AIPAC underwrote Islamophobia in the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party too

US Politics
on 51 Comments

Here are a few facts in pursuit of a pattern.

1. The foreground. Frank Gaffney is an Islam-bashing neoconservative who as much as anyone contributed to the thinking behind Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries.

2. Back in time: Gaffney was exposed in 2011, when Eli Clifton and several other writers at the Democratic-Party-linked thinktank, the Center for American Progress, published a report called Fear Inc that said there was a network of groups spreading Islamophobia. One of them was Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. Gaffney also showed up when Clifton and Ali Gharib published a report for that same Democratic Party-linked thinktank on the donors behind an Islamophobic film called “The Third Jihad.” Gaffney was one of the leading voices in that film; and the two writers said that some of the donors behind the film also supported Israel and the settler movement.

3. Still five years ago: A pressure campaign was launched by the Israel lobby against the presence of Clifton and Gharib and others at the Center for American Progress– that Democratic Party linked thinktank. The writers were called anti-Israel by a bunch of pro-Israel hacks. I should have said, a successful pressure campaign. Clifton and Gharib both left CAP after they were repeatedly humiliated by the organization. In the process, some writings were scrubbed of criticisms of Israel. For instance, that article about the Third Jihad movie: it lost all its references to Israel.

4. What goes around starts coming around. Two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to submarine Obama’s Iran Deal, and CAP President Neera Tanden rewarded him by inviting the Israeli PM to her Democratic-Party linked thinktank for a public lovefest. The invitation caused an uproar among the enlightened, and somebody (I have no idea who!) leaked Glenn Greenwald CAP emails about the earlier Israel lobby pressure campaign that showed that after CAP published that report by Gharib and Clifton about donors to the Third Jihad/Gaffney movie, Democratic Party consultant/boss Howard Wolfson sent Neera Tanden an email linking the article and saying simply:

“For the love of God!”

Tanden then passed along Wolfson’s benediction to others– translating it for the hard of hearing:

“Is it wise to throw around the Israel issue in this?”

AIPAC had also taken part in the effort to fire the staffers. Greenwald related a choice moment from an email:

[In 2012, CAP chief of staff Ken] Gude wrote an excited email to top CAP officials, including Tanden. The subject was Gude’s meeting with AIPAC’s deputy director of policy and government affairs, Jeff Colman, which Gude gushed was “very positive.”

In light of “the steps we have taken” — the public apologies, the censorship, the denouncing of CAP’s own writers — AIPAC, said Gude, deemed that CAP “now was moving in the right direction.” The AIPAC official singled out several CAP staffers for praise, saying AIPAC now believes “CAP/AF [Action Fund] is in good hands.”

5. What goes around comes all the way around. On Wednesday, Eli Clifton reported at Lobelog that in 2015, AIPAC gave $60,000 to the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney’s group . The $60,000 is embarrassing because AIPAC claims that it fights Islamophobia and bigotry. Clifton turned the gift up in a tax document.

6. The end zone dance. On twitter Wednesday, Eli Clifton called out his former boss Neera Tanden, linking his new disclosure to AIPAC’s role years ago:

.@neeratanden Perhaps a clue as to why ppl affiliated w AIPAC attacked ur staffers who authored Islamophobia report?

Let me throw in a couple of other data points here.

Right after she invited Netanyahu to her Democratic Party-linked thinktank– after the prime minister’s charm offensive to submarine the signature foreign policy achievement of a Democratic president– Neera Tanden crowed (in an email released by wikileaks) that by doing so she had landed a big new donor to CAP, Jonathan Lavine, who loves Israel– even if she had divided the staff in the process. As Greenwald wrote in 2015, this is about money:

Under Tanden, [CAP] has repeatedly demonstrated it will go to almost any length to keep AIPAC and its pro-Israel donors happy, regardless of how such behavior subverts its pretense of independent advocacy…

And it’s about war in the Middle East. As Eli Clifton reported, AIPAC quietly pushed the Iraq war and later claimed that it had not done so. According to Clifton’s latest report, the $60,000 went to a New Orleans address associated with the neoconservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs– which Colin Powell said was the “crowd” that convinced Donald Rumsfeld of the urgent need to invade Iraq.

Lots of people are talking about the Deep State these days, whether or not it exists. This is my candidate for the Deep State, or a portion of it anyway. The Israel lobby: which claimed scalps of honest journalists at a Democratic Party thinktank because those individuals were allegedly anti-Israel, which censored their writings, which brings a rightwing prime minister to speak at a supposedly progressive American thinktank, which funds Islamophobic policy in a Republican administration. And the lobby is impervious to elections, it has other bases for its power; which is why Obama couldn’t do anything to all those Dems who sandbagged him on the Iran deal. Which is why, per Edward Snowden’s definition of the Deep State, anti-Iran Treasury officials Stuart Levey and Adam Szubin miraculously survive fundamental changes in administration (Obama kept Levey on from Bush; Trump is keeping Szubin on).

