White House will go after AIPAC next — Newsweek

Middle East
on 81 Comments

As the Iran talks go to the wire, we can only marvel at the political fireworks we are seeing.

To being with, there’s the Wall Street Journal report that Israel was spying on the US talks and leaking details to friendly members of congress. Jeff Stein follows up at Newsweek that the revelation has angered many in the administration, and the rage goes at the Israel lobby:

One former U.S. intelligence operative with long, firsthand familiarity with Israeli operations called the revelation “appalling but not surprising,” especially under Netanyahu…

“The fact that there is such manipulation of our institutions by a so-called ally must be exposed, and the ‘useful idiots’ in [the U.S.] government who toe the Likud line will someday be looked back upon as men and women who sacrificed the U.S. national interest for a foreign ideology—Likud right-wing Zionism,” the operative said, on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“We know publicly that the administration is seething,” he added, “but I can assure you that behind closed doors the gloves are coming off. Bibi is in the administration’s crosshairs. If this is what is being allowed to leak publicly, you can bet that, behind the scenes, folks both in the White House and the foreign policy-intel community [are prepared to] act on that anger.”

This is not the end of it, he predicted. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which critics say has morphed from a powerful “pro-Israel” lobby to a powerful pro-Likud lobby over the years, will be Obama officials’ next target.

“I’m betting there are going to be some willing leakers now about stories such as AIPAC’s operations against Congress,” the former operative said.

AIPAC opposing Iran deal

AIPAC opposing Iran deal

AIPAC is working hard against the Iran talks. It has announced six conditions for a deal with Iran that are all deal-breakers.

MJ Rosenberg echoes my own opinion of Obama right now. He’s risen to the occasion:

Stop saying #BarackObama is not gutsy. First president to smash mouth #israel and its lobby since 1956!

The Jerusalem Post reports that leading Democrats who Israel and its friends hoped would swing against the Iran talks are sticking by the president, among them Tim Kaine. Though according to Newsweek, the Virginian Senator is covering his bases on the spying controversy, standing up for the Israelis:

But if Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, is any barometer, the Israelis have little to worry about.

“I just don’t look at that as spying,” Kaine said of the Journal’s allegations. “Their deep existential interest in such a deal, that they would try to figure out anything that they could, that they would have an opinion on it…I don’t find any of that that controversial.”

Kaine is a Hillary Clinton supporter who has been mentioned as a likely vice-presidential pick. He is also a J Street Democrat,  He has been supported by the liberal Zionist lobby group– which opposes AIPAC inside the establishment– as a possible savior of the peace process.

Another important report in Newsweek says that Netanyahu alienated a crucial constituency he needed to block an Iran deal: black Congresspeople. They disliked his upstaging of Obama, most of them boycotted his speech, and they saw his racebaiting on election day:

According to aides, the South Carolina Democrat [James Clyburn] bluntly told [Israeli legislator Yuli] Edelstein he regarded the prime minister’s upcoming speech as an “affront to America’s first black president.”…

But for black Democrats like Clyburn, it was Netanyahu’s coded election-day warning that Israel’s Arab citizens were headed to the polls “in droves” to vote him out of office that pushed them from anger to outrage. Netanyahu later apologized for his remark, but his contrition appeared to have no effect on Clyburn and company. “The Congressional Black Caucus is gone,” a Democratic congressional aide told Newsweek, referring to its support for Israel under Netanyahu.

As negotiators from the U.S., Iran and five major powers close in on a framework nuclear accord in Geneva to meet an end-of-March deadline, Netanyahu’s loss of black support on Capitol Hill probably means he’s lost his gamble to create a way for Congress to pass a bill that would block an agreement. “Bibi,” a congressional aide said, using Netanyahu’s nickname, “ensured there will be no veto-proof majority in the House.”

Reporting the struggle between Congress and the White House, the Daily Beast quotes congresspeople saying the spying allegations are no big deal. But the administration’s leaks are!

A senior congressional staffer called Obama administration allegations of Israeli spying “deeply irresponsible innuendo and destructive hearsay,” telling The Daily Beast that “these unsubstantiated allegations are all the more galling in light of the fact that this Administration has leaked, consistently and aggressively, details of Iran proposals to the front page of The New York Times and other news outlets, as well as to sympathetic think-tankers and pro-Iranian groups outside of government.”

It’s crazy, huh. Like if the government was going after the U.S. communist party for disloyalty but most of Congress were strong devoted Communists who shared the party’s loyalty to Moscow. I see the upside, this is the decadent period of the Israel lobby.

J Street is supporting Obama in freezing Netanyahu:

While many in our community accepted [Netanyahu’s] walkbacks [of his two-state repudiation] in hopes that we could return to business as usual, the White House took a reasonable, principled stance and said that it’s time to rethink our approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then it came under attack for speaking the truth.

Given the Prime Minister’s rejection of two-states, we agree the time has come for a change. We thank President Obama for looking at this issue with open eyes, and vow to back US leaders doing what’s necessary to bring us closer to peace. Join us:

Just now on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd referenced White House chief of staff Denis McDonough’s speech to J Street last week in which he slammed nearly 50 years of occupation as a politically significant act. Mitchell said that the Israelis are now signalling they will accept some type of Iran deal after all. Todd said that the Israelis are concerned about the Security Council resolution for a Palestinian state that is now inevitable– and seeking to make it as agreeable as possible to themselves, by trying to make Europeans happy. So it all comes down to the Palestinians, doesn’t it?

Speaking of nuclear leaks, people are talking about the recent release by the US government of a Defense Department document showing that the US and Israel were working together on Israel’s development of a hydrogen bomb in the 1980s. The story broke in February on Courthouse News:

[A] researcher has won the release of a decades-old Defense Department report detailing the U.S. government’s extensive help to Israel in that nation’s development of a nuclear bomb.
“I am struck by the degree of cooperation on specialized war making devices between Israel and the US,” said Roger Mattson, a former member of the Atomic Energy Commission technical staff.
The 1987 report, “Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” compares the key Israeli facilities developing nuclear weapons to Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the principal U.S. laboratories that developed the bomb for the United States.

