “These attacks not only threaten Israel but commercial relations across the globe.”

AIPAC’s report, Bipartisan Bill Battles the BDS Movement and Boosts U.S.-Israel Economic Relationship, makes no mention of their involvement in the drafting of the legislation although Rosie Grey’s Sept. 2014 Buzzfeed article, Pro-Israel Activists Aim To Block Boycott Movement With Legislation, reports AIPAC had been working on the draft for months:

The most powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization, AIPAC, is working on drafting legislation that would aim to counter the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, two sources familiar with the situation told BuzzFeed News.

The legislation, which has not yet been introduced and has been in the process of being drafted for months, would aim to prevent U.S. companies from participating in the campaign without infringing on Americans’ First Amendment rights to political speech. It would also try to make the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership being negotiated between the U.S. and E.U. conditional on whether the E.U. takes action to stop BDS.

“The biggest provisions would be authorizing states and local governments to divest from companies deemed to be participating in BDS; denial of federal contracts to such companies; and threatening the conditioning of the US-EU free trade pact on the EU taking action to stop BDS activities within its jurisdictions,” said a Republican foreign policy adviser familiar with the legislation. The bill, the adviser said, originated with a former top aide to Illinois Senator Mark Kirk and has now been “expanded” by AIPAC, which is working with House and Senate offices on the draft.

“This legislation could really change the global dynamic with respect to BDS — in effect, it’s a boycott of those who boycott,” the adviser said. “It applies the successes we learned from Iran sanctions and applies them to those who seek Israel’s political destruction.”

Why are we prioritizing Israel’s fight against BDS in our trade negotiations with Europe?

Here’s some gloating by Hana Levi Julian at The Jewish Press:

If Europe wants to enjoy the benefits of what could be the largest free trade deal in history, the leaders of its member nations will have to pay a price: they must agree to reject the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, say two U.S. Representatives – one from each side of the political aisle.

…But there’s a catch. The legislation will “leverage ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel, said Representatives Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), who co-sponsored the bill.

It’s not a done deal yet. The legislation, which the Jerusalem Post reports is “over a year in the making” still needs to make it way through committee:

Characterized foremost as trade legislation, authors of the bill expect passage to the House floor through the Committee on Ways and Means, where Roskam is a member and chairman of the committee Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) was thoroughly consulted on the bill’s crafting.

57 Responses

  1. Krauss
    February 11, 2015, 4:35 pm

    This is really dumb, on two levels.

    First, U.S – EU relations are now dictated by Israel’s whims? Is the Israel lobby determined to prove that the Elders of Zion was in fact a mild-mannered prelude?

    Second, even if passes, it may indeed be a blessing in disguise. Post-Nafta, the notion that these large trade deals are somehow always good has been debunked, so you get two hits in one smash; further exposure of the corruption that the Israel lobby and the poisonous influence it has on American foreign policy, as well as possibly nixing a negative trade deal that is a give-away to corporations and tries to slash labor rights.

    • CigarGod
      February 12, 2015, 8:52 am

      Yes…as long as the discussion is about how the brutal oppressor is taking away the last peaceful tool of the oppressed to resist.

      I don’t know if aipac’s inordinate influence in our government has enough awareness with the general public.

  2. DoubleStandard
    February 11, 2015, 4:40 pm

    Fingers crossed.

    • CloakAndDagger
      February 11, 2015, 6:34 pm

      If you are an American citizen, you are the embodiment of dual loyalties and an Israel-firster. It is not a trope as far as you are concerned. If you are not an American citizen, laugh it up. You won’t laugh for long. I will be laughing when the door hits you on your backside.

  3. Susie Kneedler
    February 11, 2015, 5:15 pm

    Annie, you always find crucial stories that are hidden till you report: Thanks!

    • Annie Robbins
      February 11, 2015, 5:27 pm

      it wasn’t that hidden susie, not in the israel/jewish press anyway. i read about it yesterday and it really bugged me coming on the heels of all the iran legislation. the israel lobby never sleeps, it’s just constant. to place something like bds in the center of our trade agreements w/the EU..i guess that really confirms how threatening bds is to them. what can i say. it’s not our job to tell the EU how to do business. i hope they don’t cave on this (the EU i mean, congress is too beholden and will cave to almost anything aipac says no matter how intrusive).