Today T’ruah, the liberal Zionist group, is calling on AIPAC to apologize for the Gaffney gift: “renounce all ties with this dangerous group; and make an equivalent gift to an organization working to protect Muslims, immigrants and/or refugees.”

But let’s be clear: this behavior is utterly consistent with AIPAC’s opposition to the Iran deal, its support for the Iraq war, its support for Israeli settlers and rightwingers. AIPAC doesn’t care. T’ruah should be telling its good friend Americans for Peace Now to leave the AIPAC board: That’s where liberal Zionists have agency. Peace Now always ducks my challenge here, but how will Peace Now feel when the young Jews of the Jewish Resistance put these facts together, and realize that Americans for Peace Now is a member in good standing of the Conference of Presidents board, and therefore a constituent of AIPAC, and a party to the Islamophobic Gaffney gift? The next #IfNotNow demonstration against the “Jewish establishment” could be outside the Peace Now offices, demanding that it cut its ties with these rightwing organizations that fund Islamophobia (ties that Peace Now formed out of a once-understandable need for Jewish solidarity in the face of the goyim; conditions that imho no longer apply).

Thanks to Max Blumenthal. 

 

About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

51 Responses

  1. JeffB
    March 17, 2017, 1:05 pm

    @Phil

    I don’t think Lobbies qualify as part of the deep state. The constitution specifically grants the people the right to lobby congress for redress. Laws openly call for meetings and hearings with constituencies likely to be impacted by legislation. AIPAC is openly a group, the primary group, of Americans interested in Israeli affairs. As a society we have created intermediation mechanisms to translate broad uniformed and often contradictory public opinion into actionable pressure so that legislation and executive action can result. Political parties, interest groups and lobbies are those intermediation mechanisms.

    The deep state is the group of people involved in secret manipulation of government policy. AIPAC only manipulates government policy in line with how our democracy works. American democracy has lots of problems but those problems in many ways result because these intermediation mechanisms are breaking down as mistrust for elites, the establishment, is growing. I don’t think there is a deep state in the USA but even if there were lobbies would not be part of it.

    What you are citing in this article are mostly examples of lobbies coordinating among themselves on policy. Lobbies that have conflicting policy would want to influence one another and thus form a consensus of opinion so that unified government action can occur. Lobbies in their intermediation role are expected to come to consensus on matters on policy. If the lobbies just conflict with one another they are only slightly better than public opinion on creating actionable pressure. You would expect what you are citing to occur in a democracy.
    That isn’t a bug its a feature.

    • Mooser
      March 17, 2017, 2:49 pm

      One thing for sure, nobody will ever accuse “JeffB” of being anti-semantic.

    • Mooser
      March 17, 2017, 2:58 pm

      “AIPAC only manipulates government policy”

      Hey, you bet! As the nation’s first Cherry-tree-chopper told us his own self: “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.”

      And gosh, I can’t think of a better way to use ours. What could go wrong? What could happen which won’t leave us looking smart and smellin’ ‘mighty lak a rose’.

      • JeffB
        March 17, 2017, 4:50 pm

        @Mooser

        So Tila Tequila and co keeping you up at night?

        America is a diverse country. Anyone who believes in AIPAC as anything other than just another lobby has already bought in to recycled Soviet Zionology. Everyone outside the hard left very rarely comes in contact with and even more rarely believes Soviet propaganda. No one cares about AIPAC.

        Jews might get thrown out of the left. They aren’t going to be thrown out of America at least if / until dispensationalism becomes unfashionable. The seeds for antisemitism come from Matthew, both Johns and Paul not AIPAC. Jews care about what Jews do. Christians, Buddhists, Hindus… mostly don’t and won’t unless they believe we are backed by supernatural forces of evil.

        When is the last time you saw lots of people upset about the existence of the Taiwan lobby or the China lobby? You talk to Asians and you would hear the same sorts of conspiracies about those lobbies you hear about AIPAC.

        Relax. Tila is just mentally ill and asking for help she ain’t getting.

      • talknic
        March 18, 2017, 4:43 am

        @ JeffB March 17, 2017, 4:50 pm

        ” Anyone who believes in AIPAC as anything other than just another lobby has already bought in to recycled Soviet Zionology. “

        Best you tell AIPAC. They have no idea.

        ” No one cares about AIPAC.”

        Except Israel, who desperately needs the US veto vote

    • JWalters
      March 17, 2017, 7:52 pm

      “AIPAC only manipulates government policy in line with how our democracy works.”