The researcher who sprung the doc, Grant Smith of IRMEP (Institute for Research: Middle East Policy), tells me that “the report was never classified.  Never ‘top secret.’  But it was tightly controlled and subject to DoD release authority.” Last November Smith wrote a letter to the president and then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urging them to release the document. He has no idea if they played any role in the release. 

But in a January court response to IRMEP, the Defense Department said it was seeking Israel’s OK before releasing the document.

This Israeli site sees the release as politically significant:

In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

Oh and let’s not forget the war party. Bill Kristol on Twitter:

I’m in Israel. Talking to savvy, hardened, matter-of-fact foreign policy professionals. All think Iran deal a truly momentous disaster.

John Bolton in the New York Times op-ed page calls for a joint US Israel military attack on Iran now:

The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.

Rendering inoperable the Natanz and Fordow uranium-enrichment installations and the Arak heavy-water production facility and reactor would be priorities. So, too, would be the little-noticed but critical uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan. An attack need not destroy all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary.

Isn’t that what Jeffrey Goldberg was ordering up five years ago?

About Philip Weiss

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

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81 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    March 27, 2015, 1:47 pm

    A confusing report, all told. But if the prediction that Obama will somehow throw AIPAC under the bus proves true, how wonderful! Think of all those conflicted Congressmen — may even be a few not in the Black caucus — who actually support human rights “in their hearts” and have felt like AIPAC’s prisoners all these years w.r.t. I/P.

    But they are also prisoners of all the other BIGs: big-banks, big-oil, big-defense, all the backers of TPP and NAFTA and so forth.

    • just
      March 27, 2015, 2:12 pm

      +1, pabelmont.

      “So it all comes down to the Palestinians, doesn’t it?”

      As it should, in a positive way! It’s way overdue with the focus always on the US “ally” as if its ‘issues’ were more important than peace, justice, and respect for the Palestinians. All else is just criminal complicity by the PTB all over these United States for “Israel always, Israel first”. The majority of countries around the globe have already recognized Palestine and the Palestinian people, with the obvious and most culpable and criminal enablers and outliers among some that are just fairly difficult to understand~ “head-
      scratchers”.

      I hope that the WH does not let go of their state of being angry and that the rage continues unabated. I hope that there is no capitulation to be seen ever again.

      You assessed Tim “Clinton” Kaine exactly right, Phil. The last thing the Palestinians or we need is a “possible savior of the peace process”!

      As for the republicans, they are at it again. Circling the drain with gusto:

      “U.S. lawmakers introduce legislation to prevent Israel boycotts

      ‘Boycott Our Enemies, Not Israel Act’ tabled by Republican congressmen aims to prevent companies participating in BDS activities from winning U.S. government contracts.

      …Under the Boycott Our Enemies, Not Israel Act introduced Wednesday by Reps. Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Ron DeSantis of Florida, prospective contractors with the U.S. government would be required to certify that they are not participating in any boycotts against Israel. The bill also includes penalties for false certification, including permanently banning a company from doing business with the government.

      “Our government business practices should not play any role in harming our greatest ally in the Middle East,” Lamborn said in a statement, adding that the bill was introduced to “thwart efforts by Palestinian organizations to pressure different corporations, companies and educational institutions to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel.”

      “The BDS movement represents a disgraceful attempt to single out Israel for punitive treatment,” he said.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.649147

      • Doubtom
        March 28, 2015, 1:02 pm

        Lamborn wouldn’t know an ally much less a ‘greatest ally’ from a hole in the ground which is where his head is located. The Republican party has morphed into the biggest bunch of ignoramuses and religious wackos we’ve ever seen and if they don’t embroil us into yet another war, it will be a miracle.

    • eGuard
      March 27, 2015, 6:21 pm

      About the black caucus (black congressman/woman): how come they are this independent? Is it because Obama is black (so I’m told), or are they more independent from AIPAC money for reelection?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 28, 2015, 9:04 am

        they are not more independent from aipac money per se, i doubt it anyway. historically, as a community, they likely have much more fine tuned receptors wrt racism but it’s more than that. maybe it’s integrity, cajons and a rejection of blatant bullshit plus the support of their constituents over this issue. all around maybe the american black community is less susceptible to being swayed by routine propaganda. think of katrina and how the drumbeat from propaganda machine kept saying the black community was obsessed with “conspiracy theories” when evidence (including lots of witnesses) support there was indeed that explosion that broke the levy after the hurricane subsided. just stuff like that, being able to tell what a lie and a set up is, instinctually and collectively. being on the rotten end of the stick for centuries. sound familiar?

    • Pippilin
      March 28, 2015, 2:52 pm

      You’ve got to start somewhere and an appropriate ‘somewhere’ is AIPAC.

  2. Bornajoo
    March 27, 2015, 2:14 pm

    “But if the prediction that Obama will somehow throw AIPAC under the bus proves true, how wonderful!”

    If extra hands are needed to pick them up and throw them under that bus, count me in!

    Let’s hope there’s some truth to this

    Thanks Phil

    • Krauss
      March 27, 2015, 3:02 pm

      J Street will become the de facto lobby for democrats.

      It will no longer be required to bow to AIPAC in deference because you can always go across town. This will give J Street power and in return they will be let into the communal tent.

      The same people who tried to destroy J Street will soon come to understand its significance in stopping the bleeding to the left(the real left, the JVP crowd). And J Street will revel in the recognition it has so long sought with such desperation.

      AIPAC will have an edge in the sense that they will be more attuned to the hardline Likudnik concensus in Israel, but their strident disloyalty to every single American president will make them increasingly marginalized as the go-to lobby.