      • seafoid
        February 13, 2015, 12:01 am

        They are scared, Annie

        Cast Lead showed them they are losing popular support in Europe.
        They are insiders and they try to do what they can by changing laws but they can’t make anyone respect them when they go into Gaza and kill children.

        Even if they did change the law it wouldn’t make any difference to the bigger picture. Hasbara is dead. Many people are sickened by Zionism.

        And anyway Europe has bigger things to worry about right now than poor little Israel.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 16, 2015, 5:13 am

        i agree seafoid, i think they are scared too.

  4. CloakAndDagger
    February 11, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Damn this makes my blood boil!

    These people use our tax money, the blood of our soldiers, mess with our foreign policy, and now our trade relations, to further their own ends, with nothing of benefit for us. What gets me, though, is that it is our elected reps who are making this happen!

    […]
    C’mon Obma, declare AIPAC as agents of a foreign government, FFS! I am so mad, I can hardly type!

    • American
      February 11, 2015, 6:50 pm

      One of the actually accurate comments on Netanyahu and congress…….

      “Congress has got to figure out what country it’s representing, what citizens it’s representing, who their real loyalties should be toward. A foreign government is NOT it. Multi-national corporations are NOT it. Lobbyists are NOT it. Too many in congress have essentially become tools of foreigners and nationless business entities. Why is everyone so afraid of calling this what it is? This is not a “breach in protocol”. This is a gross, blatant and horrendous interference in our affairs by a foreign government and its implants in our Congress via campaign contributions. They should all be rounded up and impeached for their treasonous acts. Read the constitution, folks. What that gutless Boehner and his buddies are doing is a clear case of treason. This has not been done since the war of 1812 when the loyalists sided with the British empire.”

      The msm nattering heads and all others involved in this are trying to pretend this is about Nettie and Obama or the GOP and Dems.
      None of Dems will touch ‘subversion or treason or disloyalty to the US’ with a 10 ft pole.–they mew it as disrespectful to Obama.
      While the I-Firsters accuse evryone of being “Anti America” if they dont put israel first.
      That is how far gone congress and even Obama and the Us media are.

      ”In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”– George Orwell

    • American
      February 11, 2015, 9:32 pm

      opps……someone is telling the (whole) truth!…….More, more.

      “It’s not just about disrespect for the president, it’s disrespect for the American people and our system of government for a foreign leader to insert himself into a issue that our policymakers are grappling with,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.).

      “It’s not simply about President Obama being a black man disrespected by a foreign leader. It’s deeper than that.”

      Read more: link to politico.com

    • RockyMissouri
      February 12, 2015, 1:19 pm

      TRUTH!

  5. American
    February 11, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Everyone should read the pdf link.

    BTIFTTGAPTU !

  6. irmep
    February 11, 2015, 6:44 pm

    Great report.

    30 years ago AIPAC received stolen industry data on 70 US organizations lobbying against the US-Israel FTA via an Israeli intermediary with diplomatic immunity.

    link to irmep.org

    That agreement has produced a $7-10 billion a year US deficit.

    AIPAC, always at work.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 11, 2015, 9:32 pm

      AIPAC, always at work.

      that was my first line, it did make the final cut. actually it was aipac never sleeps or doesn’t stop or something like that, i can’t recall exactly. it’s just like fighting an ever ready control freak battery. drives me nuts.

  7. Bumblebye
    February 11, 2015, 6:49 pm

    Learn about the travesty of political process and betrayal of society TTIP would be:

    link to opendemocracy.net

    this article about the benign sounding “regulatory cooperation” may be relevant:

    link to opendemocracy.net

    and the related (worldwide) citizen’s action grouping:

    link to stop-ttip.org

    Also http://www.stop-ttip.org

    This kind of trade deal will deprive ordinary citizens around the world of al sorts of rights in favor of corporations. It’s the privatisation (pirate-isation?) of political space!

    htt

    • American
      February 11, 2015, 6:57 pm

      Part of the text of the original working draft for TTIP was available at wilki leaks but for some reason I cant open the site now.