      Right now the way our government “works” includes secret money, a controlled mainstream media lying to the public, character assassination, harassment, blackmail, and murder as needed. The reason it works this way is because of the Deep State, and AIPAC plays a very large role in that.

      JeffB thoroughly shredded his credibility, showing no ability to deal with facts or logic, in this discussion thread:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/times-rudoren-selma/comment-page-1

      His purpose is to give the appearance of erudite objections to the facts and logic presented in Mondoweiss articles.

  2. Philip Weiss
    March 17, 2017, 1:46 pm

    JeffB I think this is not simply a lobby but a thinktank, and public intellectuals who surround the Capitol and the media in DC. The deep state as I choose to define it is based on the Sisi coup in Egypt, which was supported by the Cairo establishment in overturning an election. The deep state is not a sinister conspiracy of a few but a component of society that has the consent of powerful people. Snowden’s definition necessarily describes the intelligence establishment, which is the devil he knew, and which acted at the behest of elected political leaders but operated out of sight. my definition is based on the devil I knew, the mainstream media which expelled me when I became anti-Zionist and is also corrupt, inasmuch as it will never talk about the ISrael lobby honestly.

    • JeffB
      March 17, 2017, 3:05 pm

      @Phil

      I would essentially consider CAP to be a leadership home / part of the Democratic party.
      Founded by John Podesta
      Chaired by Tom Daschle
      Run by Neera Tanden

      I’m not sure how to distinguish between a think tank and a political party as far as their constitutional role. My point was that intermediaries are supposed to confer with one another. Obviously these people went off to go run the Clinton campaign, quite openly, once the time came. They aren’t operating in the shadows.

      The deep state is not a sinister conspiracy of a few but a component of society that has the consent of powerful people

      Once you start talking: politically powerful, financially powerful, culturally powerful… (the way say Chomsky does). That isn’t someone manipulating society. That is society. What it means to be economically powerful is to be someone who can influence heavily or deploy labor and materials as they see fit. What is means to be politically powerful is you can influence or make policy. What is means to be socially powerful is that you can influence popular opinion. etc…

      Humans traded a good neck for a lousy neck prone to chocking on food in exchange for being good at coordinating. Coordination is one of the defining characteristics of all human society. Of course the powerful negotiate with each other about how to govern the society.

      inasmuch as it will never talk about the Israel lobby honestly.

      What non public information do you want the media to say? What is unique about the Israel lobby that’s not true of say the Agricultural lobby or the Energy Lobby? The press covers lobbies: http://www.politico.com/pro/about

      Major lobbies have their own press: ex http://www.eenews.net (energy)
      http://www.fiercetelecom.com (telecommunications)

      Other lobbies report on themselves to attract money http://www.phrma.org (pharma lobby)

      If anything AIPAC gets way more mainstream coverage than say a bottom of the top 20 lobby would warrant.

      I agree with you that young leftist activists don’t understand lobbying. But they generally don’t understand much about politics. They are passionate but ineffectual. As they get older they get less passionate and more effectual. There aren’t many advantages of age but there are some :)

      What big secret do you think isn’t being told?

      • Keith
        March 17, 2017, 5:22 pm

        JEFFB- “Once you start talking: politically powerful, financially powerful, culturally powerful… (the way say Chomsky does). That isn’t someone manipulating society. That is society.”

        The 99% are politically powerful, financially powerful, culturally powerful? Get real. The Deep State refers to those elite institutions and individuals which effectively control our society. The 99% sure as hell doesn’t. Likewise, the elites don’t represent the interests of the 99% except in those few instances where it serves their elite interests as well. And AIPAC along with the rest of the major American Jewish organizations is an integral part of the Deep State. In capitalist America, money is power.

      • hophmi
        March 18, 2017, 9:03 am

        Not-an-antisemitic Keith thinks American Jewish organizations are part of a Deep State conspiracy. What a surprise, Not-an-antisemite, that you believe conspiracy theories like this.

      • Keith
        March 18, 2017, 11:25 am

        HOPHMI- “Not-an-antisemitic Keith thinks American Jewish organizations are part of a Deep State conspiracy.”

        The reality that the 1% more or less run society is a conspiracy theory? The reality that Jews and Jewish organizations are part of the 1% is anti-Semitic? Any and all discussions of how political economy actually functions is corrosive of Jewish interests, hence, anti-Semitic by definition? It is difficult to tell if you actually believe some of the things you say as they are so far removed from reality.

      • Mooser
        March 18, 2017, 5:56 pm

        “Humans traded a good neck for a lousy neck prone to chocking on food in exchange for being good at coordinating. Coordination is one of the defining characteristics of all human society. Of course the powerful negotiate with each other about how to govern the society.”
        (From “JeffB” Explains it All, The World, the Universe, and EVERYTHING!)