      This is the splintering of the lobby; instead of being pro- or anti-Israel, it will be different shades of pro. At least in the beginning.

      In the end, J Street are just a bridge to BDS. Their base is very liberal. Much more so than their leadership. Wouldn’t surprise me if Hillary skipped AIPAC in 2020. By 2024 even going to J Street will be fraught with controversy among democrats, because J Street will never give up the delusion of the 2SS.

      • JeffB
        March 27, 2015, 6:48 pm

        @Krauss

        Remember when you talk AIPAC vs. J-Street vs. JVP you are talking Jews not all Democrats and not just Jews but active Jews. So I think your predictions are way way off in terms of time.

        Take abortion. In 1976 both parties were mixed. Ford’s position was that each state should decide not even fully pro-life while having his wife soften that stand. Carter waffled. Reagan was opposed to abortion on demand and waffled with regard to what therapeutic abortion he would support. So 1980 is a good time to set when the parties began to split on the issue. This was clearly a high passion issue, at least as passionate as Jews will be on Israel.

        Yet here were are 35 years of sorting on this issue and still:
        27% of Republicans are pro-choice
        28% of Democrats are pro-life
        ( http://www.gallup.com/poll/170249/split-abortion-pro-choice-pro-life.aspx )

        Democrats as a whole may be anti-Israel. But that’s not important. What’s important is
        a) Whether Jews remain strongly politically active and Democratic
        b) Whether those Jews remain pro-Israel

        The Democratic party is not going to walk away from Jewish activism and money, especially liberal causes and groups. How many anti-Israeli Hispanic or Black voters would vote for a Pat Buchanan on the Israel issue?

      • Giles
        March 28, 2015, 8:48 am

        J Street is controlled opposition, AIPAC is sheep’s clothing.

        No sign of any J Street until some real resistance against the subservience of American pols to Israel started to appear.

        They are all still Jewish centric racists intent on keeping American aid flowing to Israel.

        They are PEP liberals.

        I am surprised anyone on Mondoweiss would not know this.

      • HHM
        March 28, 2015, 2:46 pm

        Right on, Giles!

        I have years of experiences to share at some point regarding our community’s J Street crowd and their determined efforts to obstruct and marginalize legitimate Palestinian human rights activism using a variety of underhanded methods. Our local Jewish Federation once held an event on how J-Street and AIPAC “walk different paths to the same goal.” On page 7 of the Eugene Occupier (http://occupyeugenemedia.org/newsletter/current-oen/) a former J Street member recounts his experiences with J Street.

        In my opinion, the AIPAC/Likud crowd is more honest in that what you see is what you get and their positions are easily deconstructed. Because too few look deeper than the slogan “Pro Israel, Pro Peace” (but not “Pro-Palestine” it should be noted) it is easy to derail and neutralize generic community peace groups producing what is commonly referred to as PEP (Progressive except for Palestine). Our so-called “peace and justice” community alliance group attempts to substitute interfaith dialogue for activism and recently sponsored an event titled, “Ending Mid-East Conflict Through Nonviolent Communication.” So now we know why it took over 300 years to end slavery in this country – it took that long for black folks to learn polite communication of their feelings.

      • RoHa
        March 29, 2015, 12:32 am

        “So now we know why it took over 300 years to end slavery in this country ”

        Which country are you referring to? Israel or Palestine?

    • bintbiba
      March 27, 2015, 3:06 pm

      +100 Ditto , Bornajoo.

  3. lysias
    March 27, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Obama needs to remind Americans what JFK and his brother were seeking to do to the American Zionist organization (have it declared a foreign agent not entitled to tax deductibility) before JFK was assassinated.

    If Obama wants to discredit the Israel lobby, he should authorize leaks about the truth about the sinking of the U.S.S. Liberty. Also, if Israel was involved (as I suspect) in the JFK assassination, that could be leaked too. Together, those two things could work a sea change in Americans’ view of Israel and its lobby.

    • Citizen
      March 27, 2015, 2:59 pm

      Your words to God’s ear. But I won’t hold my breath.

    • JWalters
      March 27, 2015, 6:48 pm

      Excellent points. I suspect the over-the-top denial and insanity spewing from the Israel war camp, foreign and domestic, reflects a desperate fear of just this cesspool of crime becoming public knowledge. There’s also more to come out about how the Iraq war got started.

    • Kathleen
      March 28, 2015, 12:03 pm

      And those letters between JFK and Ben Gurion, Kennedy demanding that Israel open Dimona up to international inspections. Last President to do so.

  4. lysias
    March 27, 2015, 2:28 pm

    We haven’t heard yet (as far as I know) just how the Israelis were spying on the U.S. government. I wonder if these stories mean that people in the U.S. government sympathetic to Israel were leaking to Israel through AIPAC. As has happened before.

    • JWalters
      March 27, 2015, 6:51 pm

      And WHO in the CIA was spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee? Who would have the resources and connections to do such a thing? This was not a couple of rogue agents acting on a bet made over drinks. (“Hey, let’s see if we can break into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers!”)

  5. crone
    March 27, 2015, 2:47 pm

    OT, Has anyone seen this:

    Philly Begins Posting Anti-Muslim Ads with Hitler on Public Transportation

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20150327/1020107966.html#ixzz3VbvyZDER

    • just
      March 27, 2015, 3:51 pm

      Absolutely disgraceful.

      Thanks, crone. From your link:

      “SEPTA had tried to say no to the ads, but US District Judge Mitchell Goldberg ruled that because the transit agency had accepted other political and controversial ads in the past, they couldn’t turn this one down, as it would be a violation of free speech.

      The ad is produced by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group based in New Hampshire which argued in court that the ad was relevant because “many Christians and Jews are being persecuted in Islamic countries in the Middle East.”

      Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20150327/1020107966.html#ixzz3VcKYg2Is

      Somewhat disingenuous and/or sloppy reporting. It may have a branch in NH, but in reality, AFDI is this:

      “SIOA was founded by and is led by Pamela Geller and author Robert Spencer.[6] It is also known as the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).[7] It was founded in 2010 at the request of Anders Gravers Pedersen, the leader of Stop Islamisation of Europe, of which it is the American affiliate.[7]

      SIOA has been described as being on the extreme right of the political spectrum.”

      (wiki)

      • MRW
        March 27, 2015, 9:13 pm

        Thanks, just.

    • MRW
      March 27, 2015, 9:13 pm

      Really despicable ads…however, one question is how much of this is Spencer and Geller trying to get European-style draconian hate laws passed here? Outlawing criticism of Israel? Think about it.

      Graffiti would be better.

  6. Bandolero
    March 27, 2015, 3:06 pm

    On a sidenote, there is one more problem brewing for the Israel lobby.

    Netanyahus best arab allies, the Saudis, are totally dependent on Obama to give them cover for their war in Yemen in the UN security council.

    As Britain and France stay at the fence, and Russia and China are opposed, the Saudis have in their Yemen war absolutely no cover from the security council except Obama. Netanyahu wants it as much as the Sauds that Iran’s friends are crushed in Yemen, but both, the Sauds and Netanyahu are dependent on Obama to make that operation of a proxy war against Irans interests continue.

    • Kathleen
      March 28, 2015, 12:11 pm

      I have so been wanting to see a chart on the proxy wars being fought with the U.S., Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia’s support. So “complicated, convoluted” to say the least. This morning (Saturday) on Up with Steve Kornacki Ayman Moyheldin presented such a chart. Insane. Michael Kay and Ayman shared explanations for the insanity of variables. However going to have to watch and listen again. Scramble.

      Up With Steve Kornacki on msnbc – MSNBC.com

      http://www.msnbc.com/up-with-steve-kornacki

      Up With Steve Kornacki 3/28/15

      Whose side is the US really on in the Sunni-Shi’ite conflict?

      NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin brings some clarify to the rapidly-escalating chaos and confusion in the Middle East, and Michael Kay and ret. Col. Jack Jacobs join to examine the U.S. interests and geopolitics involved.

  7. oldgeezer
    March 27, 2015, 3:11 pm

    Seems odd that a report detailing US/Israel cooperation on nuke development would not be classified. If accurate then this would seem to be a clear violation of the NPT by the US. That doesn’t surprise me of course given that it has long been rumoured.

  8. Annie Robbins
    March 27, 2015, 3:14 pm

    i started laughing at this:

    John Bolton in the New York Times op-ed page calls for a joint US Israel military attack on Iran now

    seriously, i laughed. why does the times even bother publishing this rehashed crap?

    another great report. i am so loving the news lately. thank you phil.

    oh, and i went to ‘favor’ one of mj’s tweets, and a little note popped up informing me he’s blocked me from favoring him! wonders never cease.

    • Citizen
      March 27, 2015, 6:26 pm

      He blocked me from his Twitter account. lol

    • JWalters
      March 27, 2015, 7:03 pm

      Paraphrasing John Bolton, “The inescapable conclusion is that Israel will not negotiate.”

      I laughed too. Feels like it’s becoming easier to laugh at such absurdity. Maybe it’s the breezes of hope.

    • MRW
      March 27, 2015, 9:01 pm

      John Bolton also got the 2007 Israeli destruction of a supposed Syrian reactor wrong. Read.

      SYRIA’S SMOKING GUN
      by Trish Schuh
      Sept. 17, 2007

      “Trish Schuh is the only Western journalist to actually go to Deir al-Zur, the area where Israeli plans are said to have attacked a missile depot.”

      After the invasion of Iraq, former US Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner identified charges against Syria as one of 50 false news stories created by Israel and the White House to justify war. “Saddam’s nuclear WMDs moved to Syria” was propaganda he said.
      .
      Several days ago, after the attack on Syria’s “nuclear program”, I spoke to western oil company officials in Deir Ez Zor. One technician told me they routinely monitor radiation as part of the refining process. They registered no heightened levels of nuclear residue in the area as there would have been if the Israelis had hit a North Korean atomic stockpile. Operations and technical foremen put it this way: “The nuclear claims against Syria are pure bullsh*t.”
      .
      The Syrian smoking gun is the complete lack of any mushroom cloud.

  9. Pixel
    March 27, 2015, 4:10 pm

    This is why a Bibi win was critical.

  10. just
    March 27, 2015, 4:26 pm

    “Bravo, Bibi, bravo – for turning the world against Israel

    Our fate will be determined by the external pressure applied by the world. Under pressure, Bibi will fold.

    Our nation apparently lives in a magical world, in which there’s a kingdom reigned by a queen who drinks, according to a worker from the prime minister’s residence, three bottles of champagne a day. There’s also a leader with a potbelly and a blue tie (like Obama’s), whom God chose for the throne a third, fourth and maybe fifth time, before he reaches the presidency. Because in these elections Bibi implemented the slogan Menachem Begin used, “God chose us to rule” – if what he’s been doing for the last three terms can be called ruling.

    …Our fate will be determined by the external pressure applied by the world. Under pressure, Bibi will fold. When he folds, Naftali Bennett and the extremists in the government will resign. And then Bibi will find that with 59 MKs he cannot continue being the king of Israel. In any case, in 2017 the security assistance agreement between the U.S. and Israel expires. Obama will no longer be president by then, but the security agreement will be on the table. It won’t bind the next president.

    …The ongoing unjust treatment of the Palestinians could raise again that old anti-Semitism of yore. The traditional chemistry with the U.S. still works, but the White House chief of staff’s words, “Israel cannot rule over another nation forever,” cannot be ignored forever. This statement, which stems from the fight between the Bibi government and the Obama administration, will break out and spread like a Tsunami throughout the world. There will come a day when an angry world headed by Obama will leave Iran alone and pick, of all things, on the nuclear weapons that, according to foreign reports, Israel has.”