      But from wiki you can get some idea of the objecitons to it.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      In 2013, Joseph Stiglitz, a Keynesian economist, warned that the TPP presented “grave risks” and “serves the interests of the wealthiest.”[14][104] Organized labour in the US argued that the trade deal would largely benefit corporations at the expense of workers in the manufacturing and service industries.[105] The Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Economic and Policy Research argued that the TPP could result in further job losses and declining wages.[106][107]
      In December 2013, 151 House Democrats signed a letter written by Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and George Miller (D-CA), which opposed the fast track trade promotion authority for the TPP. Several House Republicans opposed the measure on the grounds that it empowered the executive branch. In January 2014, House Democrats refused to put forward a co-sponsor for the legislation, hampering the bill’s prospects for passage.[108]
      In 2014, Noam Chomsky warned that the TPP is “designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.”[109] Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who opposes fast track, stated that trade agreements like the TPP “have ended up devastating working families and enriching large corporations.”[110] Economist Paul Krugman reported, “… I’ll be undismayed and even a bit relieved if the T.P.P. just fades away,” and said that “… there isn’t a compelling case for this deal, from either a global or a national point of view.” Krugman also noted the absence of “anything like a political consensus in favor, abroad or at home.”[111] Economist Robert Reich contends that the TPP is a “Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom, giving big corporations and Wall Street banks a way to eliminate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of their profits.”[112][113]
      In a letter to Michael Froman, a US Trade Representative, Senator Bernard Sanders wrote:
      It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it.[114]
      Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club’s director of responsible trade, argued that the TPP “could directly threaten our climate and our environment [including] new rights that would be given to corporations, and new constraints on the fossil fuel industry all have a huge impact on our climate, water, and land.”[115] Upon the publication of a complete draft of the Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs’ Report by Wikileaks in January 2014, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Wide Fund for Nature joined with the Sierra Club in criticising the TPP. Julian Assange described the Environment Chapter as “a toothless public relations exercise with no enforcement mechanism.”[116]

      And its even worse than it sounds because it gives *financial and *investment control *within countries to outside *global investors and investment organs. Its the EU economic union control of its member countries on steriods.

      This is the ‘new world order’ many of us thought was just a crazy conspiracy.

      • Bumblebye
        February 11, 2015, 8:14 pm

        “This is the ‘new world order’ many of us thought was just a crazy conspiracy. ”

        Yup. Recall Reagan and Bush senior cock-a-hoop with the end of communism and claiming Capitalismhad won. Not Democracy. Knew then that this so called Capitalism had another “enemy” to defeat in Democracy. Bush 1 declared his “New World Order” at the time of the first Gulf War, and on the eve of Jr’s (s)election stated that “the business of government is Business”. Govermment of the people by the corporations and wealthy for the corporations and wealthy!

        link to opendemocracy.net

        explains how these trade deals are the poor cousins of the WTO, or TTIP the “economic” arm of NATO supposedly to reign in Russia while TPP is intended tondo the same wrt China.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        February 12, 2015, 12:29 am

        Why did people ever think that was a “kooky conspiracy theory”? George Herbert Walker Bush was the first person to bring it up!!!! So don’t lay that at the feet of conspiracy realists. Stop accepting the marginalization of those of us who know that powerful people often conspire.

    • pabelmont
      February 13, 2015, 5:15 pm

      BumbleBye: TPP like NAFTA and other “free trade” treaties is a give-away to big corporations, allowing them to be freed from further labor laws or environmental laws or any laws that impinge on their profits. In other words, it is a give-away of SOVEREIGNTY by all the countries that sign it.

      The men in black helicopters, the UN tyrants, are the sovereignty-destroying imaginary boogeymen of the far-right, but the free-trade are the actual sovereignty-destroyers. And our governments do them again and again and again. The race-to-the-bottom (environment. labor, maybe other things) was in place with the first free trade agreement.

      • Bumblebye
        February 13, 2015, 5:32 pm

        I wholly agree and that’s why I’m pasionately opposed to the insidious thing! If it goes thru we (most of the 99%) will be going to hell in (multiple made in china for walmart) handcarts!

      • pabelmont
        February 13, 2015, 6:39 pm

        See Eva 2/11 7:04PM below for enormous detail on this.

      • Bumblebye
        February 13, 2015, 7:38 pm

        Eva didn’t post a link, so I’ll put up George’s own site:
        link to monbiot.com

        and his front page (cos there’s loadsa stuff you’d like!):
        link to monbiot.com

  8. Eva Smagacz
    February 11, 2015, 7:04 pm

    So, the trade agreement that, according to usual suspects, has no downside for either party, may be derailed by Israel Lobby.