    • JeffB
      March 17, 2017, 8:55 pm

      @Phil

      Thought of a better answer. Again I don’t think deep state really applies to the USA, but if it did….

      In the case of AIPAC would be part of the open government system being manipulated by the deep state. The deep state in this analogy would be the large body of people who support AIPAC’s position. Essentially Jewish Republicans plus a few others.

      I’m not sure where to go from there. Jewish Republicans are happy to talk about their positions quite openly. And that points to the problem with using deep state language for the USA. AIPAC isn’t being manipulated into some end it isn’t designed for, rather it is doing exactly what it is intended to do. It is faithfully representing the open interests of its supporters.

      • Keith
        March 18, 2017, 12:10 pm

        JEFFB- “In the case of AIPAC would be part of the open government system being manipulated by the deep state.”

        You contradict yourself. A government manipulated by the Deep State is not an open government system. When the 99% have little, if any, effective input, you do not have an open government or even a limited democracy. The Deep State is responsible for both empire and neoliberal globalization, both of which are detrimental to the 99%. We appear headed toward a form of neofeudalism with most of the 99% assigned to debt servitude. And AIPAC’s power is more than amply demonstrated by the servility of our politicians seeking AIPAC dollars, including both Presidential candidates.

  3. JWalters
    March 17, 2017, 7:51 pm

    Another Pulitzer Prize-worthy article from Mondoweiss. Documenting the Israeli money behind the Muslim bashing in America is extremely important. Israel benefits from this in two ways. First, it distracts attention from its own crimes and atrocities. Second, it drums up misinformed support for those crimes and atrocities. This reality deserves to be included in all the media’s discussions that decry Islamophobia, and this article can help that happen.

    The article is also important because it documents the way Israeli money sabotages a full and honest discussion of an American foreign policy issue of extreme importance, an issue of war and peace, of life and death on a mass scale.

    As a companion article for readers who missed it, I recommend “‘There is a deep state,’ Snowden says, contradicting the liberal press”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/03/snowden-contradicting-liberal

  4. JeffB
    March 17, 2017, 9:03 pm

    @Keith —

    Get real. The Deep State refers to those elite institutions and individuals which effectively control our society. The 99% sure as hell doesn’t.

    I’d say our recent presidential election proves otherwise. You have a guy detested by the 1% and broadly supported by the 99% who won the primaries and then the presidency. Almost none of the 1% have high school or less education. Very few are disadvantaged by trade, much the opposite. None are concerned about rising health insurance premiums effects on their family’s welfare. Etc….

    And AIPAC along with the rest of the major American Jewish organizations is an integral part of the Deep State.

    Which means what? Translate this from conspiratorial speak into something that makes sense. What are you claiming in plain english? What is AIPAC doing that economic elites support and middle class Jewish Republicans oppose?

    • Keith
      March 18, 2017, 11:45 am

      JEFFB- “I’d say our recent presidential election proves otherwise.”

      It proves just how powerful the Deep State is that Trump betrayed all of his demilitarization campaign promises in less than a month. Other than the TPP which was dead anyway, I don’t see anything that Trump is doing which in any way decreases the power of the 1% and improves the position of the 99%. This is why there is considerable continuity from administration to administration, particularly in foreign policy which remains militaristic and imperialistic.

      JEFFB- “Which means what?”

      Which means that AIPAC and other major Jewish organizations exert a strong influence on US Middle East foreign policy. You disagree?

      Why the location jump on your response to me? I was lucky I even saw this.

      • JeffB
        March 18, 2017, 1:22 pm

        @Keith

        Why the location jump on your response to me? I was lucky I even saw this.

        This board only goes a few levels deep. 25 years later internet discussion still isn’t as good technically as it was on Usenet.

        Which means that AIPAC and other major Jewish organizations exert a strong influence on US Middle East foreign policy. You disagree?

        I agree with that. But that’s not the deep state. That’s a bunch of Americans expressing their view and effectively lobbying for their views to become policy. That’s not anti-democratic rather it is what you would want in a democratic system.

        , I don’t see anything that Trump is doing which in any way decreases the power of the 1% and improves the position of the 99%

        I can think of lots.

        1) Attacked mainstream (advertising supported media) further legitimizing fringe media which requires far less finances to operate.

        2) Diminished justice department independence i.e. diminished the rule of law. He also fired almost all federal prosecutors without having replacements in hand. Had the government directly intervene on several corporate decisions weakening property rights for corporations

        3) Increased effectiveness of border control

        4) Increased international tension with friendly trading partners

        5) Falsified government statistics and reports

        6) Threatened to implement an imperial oil policy with respect to Iraq (attacks on property)

        7) Pushed the drafting of executive orders out of the hands of high white house staffers (i.e. people easier to lobby) and towards fringe figures especially associated with Breitbart.