    Interesting excerpts from an article by Yoel Marcus that I don’t fully agree with : http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.649091

    I was curious about Marcus’ claim that” In any case, in 2017 the security assistance agreement between the U.S. and Israel expires.”

    So I found this:

    “JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Budget-strapped Israel is pressing the United States to conclude a deal extending defense aid beyond 2017, when Washington’s current $3 billion annual payouts to its Middle East ally expire, officials said on Friday.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/israel-worried-about-us-3-billion-payments-after-2017-250442

    Is it binding? Can’t it be revoked today? Anybody know?

    • MRW
      March 27, 2015, 9:08 pm

      Budget-strapped Israel?

      I thought the start-up nation with the greatest technical geniuses god ever put on this planet who run rings around anything the US can produce–more Nobel Prizes per capita than any country in the world!–and whose military products are the leaders of the world were selling their wares like hotcakes.

  11. just
    March 27, 2015, 5:27 pm

    “EU keeps Hamas on terror list despite court ruling

    BRUSSELS (AFP) — The European Union kept Hamas on its terrorism blacklist Friday despite a controversial court decision ordering Brussels to remove the Palestinian Islamist group from the register.

    Brussels has lodged an appeal against a December ruling by the bloc’s second highest court that Hamas should be delisted for the first time since 2001.

    “Hamas stays on list during Council’s appeal to December judgement,” Susanne Kiefer, a spokeswoman for the European Council, said on Twitter.

    The appeal process is expected to take around a year and a half.

    Two other groups have however been withdrawn since the last EU list was published in July 2014: the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which US officials have accused of funneling money to Hamas, and Al-Takfir and Al-Hijra, an Egyptian Islamist group.

    …Hamas’ military wing was added to the EU’s first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States. The EU then blacklisted the political wing of Hamas in 2003.

    But the General Court of the European Union ruled last year that the Hamas blacklisting was based not on sound legal judgments but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet…”

    http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=760137

    Can you please release the Holy Land 5 now, Mr. Obama? EU and US~ please get with the program!

  12. eGuard
    March 27, 2015, 5:53 pm

    Great overview. MW, please keep MJ Rosenberg out of the arguments. A Zionist by any name.

  13. MHughes976
    March 27, 2015, 6:25 pm

    A deal of a sort with Iran will probably have to be done, though Iran too will have to make concessions and Israel will in the upshot not be under the sort of threat from Iran that would compel realistic negotiations or deter another Gaza massacre. I think all the stuff about spying will come to nothing much – Tim Kaine probably speaks for the political class and I don’t see public opinion really rising up on an issue that is much removed from day to day concerns. Black leaders may be a little miffed but where is any sign of their speaking out? A few words from their assistants to a few journalists are nothing much, are they? The lobbying orgnanisations are still at the heart of a system that has politicians sending money to Israel and also, round a few discreetly twisting corners, sending money to themselves. The costs of changing the system would be very great. It may crumble a bit in the light of the slow change in public opinion. But the night is still dark and the road long.

  14. JWalters
    March 27, 2015, 6:36 pm

    A lot of people have known the basic facts for quite some time, but have been effectively muzzled by the power of Zionist Big Money in the media and politics. That muzzle is coming off and those people are starting to take action. And as more do, even more feel secure enough to also act. Paraphrasing Nixon’s Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman’s statement to whistleblower John Dean, “Once the truth is out of the tube it’s hard to get it back in.”

  15. ritzl
    March 27, 2015, 9:20 pm

    Obama should invite Ayman Odeh (Joint List) to the White House for an informal “information exchange.”

    That would be something special.

  16. Rusty Pipes
    March 27, 2015, 9:32 pm

    Regarding your segment on IRMEP and the 1987 DoD document, the Mattson quote may have led you to make an assumption about US/Israel (state level) cooperation on Israel’s nuclear program. Even though there is a great deal of enmeshment between the American and Israeli Military Industrial/Intelligence Complex at this point, it was not the case in 1987. If Israel’s facilities imitated American facilities it was more likely as a result of Zionist (Israeli or Sayanim) spying. Israel is second only to China in its spying on the US.

    During the Reagan Administration and the Cold War, the US Government may have been unwilling to confront its ally. Further, large enough majorities from both political parties in Congress would have protested — and been rewarded with donations. Indeed, the main reason that the DoD undertook an investigation of a program that the USG had suspected for 25 years was because Mordechai Vanunu’s photos of Israel’s nukes were all over the English press the previous year.

    This information from the Courthouse site raises some questions for me:

    The government handed over the document in the midst of political controversy involving Israel, after months of fighting its release. The government, represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Jennings and DOD counsel Mark Herrington, had taken the position that confidentiality agreements necessitated a “line by line” review of the report.

    Government lawyers then argued that the document’s release is optional rather than mandatory, adding that “Diplomatic relations dictate that DoD seeks Israel’s review.”

    In a statement Thursday, Smith said: “Informal and Freedom of Information Act release of such information is rare. Under two known gag orders — punishable by imprisonment — U.S. security-cleared government agency employees and contractors may not disclose that Israel has a nuclear weapons program.”

    Apparently, in January, Chuck Hagel performed the task that “Diplomatic relations dictate[, seeking] Israel’s review.” Shortly after the State of the Union address, violating diplomatic protocol, Boehner invited Bibi to give a rebuttal before a joint session of congress (the same Bibi who, in his younger days, had helped steal an American nuclear trigger). Just a few days before leaving office in February, Hagel released the 1987 report.

    It would be interesting to know the history and people behind the imposition of the two gag orders on US government employees for discussing information available to the world for almost 30 years.