    This will go well with business people, who are already fed up to the gills with restrictions of trade with Iran and Russia.

    But looking at the free trade agreement from another point of view, it is distructive to the extreme to the European way of life and a triumph for the neocons.

    Here is the beef or the matter, as laid out by George Monbiot from Guardian:

    The purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue :

    the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to defend their citizens. It would allow a secretive panel of corporate lawyers to overrule the will of parliament and destroy our legal protections . Yet the defenders of our sovereignty say nothing.

    The mechanism through which this is achieved is known as investor-state dispute settlement. It’s already being used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the living planet.

    The Australian government, after massive debates in and out of parliament, decided that cigarettes should be sold in plain packets, marked only with shocking health warnings. The decision was validated by the Australian supreme court. But, using a trade agreement Australia struck with Hong Kong, the tobacco company Philip Morris has asked an offshore tribunal to award it a vast sum in compensation for the loss of what it calls its intellectual property.

    During its financial crisis, and in response to public anger over rocketing charges, Argentina imposed a freeze on people’s energy and water bills (does this sound familiar?). It was sued by the international utility companies whose vast bills had prompted the government to act. For this and other such crimes, it has been forced to pay out over a billion dollars in compensation. In El Salvador, local communities managed at great cost (three campaigners were murdered) to persuade the government to refuse permission for a vast gold mine which threatened to contaminate their water supplies. A victory for democracy? Not for long, perhaps. The Canadian company which sought to dig the mine is now suing El Salvador for $315m – for the loss of its anticipated future profits.

    In Canada, the courts revoked two patents owned by the American drugs firm Eli Lilly, on the grounds that the company had not produced enough evidence that they had the beneficial effects it claimed. Eli Lilly is now suing the Canadian government for $500m, and demanding that Canada’s patent laws are changed.

    These companies (along with hundreds of others) are using the investor-state dispute rules embedded in trade treaties signed by the countries they are suing. The rules are enforced by panels which have none of the safeguards we expect in our own courts. The hearings are held in secret. The judges are corporate lawyers, many of whom work for companies of the kind whose cases they hear. Citizens and communities affected by their decisions have no legal standing. There is no right of appeal on the merits of the case. Yet they can overthrow the sovereignty of parliaments and the rulings of supreme courts.

    You don’t believe it? Here’s what one of the judges on these tribunals says about his work. “When I wake up at night and think about arbitration, it never ceases to amaze me that sovereign states have agreed to investment arbitration at all … Three private individuals are entrusted with the power to review, without any restriction or appeal procedure, all actions of the government, all decisions of the courts, and all laws and regulations emanating from parliament.”

    There are no corresponding rights for citizens. We can’t use these tribunals to demand better protections from corporate greed. As the Democracy Centre says, this is “a privatised justice system for global corporations”

  9. Boomer
    February 11, 2015, 7:04 pm

    Very disturbing; given the history of Congress doing whatever AIPAC wants, I shouldn’t be surprised at another affront to truth and justice, but I am. Congress can always sink lower. It never stops.

    • Krauss
      February 11, 2015, 11:29 pm

      What people should be disturbed by is the blatant attempt of Israel to intervene in America’s foreign policy again and again.

      Even if the TTIP is nixed(which would be good news), that decision should be decided by the American people alone and on the American interest only, not on the whims of a foreign and alien entity that has a strangehold over too much of American foreign poicy.

  10. JLewisDickerson
    February 11, 2015, 7:19 pm

    Why does this only apply to the U.S.-EU trade plan, but not the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

    • Krauss
      February 11, 2015, 11:26 pm

      Three reasons:

      1. Israel exports about 60% to Europe and imports a lot more from Europe, too, than from Asia. It’s trade with Asia(South/Eastern Asia) is still much smaller even if the share is growing. So the economic damage from Europe will be much larger for the foreseeable future if BDS grows.

      2. The lobby has a lot more power in Europe than in Asia. It can, and it will, always use the Shoah as a cover to further its political aims. Europe’s elites are hapless and typically will not stand up to their BS. Or at least, that used to be the case, but we’re seeing changes there(the Swedish government in place, the British parliament etc).

      This is what the lobby sees and fears, hence the legislation.

      3. BDS as a movement in Asia is still a lot more nascent than it is in Europe, for political reasons that people more knowledgable than me about Asia have to explain.