        8) Weakened the intelligence agencies, both by attacking them and putting Flynn in as the NSC post.

        10) Undermined the State Department. Undermined NATO

        11) Violated norms regarding nepotism in government

        12) Appointed a radical on corporate restructuring (Icahn) to head committee on regulatory reform.

        13) Weakened the one china policy

        Should I keep going?

        This is why there is considerable continuity from administration to administration, particularly in foreign policy which remains militaristic and imperialistic.

        The reason America is militarily aggressive is because the population is. American interventions abroad are relatively popular especially when they start. A militarism which is openly policy is not a deep state. American militarism is discussed openly. We get into lots of wars and have a big defense department because these are some of the most popular government programs.

        I think you are confusing policies you don’t like with policies that are non-democratic. Your problem is with the American people’s politics, not the American secret government.

      • Keith
        March 18, 2017, 3:04 pm

        JEFFB- “That’s a bunch of Americans expressing their view and effectively lobbying for their views to become policy.”

        The notion that AIPAC represents citizen empowerment is laughable. AIPAC represents money power. Take away their big bucks and they would be a disempowered lobby.

        JEFFB- “I can think of lots.”

        This is your idea of empowering the 99%? Good grief! One point does stand out. “Weakened the intelligence agencies, both by attacking them and putting Flynn in as the NSC post.” Jeez, didn’t that work out! Weakened the CIA? How about totally capitulated? I believe that he just gave the CIA more authority to conduct drone strikes.

        JEFFB- “Should I keep going?”

        Not unless you intend to deal with reality and show us anything substantive Trump has done to reduce militarism and drain the swamp. Petty wrangling with the media is a joke.

        JEFFB- “The reason America is militarily aggressive is because the population is.”

        The 99% are calling the shots, huh? The MIC powerless to resist? Wall Street neutral? Credit where credit is due, you have got some chutzpah to make these types of claims.

  5. inbound39
    March 18, 2017, 2:07 am

    “AIPAC only manipulates government policy”……..this statement confirms for me that AIPAC interferes with American Governance, which many of us here have known for sometime. So therefore it is acting as a Foreign Agent of Israel and needs to be removed from American soil along with all those it employs and bribes.

    • JeffB
      March 18, 2017, 8:48 am

      @inbound39

      A foreign agent is someone paid by a foreign government to act on their behalf. A domestic foreign policy lobby is a group of Americans who petition the USA to adopt particular policies. For example “Kids saving the rainforest” is a lobby and about South America especially Brazil. That doesn’t make it a foreign agency.

      There are about 1700 people in the USA who get a paycheck from foreign governments for the purpose of lobbying. AIPAC is strictly funded by Americans. Those may be Americans whose policy opinions you disagree with, but that doesn’t make them foreigners.

      • Eva Smagacz
        March 18, 2017, 4:09 pm

        JeffB

        “A foreign agent is someone paid by a foreign government to act on their behalf .”

        Because money have to exchange hands?
        You are deliberately trying to narrow the definition of ” foreign agent”
        to prevent Israel Lobby to be recognised as having rather more than less of attributes of such agent.

        I would argue that all traitors are foreign agents, but not all foreign agents are traitors.
        It really depends where your loyalty lies and who you do not hesitate to exploit.

      • inbound39
        March 20, 2017, 11:52 am

        @JeffB….. Your own reply confirmed what I was pointing at and you articulated what constitutes a Foreign Agent admirably. Thank you for that. Eva more or less answered for me adequately.

  6. Ossinev
    March 18, 2017, 8:34 am

    @Mooser
    “One thing for sure, nobody will ever accuse “JeffB” of being anti-semantic”
    Agreed.
    Particularly liked the:
    “As a society we have created intermediation mechanisms to translate broad uniformed and often contradictory public opinion into actionable pressure so that legislation and executive action can result”.
    This would be a clear candidate for a “Pseuds Corner” entry in our “Private Eye” magazine here in the UK + I haven`t the foggiest idea what he is trying to say. JeffB if you are out there can you possibly resubmit this in John English English

    • Philip Weiss
      March 18, 2017, 8:57 am

      my morning laugh, thank you

    • JeffB
      March 18, 2017, 10:03 am

      @Mooser

      Intermediation mechanism are 3rd party agents who matches parties together to allow for mutual benefit.
      Examples:

      Banks are an intermediation mechanism matching people who are willing to defer spending (lenders) with people who have immediate needs for spending above their current assets (borrowers).

      The cloud computing industry evolved originally as an intermediation mechanism that matches people who are willing to overpay to use hardware in short bursts with people who have surplus hardware most of the time.

      Lobbies are intermediation mechanisms to match politically active individuals who would like to influence policy with politicians who are able to be influenced on those policies.