  17. W.Jones
    March 28, 2015, 12:07 am

    “But in a January court response to IRMEP, the Defense Department said it was seeking Israel’s OK before releasing the document.”
    Right. Because the Administration needs approval from the higher-ups before it can take such steps.

  18. Jackdaw
    March 28, 2015, 2:05 am

    That’s ‘the United States spying on Israel spying on the United States’.

  19. JohnWV
    March 28, 2015, 5:17 am

    As a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty, Iran accepts continuing IAEA inspection and has an internationally recognized right to develop and implement nuclear technology. Having rejected both IAEA inspection and the NPT, Israel has no such right. Yet the Jewish State has hundreds of nukes and openly threatens Iran, actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not Iran, is the warmonger. Resolution lies with lifting all sanctions and compensating Iran for damages from the $$$ billions United States will no longer be giving the Jewish state. A nuclear Iran would wonderfully disrupt Israel’s racist and brutish Mideast hegemony.

    • Jackdaw
      March 28, 2015, 12:42 pm

      @John

      ” A nuclear Iran would wonderfully disrupt Israel’s racist and brutish Mideast hegemony.”

      Enjoy your impotent rage.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 28, 2015, 2:51 pm

        what rage? that’s just a logical reality. even Danielle Pletka Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/israels-true-fear-re-iran-is-balance-of-power#sthash.zipIQNuW.dpuf acknowledges that.

        The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you that Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately…” And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/israels-true-fear-re-iran-is-balance-of-power#sthash.zipIQNuW.dpuf

      • DaBakr
        March 29, 2015, 9:38 pm

        how does the US stand to gain if Iran is successful in dominating Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, possibly Bahrain, and Gaza with its newfound riches gained by ending sanctions? Or are not lefties concerned at all that Iran has spread its tentacles far wider by 1000s/km then Israel ever has? I know how Putin will be strengthened but not sure what Obamas ‘grand vision’ is since he hasn’t bothered to explain it except to insinuate that a nuclear Iran can be ‘tolerated’. I would be willing to listen to a sound policy goal explaining why appeasement by the US this time will work out any differently then it has ever worked out in the past.

      • RoHa
        March 30, 2015, 1:37 am

        “how does the US stand to gain if Iran is successful in dominating Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, possibly Bahrain, and Gaza ”

        At least three questions here. First, what has the U.S. got to lose in such circumstances? Second, does the U.S. have any greater right to whatever it might lose than Iran has to “take” it?
        Third, is U.S. Intervention to retain that something less harmful than Iranian domination? (Experience suggests the answer to this one is “No”.)

        “appeasement by the U.S.”
        Since Iran is not attacking anyone except ISIS, to which the U.S. pretends enmity, and is not making any threats or territorial demands, what is being “appeased”?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 30, 2015, 12:50 pm

        RoHa, you didn’t address this allegation Iran has spread its tentacles far wider by 1000s/km then Israel ever has

        which is simply not true. israel’s “tentacles” are coursing thru US diplomacy and military policies. the “lillypad” restructuring of our military globally began over a decade ago and was a direct result of israeli/neocon clean break pnac policy. there’s nothing in iran’s portfolio that compares.

    • Rob Roy
      March 28, 2015, 2:01 pm

      +1, JohnWV, would that it were so. Thank you.

      Down the road there will be a one-state solution and its name will be Palestine.

  20. Citizen
    March 28, 2015, 7:31 am

    The sleeping giant awakes, finds all these tiny people have him strapped down. I wanna puke.

    • catalan
      March 28, 2015, 8:42 am

      The sleeping giant awakes, finds all these tiny people have him strapped down. I wanna puke. – citizen
      I am assuming the sleeping giant is America. Very apt, considering Americans are the most overweight people on earth (AIPAC feeding them candies!).

  21. William Burns
    March 28, 2015, 7:53 am

    Harry Reid is retiring and the next Senate Dem leader will be Chuck Schumer. The next president will be either a Republican or Hilary Clinton. Any problems AIPAC is having are strictly temporary. After 2016, they’ll be as strong as they ever were, if not stronger.

    • just
      March 28, 2015, 8:43 am

      Nothing is written in stone… anymore.

      The Republicans are totally unhinged, with no sign of slowing their terrible clown car that’s speeding toward the cliff.

      Clinton has more than a few true progressives and Dems decidedly NOT in her camp. Someone else will emerge to challenge her, mark my words.
      I’m thinking Jim Webb…

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/03/24/jim_webbs_toughest_mission_126032.html

      As for Schumer, he’ll be Schumer. Others, like Dick Durbin, could actually be the new leader.

      • William Burns
        March 28, 2015, 8:53 am

        Nothing’s written in stone, true, but Durbin has already announced his support for Schumer, as has Reid.

      • Kay24
        March 28, 2015, 7:11 pm

        Ah Schumer, it will be so easy for the zionists to have one of their staunchest in that position.
        The US congress will continue to be under occupation.

  22. Ramzi Jaber
    March 28, 2015, 9:24 am

    Sadly, only wishful thinking.

    US zionists and their supporters are already pressuring Obama by reminding him that 2016 is around the corner and all those running want a perfect relation with the zionists to win. They are also pressuring him on Iran and blaming him for all the troubles in the ME.

    So effectively, they are blackmailing by holding his legacy as hostage to their demands: if you don’t do as we tell you, kiss your legacy goodbye!

    I certainly hope – finally free fro his own election – that Obama will show his true mettle (if he has one) and do the right thing: take on aipac, christian zionists, nutnyahoo, and the zionist regime.

    At a minimum, Obama must do only one thing in April of this year:

    Introduce and lobby all 15 UNSC members to vote for a resolution on 2SS with clear parameters for a mandated negotiated settlement, backed with clear milestones and specific penalties, to be concluded in 12 months. Obama visiting an INDEPENDENT PALESTINE in 2016 would cement his legacy.