      Possible fourth: There’s always been an anti-European bias among the lobby and the Jewish establishment in general. You can even read it in Haaretz. Europe in a sense serves as the ultimate Other in the Jewish context for those who have a world view that is made up of threats. So attacking Europe is also part of the deep europhobic impulse that many of them carry within them. You see the same in Israel. They may hate the Arabs but they obsess over the Europeans.

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 14, 2015, 12:24 am

        Yes Krauss, you’ve pretty well covered the possible explanations.
        Personally, I hope this will make the Europeans decide that maintaining their sovereignty is more important than agreeing to any new US/EU trade legislation.
        I also hope the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is unsuccessful.

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 14, 2015, 11:57 pm

        P.S. SEE: “Corporate Coup d’etat: Those Crappy Trade Deals”, by Joyce Nelson, CounterPunch.org, February 13-15, 2015
        LINK – link to counterpunch.org

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 16, 2015, 8:36 am

        P.P.S. AND SEE: “This is What Corporatocracy Looks Like: Trading US Democracy for Corporate Profits with TPP”, by Dave Lindorff, CounterPunch.org, February 16, 2015
        LINK – link to counterpunch.org

    • DoubleStandard
      February 12, 2015, 1:21 am

      If that involves the far East, then it’s not necessary since those countries aren’t discriminating against Israel like Europe does.

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 13, 2015, 11:58 pm

        Including the Muslim countries like Indonesia?

  11. JLewisDickerson
    February 11, 2015, 7:41 pm

    RE: The bill, the adviser said, originated with a former top aide to Illinois Senator Mark Kirk and has now been “expanded” by AIPAC, which is working with House and Senate offices on the draft. ~ Rosie Gray

    MY COMMENT: Mark Kirk is a “kept man”! ! !

    SEE: “Mark Kirk Is AIPAC’s Million Dollar Baby”, by M.J. Rosenberg, 02/03/10

    [EXCERPT] 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.

    I would not categorize him as pro-Israel because that would require supporting an end to the deadly status quo. Mark Kirk is just pro-AIPAC and shaking the trees for all the campaign money he can get by his hate rhetoric about Arabs. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to huffingtonpost.com

    P.S. ALSO SEE: “Sen. Kirk aide said to be point-man in campaign against Hagel”, By Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss.net, January 11, 2013
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

    P.P.S. Kept man – link to en.wikipedia.org

    P.P.P.S. “You can’t use tact with a Congressman! A Congressman is a hog! You must take a stick and hit him on the snout!” . . . “If a Congressman is a hog, what is a Senator?” – attributed to Henry Brooks Adams (American journalist, historian, academic and novelist, 1838-1918)
    The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams – link to gutenberg.org
    The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (Google eBook) – link to books.google.com

    • JLewisDickerson
      February 11, 2015, 7:45 pm

      P.P.P.S. FROM THE CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS (opensecrets.org) as of 2/10/15:

      Pro-Israel: Money to Congress
      • All cycles
      •Top 20 Members
      • Pro-Israel

      Rank /// Candidate /// Amount

      1. Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $2,249,224
      2. Obama, Barack (D) $2,224,126
      3. Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,815,354
      4. McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $1,632,421
      5. Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,611,085
      6. Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) $1,405,855
      7. Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,365,155
      8. McCain, John (R-AZ) $1,294,532
      9. Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,204,816
      10. Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $1,159,061
      11. Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,038,707
      12. Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $992,022
      13. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R-FL) $919,994
      14. Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) $871,015
      15. Lowey, Nita M (D-NY) $850,359
      16. Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) $838,918
      17. Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $834,649
      18. Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $818,915
      19. Harkin, Tom (D-IA) $809,160
      20. Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) $796,791

      SOURCE – link to opensecrets.org

      • Boomer
        February 12, 2015, 9:00 am

        And that is just the money that is disclosed, which may be a small amount of the total for some of these politicians. There is also “dark” money that goes through “public welfare” organizations that don’t disclose the source of their funds. And there are a variety of ways to rent, buy, or otherwise influence politicians, e.g., putting a relative on a payroll at an inflated salary, getting in on an IPO that is sure to make a quick profit, et al.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 11, 2015, 9:39 pm

      dickerson, don’t miss “A look at who is running Mark Kirk’s office in his absence” from 2012 – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      big bust, it’s a doozy! especially the last paragraph.