      As for the rest you are going to have to be more specific as to the question.

    • Mooser
      March 18, 2017, 1:54 pm

      “Ossinev”, my favorite little schtik plucked from the latest logorrhea-jam on “JeffB’s” stream-of-unconsciousness is:

      “When is the last time you saw lots of people upset about the existence of the Taiwan Lobby or China lobby?” (4:50 pm)

      Oh, by all means bring up the “China Lobby”!

      (Although I’m not sure Sara Netanyahoo makes an adequate substitute for Soong Mei-ling. I suppose the NYTimes could stand in for “Life” magazine pretty well)

  7. hophmi
    March 18, 2017, 9:08 am

    This is the same reasoning used by certain groups to depict Muslim charities who give to Gaza relief as terrorist. Except it’s weaker here. I guess you believe that one too, Phil.

  8. henspert
    March 18, 2017, 1:57 pm

    Go Philip! You are redemption…

  9. Ossinev
    March 18, 2017, 2:16 pm

    @JeffB
    “Intermediation Mechanisms”

    Sorry matey. I Googled it and all I can find is:

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=intermediate+mechanism&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_nKPD0eDSAhXBExoKHeZTDisQsAQIYg&biw=1920&bih=950&dpr=1

    None the wiser and a little bit dizzier.

    Are you perhaps thinking of Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitutions. There is certainly something of a whiff emanating from AIPAC

  10. scott9854958
    March 18, 2017, 3:54 pm

    It’s unfortunate that wanting better vetting of Muslim immigrants or a temporary halt to migration from countries compromised by terror is now conflated with being FOR Aipac, settlements, Netanyahu, apartheid and so on. It’s very possible to be for the former and against the latter. It’s also sad that so many on the left point the “Islamophobe” finger at people who are genuinely concerned about the dozens of terror attacks or foiled attacks perpetrated by Muslims in the U.S. since 2000, and want the madness to stop.

  11. JeffB
    March 18, 2017, 4:28 pm

    @Keith

    JEFFB- “That’s a bunch of Americans expressing their view and effectively lobbying for their views to become policy.”

    The notion that AIPAC represents citizen empowerment is laughable. AIPAC represents money power. Take away their big bucks and they would be a disempowered lobby.

    I don’t believe that’s true at all. We just saw a recent example of this with Obama and Netanyahu over the Iran squabble. When Obama was rude to Netanyahu, his approval rating among Jews dropped 13%. A drop that terrified Democratic politicians. That’s not money that’s money representing voters.

    Now clearly Jewish voters are disproportionately active in both activism and donation as well as merely voting. That further enhances their power. AIPAC can funnel donations the way a corporate lobby can, and can move voters the way many popular lobbies can. But none of that is abnormal, that’s what lobbying is.

    As an aside its been decades but Jewish lobbies were an effective lobby (though much less so than today) before the big bucks.

    JEFFB- “I can think of lots.”

    This is your idea of empowering the 99%?

    Well first off I don’t agree with your whole 99%/1% dichotomy. But your criteria originally was, “decreasing the power of the 1%”. And yes those things all decreased the power of the 1%. They were all negatives for them and opposed by the wealthy in America.

    One point does stand out. “Weakened the intelligence agencies, both by attacking them and putting Flynn in as the NSC post.” Jeez, didn’t that work out! Weakened the CIA? How about totally capitulated? I believe that he just gave the CIA more authority to conduct drone strikes.

    Trump ran on drone strikes. That wasn’t an issue in the campaign. Both candidates supported Obama’s policy of having extraterritorial assassination be a primary means of achieving foreign policy objectives in a dozen plus countries.

    Not unless you intend to deal with reality and show us anything substantive Trump has done to reduce militarism and drain the swamp.

    That’s not the question. The question was about the 99/1% issue. Trump ran on increasing militarism. As for draining the swamp. The transfer of power regarding lobbyists whose in and whose out has been momentous under Trump. Just read Politico which almost daily has such stories. The chaos of this administration, as well as appointing non politician billionaires and ideologues has been very damaging to lobbyists.

    • Keith
      March 19, 2017, 4:09 pm

      JEFFB- “Trump ran on increasing militarism.”

      No, he specifically opposed ongoing US foreign military intervention.

      JEFFB- “The transfer of power regarding lobbyists whose in and whose out has been momentous under Trump.”

      A battle to see who rules the swamp isn’t exactly draining the swamp.

      JEFFB- “The question was about the 99/1% issue.”

