The New England Patriots and Israel

US Politics
on 43 Comments

Before the Super Bowl slips completely off the stage, we need to review the links between the winner, the New England Patriots, and Israel. The team is of course owned by Robert Kraft, a major supporter of Israel. And he’s not shy about mixing football and politics. From Stand With Us’ twitter feed:

The IDF is the Israeli Defense Forces. Brady seems to be wearing an IDF vest. That was in 2006, and Brady reportedly went to an IDF firing range and shot a gun.

Israel supporters celebrated last December when Julian Edelman, the receiver, who has Jewish heritage, sported an American-and-Israel pin on his hat.

Edelman with Israel pin earlier this season

Edelman with Israel pin earlier this season

Then a couple days before the Super Bowl, Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer (who grew up in Florida as a Dolphins fan, who gave up his US citizenship to become ambassador, and who lately had giant protocol problems when he helped engineer Benjamin Netanyahu’s invitation to the Congress to speak) announced:

Why, ambassador? Dermer:

Scott Roth observes:

Roth joked that he expected the team to break out in Hatikvah when they won. Robert Kraft has built a stadium in Israel, given money and business to the country, brought many players to Israel, and funded Israel-supporting groups in the U.S.

Back in 2008 his late wife Myra said that she wouldn’t want her sons fighting in Iraq for the U.S., she’d want them fighting for Israel.

I always wanted to live here. .. I would hate to have one of my sons fighting [in Iraq for the U.S.]. Iran’s the problem, not Iraq. But, as far as fighting for Israel is concerned, there is no problem. –

By the way, StandWithUs, which tweeted the foto at the top, is a rightwing group that has compiled dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers and that lately signed a big contract ($240,000) with the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, Haaretz reported, to do social media propaganda in the U.S.

The Prime Minister’s Office will pay the right-wing Israel-advocacy group StandWithUs just over 1 million shekels ($254,000) to help it push the government’s political line this year via social media, the Israeli media website The Seventh Eye reported on Tuesday.

In recent years, the U.S.-based StandWithUs has performed this service for free when Israel faced intense criticism abroad, such as during the summer war with Gaza. In late November, the PMO decided to put up just over 1 million shekels in matching funds with StandWithUs for a year-long program to disseminate hasbara, or official Israeli spin, in times of routine as well as crisis.

The “Social Media Ambassadors” program is an expansion of a project run by the PMO’s National Information Directorate in recent years, most intensely during the fighting with Gaza, when “war rooms” were set up on Israeli campuses. The PMO paid students to promote Israel’s cause on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media. This year, StandWithUs and the information directorate will train Israeli, American and British students to carry out this task on a range of sensitive topics, none of which were identified.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

43 Responses

  1. amigo
    February 4, 2015, 10:57 am

    I watched the game here in Ireland until 4 am.Things were going along nicely until that name Kraft suddenly jumped out at me. Where had I seen that before.So a quick google and any neutrality on my part was quickly dispensed with.Too bad though , I had already bought the Kraft Cheese.

    And no , I am not an antisemite because I do not support the owner of a sports franchise who supports an Apartheid oppressive regime.

    • One Persons opinion
      February 4, 2015, 4:07 pm

      I’m very happy to see a Jewish man, retain ties with his own countrymen and promote ties between my country, the USA and Israel. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but many people view it differently than you do.

      Opponents of your analogy claim that the comparison of Israeil to Aparteid in South Africa, is factually, morally, and historically, inaccurate and intended to delegitimize Israel. Opponents state that the West Bank and Gaza are not part of sovereign Israel. Though the internal free movement of Palestinians is heavily regulated by the Israeli government, the territories are governed by the elected Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders, so they cannot be compared to the internal policies of apartheid South Africa.

      In regards to the situation within Israel itself, critics of the analogy argue that Israel cannot be called an apartheid state because unlike the South African that was explicit about its racial segregation policies, Israeli law is the same for Jewish citizens and other Israeli citizens, with no explicit distinction between race, creed or sex. [from Wkipedia]

      I’m not an expert on Middle East relations, far from it, but I find a lot about how Israel conducts itself to admire. And the Palestinians have had opportunity to improve their situation and have wasted it provoking more conflict instead.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2015, 4:56 pm

        you’re either a fool, woefully misinformed, both, or a liar.

      • oldgeezer
        February 4, 2015, 5:42 pm

        What analogy comparison to South Africa? Nobody mentioned it until you did.

        The crime of apartheid is codified and part of international law.

        Israel is an apartheid state in it’s own right. There are no need for comparisons to be made.

        ” Opponents state that the West Bank and Gaza are not part of sovereign Israel. ”

        Yes these same opponents also argue that everything west of Jordan is part of Israel and they are willing to concede some of it Palestinians in order to facilitate a two state solution.