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 11, 2015, 11:17 pm

        Thanks. That’s the post I actually had in mind!
        AIPAC was all but running his zombie office.

  12. Kay24
    February 11, 2015, 10:05 pm

    So they don’t just write our foreign policy bills, they have managed to worm into our other vital policies that affect us, and use their poison there too. I have never seen such an anti American group that although has the word “America” in it’s title, is totally biased and does what is important for a devious alien nation that does not care a damn about American interests. Time these foreign lobbies were cut off from our nation and asked to stop interfering. Time Israeli leaders were stopped from taking us for granted and boasting about Israel being able to control, or move, us. I mean where is our national pride when it comes to Israel? The world’s greatest superpower seems to be on it’s knees when it comes to Israeli influence and ability to dictate our policies. Have we no spine to stand up to these snakes?
    Our leaders are not loyal to their own nation, when it comes to Israel and it’s damn interference in everything we do. They become slaves falling over themselves to do the bidding of one of the most disliked nations in the world.
    The latest insult by Netanyahu for the President/WH and the control over Boehner, is yet another example of just how far this sick relationship can go.

  13. peacenotapartheid
    February 11, 2015, 11:38 pm

    16 EU member states claim that TTIP must be approved by EU member states. Anti-BDS provisions could lead to increased resistance to TTIP by some members while raising the profile of BDS, perhaps killing two birds with one stone.

  14. Marnie
    February 12, 2015, 12:50 am

    I don’t suppose that if this bill passes that there may be european countries who will say to hell with any trade with the USI (united states of israel?) because there’s too many strings, visible and invisible, attached? And most Americans are sound asleep. Conspiracy theories are sounding more logical all the time.

  15. Bornajoo
    February 12, 2015, 5:45 am

    Kay
    If this bill gets through we can no longer call this a sick relationship. It will be a full blown marriage, a total fusion, a metamorphosis of one into the other. And it will indeed be a further step into the new world order.

    You want business? then no justice. You want justice? Then no business

    And the power mad psychos who run the show will always choose money and business

    • Kay24
      February 12, 2015, 6:20 am

      Sadly, you are right. They have slithered into every possible sector in our country, and will stay there, as you say because the mad psychos will always put their monetary interests, above loyalty and security of their own country. They allowed this serpent to slither in.

  16. amigo
    February 12, 2015, 7:46 am

    AIPAC and all the zionist jerks can delay the inevitable and facilitate more illegal land grabs but at the end of the day, there will still be 5 million Palestinians to deal with.When those people start demanding equality in the so called Greater Israel , US/EU trade agreements will start to crumble and Israel will disappear as did the White SA Apartheid Regime.No amount of gerrymandered trade agreements can cancel out the ordinary man /woman in the streets right to boycott.

    OT, More war crimes being committed by Israel.

    “Israel’s interior ministry fraudulently transferred $16m to settlements
    Money meant to compensate for funds that West Bank regional councils would have been eligible to receive from Jewish Agency if they were inside Green Line.” haaretz

    link to haaretz.com

    Expect these amounts to increase .This is nietanyahus way of sticking his finger at the International community.

    Bring on those EU sanctions .

  17. Kay24
    February 12, 2015, 8:40 am

    Another sign that Arabs have no place in that apartheid nation. Arab candidate disqualified by Israeli courts:

    link to haaretz.com

  18. adpucci
    February 12, 2015, 9:00 am

    interesting, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d like to thank AIPAC for anything – so they will work on behalf of liberal people to help keep TTIP off the books? :-D

    I wonder how the big corporations that are chomping at the bit for TTIP will take this back-stabbing by AIPAC :-D

  19. Pixel
    February 12, 2015, 9:30 am

    Foxman @ ADL affirms Bibi’s assertion that
    Netanyahu DOES speak for all Israeli and American Jews.

    2/11/2015
    “Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement: …

    Preventing extremist Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel’s very existence. In that goal, Mr. Netanyahu surely does represent not only Israelis but American Jews as well.

    link to adl.org

    • Kay24
      February 12, 2015, 10:08 am

      What next? That Netanyahu speaks for ALL Americans too? He certainly acts like he controls us all, does’t he? Foxman, certainly is making statements that he, as an American shouldn’t be, and giving Netanyahu rights that he does not have. Does this mean that PM Modi represent all American Indians too?