      Your contention that there has been a significant shift in the balance of forces regarding the elites versus non-elites is not born out by the facts. Your contention that there is no Deep State is basically pilpul. My definition of “Deep State” consists of those individuals and organizations which yield significant power (primarily economic power) along with those organizations which coordinate and integrate Deep State activities. While we have long had oligarchs, these oligarchs and corporations (particularly financial) are now organized as a somewhat cohesive block of common interests. The WTO, Bretton Woods, the Council on Foreign Relations, the CIA, the Business Roundtable, Davos, Bilderberg, etc. These are unelected elites who have enormous influence on the political economy, and are forcing the global political economy towards disaster. We are at the end of an era and our ability to successfully transition to the next in grave doubt.

  12. JeffB
    March 18, 2017, 4:41 pm

    @Eva

    JeffB“A foreign agent is someone paid by a foreign government to act on their behalf .”

    Because money have to exchange hands?

    Yes.

    You are deliberately trying to narrow the definition of ” foreign agent”
    to prevent Israel Lobby to be recognised as having rather more than less of attributes of such agent.

    That’s not me, that’s the federal government. The form to register clearly requires the foreign principles one is employed / compensated by: https://www.fara.gov/forms/2014/OMB_1124_0001.pdf

    I would argue that all traitors are foreign agents, but not all foreign agents are traitors. It really depends where your loyalty lies and who you do not hesitate to exploit.

    To be a traitor requires a declaration of war. We haven’t had one of those since 1945. We’ve never had one regarding Israel. Treason does not require money to change hands, being a foreign agent does. Max Haupt (2nd to last American convicted of treason) never received a nickel from the Nazis. You either have to act directly against the United States (militarily) or recruit troops to war on the United States. AIPAC does neither.

    • inbound39
      March 20, 2017, 12:06 pm

      You are dead wrong JeffB…..Bush declared War on terror thus placing America on a War footing after the Twin Towers were dropped.

      You either have to act directly against the United States (militarily) or recruit troops to war on the United States. AIPAC does neither. ……….It could be argued quite succesfully that Israel militarily attacked the USS Liberty and as far as recruiting troops to war on the United States one need only look at how Israel has destabilized the American Government by using its employees at AIPAC. To say AIPAC does neither flies in the face of reality. All you are doing is playing semantics like a Zio on Ziocaine. AIPAC engages in subterfuge….an accepted method of warfare.

      • JeffB
        March 20, 2017, 2:58 pm

        @Inbound39

        — Bush declared War on terror thus placing America on a War footing after the Twin Towers were dropped.

        What does that have to do with Pollard? Pollard predates the war on terror.

        As far as the facts. Congress declares war. What congress did was create an authorization for the use of force not declare war. Bush’s “war on terror” as more than a metaphor was rejected by congress, primarily by Trent Lott who was concerned about the insurance implications.

        — .It could be argued quite succesfully that Israel militarily attacked the USS Liberty

        It could be. That idea has been rejected 5 times by study committees but it could be. What association is there between AIPAC and the LIberty though? There is no claim to the best of my knowledge of any connection. AIPAC neither knew about the Liberty’s position in advance, provided resources for the attack nor provided troops.

        — as far as recruiting troops to war on the United States one need only look at how Israel has destabilized the American Government by using its employees at AIPAC

        Really? What coup attempt were they involved in? What revolutionary movements that have occurred on our soil they were involved in? How have they destabilized the American government? They have participated in it, and you may not like the policies but that is not remotely the same thing as destabilizing.

        — AIPAC engages in subterfuge….an accepted method of warfare.

        I don’t know that AIPAC does engage in subterfuge. They seem mostly rather honest though quite biased. But let’s assume they did…
        You have a non sequitur there. Many human activities involve subterfuge, including warfare. Subterfuge does not indicate war, otherwise the entire advertising industry would be at war with the United States.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2017, 5:37 pm

        Perhaps an intervention is warranted. “Jeffb” is showing all the signs of a serious pilpul overdose.

  13. JLewisDickerson
    March 19, 2017, 8:40 am

    RE: Howard Wolfson sent Neera Tanden an email linking the article and saying simply: “For the love of God!”

    MY COMMENT: My God*, that seems perilously close to “taking the Lord, thy God’s name in vain”. Of course, it is just a case of using the Lord, thy God’s name in the form of a “minced oath”, rather than using it in language strong enough to qualify as cursing/swearing. So, the issue at hand is whether using the Lord, thy God’s name in the utterance (or publication – electronically, or otherwise) of a mere “minced oath” qualifies as “taking the Lord, thy God’s name in vain”, and therefore constitutes a violation of one of the Ten Commandments ~ specifically the Third Commandment.

    ■ BAD NEWS: How do you define the sin of taking the Lord’s name in vain?

    Well that’s a quote from the Ten Commandments: “Don’t take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” The idea of vanity (and I think the Hebrew carries this connotation) is “don’t empty the name.”

    So it doesn’t just refer to a certain tone of voice or a certain use of the word. It’s dealing with God and speaking of God in a way that empties him of his significance.