    And this will preempt a very sad and abominable anniversary of 50 years of the zionists attack and colonization of the remaining part of Palestine in 1967. Heck, the whole Iran negotiation would be concluded only in a few years not 50. So yes you can Mr. President!!

    If the President fails at this, then he should formally declare the 2SS dead and address the American people to educate them on the strength of the zionist lobby and its operations as an illegal agent on behalf of a foreign state.

    But, with Clinton and Biden on the horizon, or worse the republicans, and with the aipac grand wizzard shoemer replacing the aipac wizzard reid, I have no hope that Obama will take on iapac or do anything truly courageous on Palestine. Time will tell, I hope I’m wrong.

    2SS is dead. Long live 1SS, 1S1P1V!

  23. ckg
    March 28, 2015, 10:52 am

    Jeff Stein of Newsweek is an outstanding journalist. MW has featured or linked to a few of his articles over the past year or so. His twitter handle is @SpyTalker .

    • Rob Roy
      March 28, 2015, 2:15 pm

      ckg, then why is it that when he, Jeff Stein of Newsweek, and Jodi Rudoren of NYT are paneled somewhere to discuss I/P, there are no Palestinians on said panel? Jeff and Jodi only appear to be objective; in reality they are zions. We all understand pro-Palestinians and pro-Israelis who are open in their views. Trickier and insidious are those who pretend to be one way or the other; one must be on alert for these pseudo progressives.

      • ckg
        March 28, 2015, 8:03 pm

        Rob. I see you are new here. Your comments are insightful. Please stick around. You are probably right on my comment.

  24. Ramzi Jaber
    March 28, 2015, 10:52 am

    Where are the Kiriakou, Assange, Greenwald, Manning, and Snowden of aipac?

    aipacers, Are they brainwashed? Are they braindead? Or are they just blinded?

    Truly amazing how loyal USA aipac members are to their country, the zionist entity!!

    • Kathleen
      March 28, 2015, 12:16 pm

      brainwashed, brain dead, blinded” serious, powerful, terribly vindictive and successful for decades.

      The well constructed walls are slowly but surely coming down.

      Add Jinsa to concerns too.

  25. Doubtom
    March 28, 2015, 11:29 am

    If the powers finally go after AIPAC, it will be a miracle and way past the time for that action; the American people have been telling their government for years, that this nefarious outfit is nothing more than an extension of the Israeli government and the Mossad. The forever paranoid Israelis have a perfect organ in AIPAC to spy and to do their bidding through Congress.

  26. Kathleen
    March 28, 2015, 11:48 am

    Have followed Aipac’s website and activities for several decades. They focused on pushing anti Iran legislation soon after the invasion of Iraq. They have been “relentless” Along with Jinsa.

    They have been the big pushers (and co-creators) of anti Palestinian legislation

  27. Kathleen
    March 28, 2015, 12:54 pm

    The Confused Person’s Guide to Middle East Conflicts
    The Atlantic‎ – 1 day ago

    “Confused about what’s happening in the Middle East? No need to worry—our research team at the Institute of Internet Diagrams has come up with the ultimate explainer in the shape of an interactive diagram that sums up the geopolitical alliances traversing this ancient region, which dates back to the Mesozoic Era.

    The diagram clearly maps out the relationships between the main players as well as external powers, like the United States and Russia, that are deeply involved in the region. It is best to view the diagram using 3-D glasses, but the graphic will still work if none are available.”

    ON THE DIAGRAM “Note Palestine and Israel were discounted for the sake of simplicity” As if any of this would fit the definition of “simplicity” As if Israel is not involved in any of these proxy wars.

  28. Sycamores
    March 28, 2015, 1:12 pm

    the warmongers have got their way.

    Saudi led coalition has started a proxy war with Iran in Yemen.

    i hope the US has enough good sense to keep out of it.

    • Kay24
      March 28, 2015, 7:13 pm

      I think it is too late, we seem to be involved in some shape or form, as always.

      It is time we kept out of these proxy wars, or any war for that matter. I bet the weapons they are using are either US or Israeli made. Are we so desperate for business?

  29. just
    March 28, 2015, 2:01 pm

    “Embracing Israel Boycott, Jewish Voice For Peace Insists on Its Jewish Identity
    Group Now Has More Facebook Followers Than AIPAC and J Street

    At the opening plenary of Jewish Voice for Peace’s recent national conference, Rabbi Alissa Wise, JVP’s co-director of organizing, asked the crowd of some 600 how many were attending their first such gathering; about three-quarters of the room shot up their hands.

    For the group whose advocacy of boycotting, sanctioning and divesting from Israel makes it a pariah in most of the rest of the Jewish community, these have been boom times. And for many of its members, the reason appears to be a continuing desire to assert their opposition to Israel’s fundamental policies in a Jewish context rather than abandon their Jewish identity altogether…

    …For many, the decision to join JVP was a painful, personal one, reflecting a lost faith in the State of Israel. Rabbi Brant Rosen, a co-chair of JVP’s rabbinical council, who served as a congregational rabbi in suburban Chicago for 17 years, joined in 2009, after Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, its military campaign into Gaza, with numerous reports — contested by Israel — of high civilian deaths rates.

    Michael Davis, a congregational cantor in the Reform movement and a member of JVP’s rabbinical council, grew up Orthodox in Israel. He said that his own worldview changed after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin at a fateful Tel Aviv peace rally in November 1995. “That was the end of the dream for me,” he told the Forward.

    For Vilkomerson, it was the second intifada, starting in 2000. “There are these moments of cracking open, where people sort of make the leap,” she said.

    Rosen added, “Historically, that’s how JVP has grown, unfortunately, tragically.”