    • amigo
      February 12, 2015, 11:06 am

      News flash!!!.

      Iran develops nukes that seek out only Jewish Americans.

      The trick is that these nukes are equipped with proprietary software that enables them to seek and destroy only those Americans with Jewish DNA.(Howdeydodat).Phew , all non Jewish Americans are safe.

      Foxman is a traitor to his fellow Americans.He is only concerned about Jewish Americans.The rest do not rate a mention.Shouldn,t he be claiming that Iran is a threat to ALL Americans.It is Obama,s job , (which he working hard to achieve) to protect All Americans and it is Netanyahu who is working hard against that goal and thereby endangering All Americans of which some are Jews.

      Some King , eh.

      • Kay24
        February 12, 2015, 1:50 pm

        Not King, more like Court Jester.

      • eljay
        February 12, 2015, 1:54 pm

        || amigo: Some King , eh. ||

        Then it all crashes down
        And you break your crown
        And you point your finger
        But there’s no one around

        Just want one thing
        Just to play the king
        But the castle’s crumbled
        And you’re left with just a name

        Where’s your crown, King Nothing?

        (Metallica: “King Nothing”)

  20. amigo
    February 12, 2015, 11:13 am

    It is at best disingenuous to suggest that trade agreements should include penalties for those who do not abide by the rules .It seems to me that the EU should start by penalising Israel for breaking every rule they agreed to when they are the beneficiaries of Trade agreements with the EU.

    Think , contraband manufactured /grown in the occupied territories and shipped to EU markets mislabeled as “Product of Israel”.

    Enough of this BS.

  21. seafoid
    February 13, 2015, 12:10 am

    I can’t see this working. US corporates have many subsidiaries in Europe. The dollar is up 18% recently. Quarter 3 US earnings were very poor on the back of this. It’s harder for American companies to sell in Europe when prices are 18% higher. And Europe is in a managed depression.

    The US is not doing great either

    Coke sales are down:
    link to ft.com

    Beer sales are down:
    link to ft.com

    Now, for Wall St, earnings drive stock prices. Remember that sales in the US have been stagnant for the last 4 years. If the bots come along and say we are going to sanction France because of BDS – it is going to hurt US corporate revenues but it’s for a good cause- what are S&P or even the Wall St journal going to say? Or if they tell Coke that they can’t sell in Italy because of BDS ?

    I can imagine 2 words.

    “Fuck”

    and

    “off”.

    Sanctions work against Iran because it’s not really integrated into the global economy and everyone can be encouraged to join in the fun. But deliberately taking France or Italy out of trade with the US because certain Jews don’t like criticism of little Israel ?

    I honestly think the bots have lost the plot.

    Zionism only works in the context of economic growth. When it hinders it , what is the point of Zionism ?

    And If European far right politicians hear that Zionists are punishing Europeans economically it will remind people of a very dark time in the past.

  22. Bandolero
    February 13, 2015, 5:51 pm

    Hello everybody,

    is there any way we can support the Israel Lobby with that legislation here from Berlin?

    I’m pretty sure that would kill TTIP altogether.

    Here in Germany, at least I think so, most activists see TTIP as an attempt of the Israel lobby to sabotage the good German relations with China. And good German relations with China we see – last not least – as a strategic option to get rid of the pressure of the Israel Lobby in Germany.

    To make it short: I think the Israel Lobby is playing a bluff here – and it will backfire harshly on the lobby when cards are called to see. I’ld double down on this.

  23. warlessworld
    February 18, 2015, 12:35 pm

    It is critical that the general public in the United States be educated, inform regarding how dangerous AIPAC plays in American election process with so many hidden PAC’s under AIPAC. It took founding father’s and subsequent generation of decent Americans hundred plus year to built so many decent democratic institution in the United States.

    My heart cry to see all these institution is basically powerless over money, propaganda, lies and blackmail that AIPAC promote by using their selected and nominated congressmen and senators while totally disregarding American national interest.

    AIPAC is not only bad for the Palestinians but this organization is dangerous for each and every American include patriotic Jewish Americans who thinks American interest comes first. AIPAC’s right wing offence with American Enterprise Institution in reality is poison pill No. 1 for America.

    When shall general American population would comprehend disaster in the making?

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