        Modern zios are quit adept at talking out of both sides of their mouths and their arse all at the same time.

        Again it’s not relevant to the issue of apartheid or other crimes commited by the state of Israel.

        ” Israeli law is the same for Jewish citizens and other Israeli citizens, with no explicit distinction between race, creed or sex. ”

        Except that it’s not. Even worse is that the laws are not enforced on an equal basis even when the law makes no distinction.

      • RoHa
        February 4, 2015, 6:42 pm

        “And the Palestinians have had opportunity to improve their situation and have wasted it provoking more conflict instead. ”

        Please tell us more about that opportunity.

      • justicewillprevail
        February 4, 2015, 8:08 pm

        Ah, the faux naif ruse.

      • One Persons opinion
        February 4, 2015, 8:54 pm

        @ oldgeezer – If you want someone to take your comments about Israel seriously, you’re going to have to do better than that. For one thing, you might try a more balanced viewpoint, where you consider both sides of these issues. Your point of view is not the only one.

      • One Persons opinion
        February 4, 2015, 8:56 pm

        @ RoHa – you should be the ones explaining where the Palestinians have failed to do all they could to improve their situations. If you actually want others to believe you are the least objective.

      • RoHa
        February 4, 2015, 9:53 pm

        “you should be the ones explaining…”

        In other words, you cannot tell us more because you do not know.

      • oldgeezer
        February 4, 2015, 11:53 pm

        LOL, sorry but I was responding to your points. I’m sure that was over your head.

        zios, and supporters, don’t do balance. They haven’ t progressed beyond mythology and supremacy.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 5, 2015, 12:33 am

        In other words, you cannot tell us more because you do not know.

        OPO: just cuz we got our boot on their neck ain’t no reason they can’t pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, if they wanted to doncha know.

        and did you hear RoHA, you and old geezer too can sound positively balanced and “the least objective”! if you fill in the gaps.

      • Misterioso
        February 5, 2015, 12:41 pm

        Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1961: “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

        Jacobus Johannes Fouché, South African Minister of Defence during the apartheid era, compared the two states and said that Israel also practiced apartheid.
        (Gideon Shimoni (1980). Jews and Z!onism: The South African Experience 1910-1967. Cape Town: Oxford UP. pp. 310–336. ISBN 0195701798.

        Ynet, April 20, 2013
        “US report: Israel discriminates against Arabs, women and migrants”
        By Yitzhak Benhorin
        EXCERPTS:
        “Discrimination of women, Arabs and Ethiopians, mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers and violations of migrants’ rights – Israel is guilty of all these charges, according to a State Department report on human rights practices around the world.”

        “One of the most pressing problems, according to the report, is ‘the institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens, in particular in access to equal education and employment opportunities.’”

        The Independent, Dec. 27/2011
        “…EU broadside over plight of Israel’s Arabs”
        Excerpt:
        “The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats…[shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer ‘economic disparities…unequal access to land and housing…discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.’“

        Times of Israel February 21, 2013

        “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons.
        ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
        EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in Israel and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.”

        Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: “[Israel’s] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.” (Ha’aretz, July 19, 2011)

      • Mooser
        February 6, 2015, 7:05 pm

        “Ah, the faux naif ruse.”

        Yes! Yup the old wide-eyed ingenuousness!

  2. Herb Glatter
    February 4, 2015, 11:18 am

    Kraft Cheese and Robert Kraft???? Your blind Jew hatred has infected your remaining brain cells – he has nothing to do with Kraft Cheese. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kraft

    • amigo
      February 4, 2015, 12:20 pm

      “Kraft Cheese and Robert Kraft???? Your blind Jew hatred has infected your remaining brain cells “.

      I know he is not connected.I eat Philly cheese all the time but for this particular few hours that name was off the menu.I did not wish to be reminded of a supporter of the state who came up with a “Diet” for those it keeps in prison every time I bit into my crackers and cream.

      Sorry to disappoint you herb old chap.

    • Keith
      February 4, 2015, 5:16 pm

      HERB GLATTER- “Your blind Jew hatred….”

      Whoa, partner. Don’t you think that you are overstating the case a bit? What do you call this latest pogrom? Kristallnachos?

  3. Herb Glatter
    February 4, 2015, 11:21 am

    Oh the horror, Tom Brady has a Menorah in his home.

    • Mooser
      February 6, 2015, 7:07 pm

      “Oh the horror, Tom Brady has a Menorah in his home.”

      Yes, I’ve heard he uses it to heat up under-inflated footballs to fool the meter.

      There ya’ go, Herb! Something to get that Syndrome episode off and running! Ah, feel your synapses firing like Gatling guns? Serotonin rising in the blood stream like a tidal bore at the Firth of Forth? You are on your way! See you after the Ziocaine Syndrome amnesia wears off.