    Speaking after the Israeli election, Vilkomerson says she now expects another wave of people to come into the JVP fold. “Given that the American Jewish community is generally interested in peace and democratic values, we expect a lot of self-reflection about how to support a true peace in the days to come,” she said.”

    Read more: http://forward.com/articles/217528/embracing-israel-boycott-jewish-voice-for-peace-in/#ixzz3VhkBo8qN

    Encouraging, indeed. Love that the “Group Now Has More Facebook Followers Than AIPAC and J Street”!

  30. just
    March 28, 2015, 4:32 pm

    Read this and weep:

    “Maryland Senate race: Israel divides liberal Van Hollen and Edwards

    House Democrats Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards have support from progressive groups, but Edwards’ votes on Iran and Israel could sink her

    Conflict in the Democratic Party over Israel has long revolved around symbolic issues, such as the drama around how many elected officials would show up to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress earlier this month. A primary in Maryland for an open Senate seat could now bring many of these tensions out into the open.

    The impending retirement of the stalwart Democrat Barbara Mikulski means Maryland has only its second open Senate seat in three decades. There is no clear successor.”

    much more @ http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/28/maryland-senate-race-chris-van-hollen-donna-edwards-middle-east#comment-49603740

  31. just
    March 28, 2015, 5:00 pm

    This is good news, indeed:

    “Virginia state agency cancels Jerusalem trip citing Israeli discrimination

    The state agency that regulates the legal profession in Virginia has canceled a planned seminar in Jerusalem following objections over Israel’s discrimination against Americans of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim ancestry.

    “Certain members of the Virginia State Bar and other individuals have expressed objections to the VSB’s plan to take the Midyear Legal Seminar trip in November to Jerusalem,” Kevin E. Martingayle, the agency’s president, wrote in an email to members today. “It was stated that there are some unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices pertaining to border security that affect travelers to the nation.”

    “Upon review of US State Department advisories and other research, and after consultation with our leaders, it has been determined that there is enough legitimate concern to warrant cancellation of the Israel trip and exploration of alternative locations,” Martingayle said.

    “Undoubtedly, this news will disappoint some VSB members,” Martingayle added, “But we are a state agency that strives for maximum inclusion and equality, and that explains this action.”

    Dozens of lawyers who are members of the VSB had signed an open letter detailing Israel’s discriminatory practices, citing reports from the US government and Amnesty International.”

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/virginia-state-agency-cancels-jerusalem-trip-citing-israeli-discrimination

    link to the letter of the ‘Concerned Members of the Virginia State Bar’

    https://www.change.org/p/virginia-state-bar-vsb-change-the-location-of-2015-midyear-legal-seminar

    Take that, Tim Kaine! (a lawyer, btw) More, please.

  32. MoCHo
    March 28, 2015, 10:52 pm

    Truth in advertising? I truly think AIPAC needs to change its slogan on its logo to “America’s Pro-Israel -We-Really-Don’t-Give-a-Shit-About-the-U.S. Lobby”

    • MoCHo
      March 28, 2015, 11:24 pm

      Oh, and can’t we somehow please refuse to allow Bill Kristol to reenter the U.S. as anti-American?

      • piotr
        March 29, 2015, 2:51 pm

        I would rather ask, which “GOP presidential hopefuls” are sufficiently stupid to have Kristol as their advisors. Perhaps all of them. :-( Frankly, good old Dan Quayle would be a tower of intellect and moderation in that company.

  33. piotr
    March 29, 2015, 3:04 pm

    I hope that Obama have seen the light. By most indicators, he does not care about Palestinians beyond some platitudes, but as the mess in Middle East increases every week, a constructive relationship with Iran is necessary. Additionally, prestige of USA is not what it used to be, and confirming the appearance that the foreign policy is in the hands of Israel would be “unhelpful”. So I guess that there will be a deal with Iran.

    Contrary to my prior expectation, the government of Israel and all loyal flacks inside US border are in “double or nothing” mode. They co-opted GOP almost totally. Thanks to the recent bruhaha. an agreement with Iran will have to come with some irreversible executive decisions (a resolution of UNSC). This will give GOP a potent wedge issue, like Obamacare, and they can be heavily bloodied in the process, and so will AIPAC.

    The stark question for American electorate will be: do you want another trillion dollar conflict? Recall that in the last elections, Obama himself did not shine too much in the polls on the domestic issues, but on the foreign policy the choice was: wishy-washy or utterly irresponsible. I believe that only a minority wants the foreign policy of Bolton, Kristol and Adelson.

    American power players are not universally enchanted with that bunch either.

  34. traintosiberia
    March 29, 2015, 10:35 pm

    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/white-house-to-bibi-israel-your-move-116491.html?ml=tl_2
    Democrats are very upset . To them Obama stands accused of committing most heinous acts under the sun against their beloved leasder and the only country they pledge loyalty to..

  35. traintosiberia
    March 29, 2015, 10:36 pm

    This is the 1930 of Great Britain. The inconsistencies and the illegalities are catching up .

  36. Gaius Baltar
    March 30, 2015, 3:06 pm

    The Administration should allow the NSA to leak all the information it has on the USS Liberty. According to James Bamford, that information shows the attack was deliberate. And do it the same day Bibi next arrives here.

    • just
      March 30, 2015, 4:29 pm

      Why wait?

      Perhaps somnolent US citizens will get so ticked off that he won’t dare step foot on US soil again.

  37. rensanceman
    March 30, 2015, 3:48 pm

    I am surprised that AIPAC has not been required to be required to register as a foreign lobby. It now functions as a mafia- like organizations that buys and sells our Congressional members using bribery, threats, blackmail etc to have its way and to use the U. S as its host. This would allow more effective monitoring and hopefully curtail the compromising of our elected officials who are lavishly entertained in Israel. In a hundred years from now I hope that our history books treats this issue- the undue influence of a foreign nation on the affairs of our country

  38. Boomer
    April 2, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Is this a joke?

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