  4. Chu
    February 4, 2015, 11:29 am

    That Myra quote I remember well, as it hard not to forget a team like the Patriots is run by Owners who make ‘Israel first’ comments such as hers:

    -“I would hate to have one of my sons fighting [in Iraq for the U.S.]. Iran’s the problem, not Iraq. But, as far as fighting for Israel is concerned, there is no problem.”

    I knew Edelman was 1/2 Jewish (raised Catholic), but for him to put the pin on his hat is sappy politicking no better than Sarah Palin. What’s he running for political office? In the least we won’t always have to hear those harping on about Sandy Koufax when it comes to sports now.

    • amigo
      February 4, 2015, 11:49 am

      “I would hate to have one of my sons fighting [in Iraq for the U.S.]. Iran’s the problem, not Iraq. But, as far as fighting for Israel is concerned, there is no problem.” ”

      She get,s it right.Fighting with the US military against Iran ,is likely to get her son killed.But as Israel will not be sending any of it,s precious sons/daughters to fight Iran , her little sabra is safe.He might have to tolerate the odd incursion into Gaza for target practice but little cpl yossi will be quite safe and mommy can sleep at night and dream of all those medals for bravery her brave heroic warrior will receive for protecting a foreign nation and deserting his own.

      These people are despicable traitors.

      • One Persons opinion
        February 4, 2015, 4:12 pm

        That’s a pretty judgmental thing to say about Myra Kraft. I don’t know her personally, but I assume neither do you. You’re speculating about her motivation for what she had to say and everyone on the planet, if they are honest, has been accused falsely of having motivations that they did not have. So there is no excuse to not understand that no one knows a person’s motivations, but that person and God.

        And you make an accusation like’ traitor’ with such venom. Must be horrible to have such hate in your heart. You seem to be concerned about fairness and justice, yet you make an accusation without any factual support on a public board. Not very ethical.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2015, 4:50 pm

        no one knows a person’s motivations, but that person and God.

        unless they tell you.

        I would go with him. I always wanted to live here. As for joining the army, over Vietnam, I would have had an issue, because I didn’t believe in it. The same goes for the war in Iraq. I don’t know why we’re there. I would hate to have one of my sons fighting there. Iran’s the problem, not Iraq. But, as far as fighting for Israel is concerned, there is no problem. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2008/03/the-jpost-asked#sthash.4Q1leGlL.dpuf

        And you make an accusation like’ traitor’ with such venom.

        regardless of your venomous characterization, it’s not uncommon for jewish american parents to fantasize about their children serving in israel’s occupation army (adelson famously wished it for himself and his child as i recall) nor is it unusual for american jewish kids to serve in a foreign army (israel) while bypassing the US army. many people just think that’s unpatriotic or worse.

        That’s a pretty judgmental thing to say about Myra Kraft.

        i find her sentiment judgmental: “as far as fighting for Israel is concerned, there is no problem.” they kill palestinian teens and children all the time. if an american mother claimed they saw no problem in their child fighting and killing (jews) for palestine would you find that judgmental? i guess i just don’t find myra kraft particularly ethical myself, nor concerned about fairness and justice.. or worthy of respect.

      • tree
        February 4, 2015, 5:34 pm

        onepersonsopinion,

        Reread your own comment. You negate everything you said in your first paragraph by your accusations in your second paragraph.

        And you make an accusation like’ traitor’ with such venom. Must be horrible to have such hate in your heart.

        You’ve assumed the worst motivations on amigo’s part in the next breath after pontificating on how “… there is no excuse to not understand that no one knows a person’s motivations .”

        I won’t comment on your motivations for this obvious double standard of yours- your “do as I say, not as I do” routine – but I would suggest strongly that you think about what you just wrote and ponder what your real motivation was in contradicting yourself so adamantly and quickly.

      • One Persons opinion
        February 4, 2015, 9:15 pm

        @ Annie Robbins

        Yes, I agree, ‘unless they tell you’ — but nothing you quote shows her telling you the motivation that you ascribe to her. Her motivation as she explains it was because she didn’t believe in it.

        Your characterization that Israel is an occupation army ignores the fact that Israel was driven out of their own land and country and was regaining it in 1967. Convenient to leave that out of your explanation.

        And what does what you perceive that American Jewish kids serving in a foreign army and not the US Army have to do with Myra Kraft? It would be my understanding that if American born kids, of any nationality or faith are called upon to serve, they serve. So if you have information that is otherwise, post a link and I’ll look at it.

        Her sentiment is judgmental? How is that? Palestinians also kill Israelis. How about Palestinians rocket attacks and suicide bombers. They don’t count I suppose? And what of the fact that Hamas positions it’s rockets using women and children as human shields. I suppose that is ethical?

        So, because Myra Kraft who is Jewish, sides with Israel, she is judgmental. Why would you expect her to do otherwise? And at least she isn’t using women and children to sacrifice in order to aim rockets at Israel. Hamas is fair and worthy of respect?

        And all the anti-Israel comments here are not in the least fair. You seem to attempt to put a spin on the situation according to your bias. Certainly not in any way appearing to be looking to find a peaceful solution to the problems in the MidEast.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 4, 2015, 9:24 pm

        Israel was driven out of their own land and country and was regaining it in 1967…..You seem to attempt to put a spin on the situation according to your bias.

        you’ll have to excuse me. i am a busy girl and not really in the mood to engage someone so delusional and steeped in hypocrisy. ciao.

        oh, and we already know we’re “free to correct” you, none the less, you’re still judgmental. Calling someone a despicable traitor, if accurate, is not necessarily an indicator of hatred.

      • One Persons opinion
        February 4, 2015, 9:20 pm

        @ tree — But as Annie Robbins points out, ‘unless they tell you what’s in their heart’. Calling someone a despicable traitor, without any factual basis, sounds like hate. But you’re right, I am drawing a conclusion that her words represent hate. She is free to correct me, if that is not true.

      • Mooser
        February 6, 2015, 7:17 pm

        “She is free to correct me, if that is not true.”

        And she has to answer to you, because why? Who the hell made you moral arbiter?

        Every one of them, exactly the same! Omniscient, omnipotent, and fit to judge the entire world ! An aristocracy.

  5. kma
    February 4, 2015, 11:43 am

    if the Kraft family wants war with Iran, then the IDF can send their kids. Such big talk.
    The US is not going. We wish we didn’t invade Iraq also. Have fun, Israel.

    Dave Zirin’s explanation of why the Seahawks threw away the game at the end with the stupid play in the end zone is also entirely political. The sport is not so much of a sport anymore.

    • Mooser
      February 6, 2015, 7:21 pm

      My wife, who understands these things much better than me, told me that the Patriots had 8 guys on the line, and could make the run, even that short distance, very hard, so a pass was chosen. She also felt that injuries had weakened the Seattle defense. That’s her story, and I’m sticking to it.

  6. ckg
    February 4, 2015, 12:44 pm

    So now that it is paid by the government of Israel, how does StandWithUs and its paid staff avoid having to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act?

  7. chet
    February 4, 2015, 2:37 pm

    The owner of a team with a history of cheating and lying is avidly pro-Israel.

    Why am I not surprised?

  8. Philip Munger
    February 4, 2015, 9:34 pm

    I responded to Dermer’s “breaking protocol” tweet shortly after he made it:

    @AmbDermer @Mondoweiss Seahawks not white enough for you, Ron? go shove some skittles where the sun don't shine.— Philip Munger (@PhilipMunger) February 2, 2015

    • JLewisDickerson
      February 4, 2015, 11:37 pm

      Perhaps it’s the ‘Ricki factor’ ! ! !

    • Mooser
      February 6, 2015, 7:23 pm

      Phil, that’s great. I’m glad you found a use for those Skittles!

      • JLewisDickerson
        February 7, 2015, 10:46 pm

        Personally, I think Jujubes (pronounced ju ju bees) would be more appropriate!
        I suspect Elaine would agree.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    February 4, 2015, 11:11 pm

    RE: “Before the Super Bowl slips completely off the stage, we need to review the links between the winner, the New England Patriots, and Israel. The team is of course owned by Robert Kraft, a major supporter of Israel. And he’s not shy about mixing football and politics. . . Kraft has built a stadium in Israel, given money and business to the country, brought many players to Israel, and funded Israel-supporting groups in the U.S.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I can’t help but wonder whether Bob Kraft also took Ricki along on his trips to Israel.

    SEE: “Meet Ricki Lander, 73-year-old Patriots owner Bob Kraft’s bombshell girlfriend of three years – a dancer turned actress who is half his age”, By Annabel Fenwick Elliott, dailymail.co.uk, 30 January 2015
    • Ricki Noel Lander is a 34-year-old actress, fashion designer, former model and trained dancer
    • She has been dating Bob Kraft, 73, since the summer of 2012
    • The PBS correspondent is 16 years younger than Mr Kraft’s oldest son
    • The blonde recently designed a range of women’s sport merchandise for Fanatics, which sells NFL-branded clothing
    • In July 2012, Mr Kraft appeared with Miss Lander in a bizarre and widely mocked audition tape for the role of a pole dancer
    LINK – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2933407/Meet-Ricki-Lander-73-year-old-Patriots-owner-Bob-Kraft-s-bombshell-girlfriend-three-years-dancer-turned-actress-half-age.html

Leave a Reply