    This includes both throw-away words—like “God!” or “Jesus!”—as well as speaking about him in trifling and flippant ways. Not just swear ways but cheap ways, low and insignificant ways that just treat him like a commodity. And when you hear them you sense that there is no weight to that sentence, no corresponding emotion to that statement. It seems to have just been gutted. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-do-you-define-the-sin-of-taking-the-lords-name-in-vain

    ■ IT GETS EVEN WORSE: . . . So important is the name of God that it is guarded solemnly in the Ten Commandments by a prohibition on taking His name in vain (Ex. 20:7). Violation of this law is a capital offense: “Whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 24:16). Leviticus cites a variety of examples of what such misuse of God’s name includes: offering children to Molech (18:21), swearing falsely (19:12), and priests’ shaving the edge of their beards (21:5–6). The sheer variety of infringements of the command shows that taking the Lord’s name in vain involves not merely speaking it badly, but includes living it wrongly. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-take-lords-name-vain/

    P.S. In case you’re wondering, I might arguably qualify as (metaphorically) “living in a glass house” (or, at least, living in what once was a glass house), but I’m pretty certain there is not even one pane or plate of glass in the entire house that is not seriously damaged. Indeed, many have been busted (or fallen) completely out. Hence, after considerable thought, I have concluded that the admonition against “throwing rocks” no longer applies to me due to my having experienced such severe metaphor degradation that I don’t really have anything of significant value to lose (metaphorically speaking).

    * Jethro Tull – “My God”

  14. Ossinev
    March 19, 2017, 1:05 pm

    @JeffB
    “To be a traitor requires a declaration of war”

    I think I can see where you are coming from. Jonathan Pollard wasn`t a traitor – he was simply involved in Intermediation Mechanics on behalf of Israel.

    Phew. That`s a relief.

    • MHughes976
      March 19, 2017, 2:59 pm

      Jeff may be right about current and historic US law. But it would be reasonable to take a different view of ‘treason’ if one wants to catch offences that would very seriously threaten the security of the state. The 1351 Statute of Treasons, which is probably the ancestor of all relevant legislation in the English-speaking world, extended the definition in certain ways beyond the basic one of levying war against the King in his realm to include things like counterfeiting the Great Seal, which would have threatened chaos in a medieval society and would have seemed clearly part of preparation for insurrection. Equivalent to taking control of Trump’s twitter account? Well, times change but a slightly extended definition of treason does not seem absurd at any time. Likewise I might think of a foreign agent as someone who expects personal gain from foreign success even if their are no gold coins rattling in his knapsack just yet.

      • JeffB
        March 19, 2017, 5:26 pm

        @MHughes976

        — Equivalent to taking control of Trump’s twitter account?

        It is tough hearing insults like this about our country and being like, “yeah that’s fair”. :)

        http://www.tickcounter.com/countdown/13922/time-until-trump-leaves-office

        — Likewise I might think of a foreign agent as someone who expects personal gain from foreign success

        Way way too broad. Would apply to many businesses for example. America is a very open society as far as trade, culture, politics….

      • oldgeezer
        March 19, 2017, 5:33 pm

        In the current environment Obama is considered to have committed treason against Israel. Assange treason against the US.

        Reality has no role to play. The lunatics are running the asylum.

    • Mooser
      March 19, 2017, 3:24 pm

      “JeffB” is betting on the American public being very, very, philo-semantic.

    • JeffB
      March 19, 2017, 6:07 pm

      @Ossinev

      Pollard was a spy not a traitor. He committed espionage not treason.

    • JWalters
      March 19, 2017, 9:21 pm

      Ossinev,

      A very welcome relief!

      Also merely another case of Intermediation Mechanics on behalf of Israel, Israel’s theft of America’s nuclear material, including the American companies set up specifically for that purpose.
      https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/11/how-israel-stole-the-bomb/

      And lets not forget the Intermediation Mechanics in Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty, attempting to sink the Liberty and killing much of the crew.
      http://consortiumnews.com/2014/06/08/leaving-the-uss-liberty-crew-behind/

      And of course we can’t omit the Intermediation Mechanics in Israel’s huge financial influence over America’s politicians and press.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/

      However, we must keep in mind the possibility that JeffB is merely playing with his words to distract readers from reality.

      • RoHa
        March 19, 2017, 10:29 pm

        Exactly. JeffB is trying to hide moral turpitude behind legal definitions. (A very Zionist practice.)

        Pollard betrayed his country. His actions may not legally count as treason, but he was certainly a traitor in the moral sense.

        And the same goes for those AIPAC members who put the interests of Israel before those of their own country.

      • JeffB
        March 20, 2017, 7:20 am

        @Jwalters

        I defined the term above 3 times. None of those remotely qualify. That’s just a list of stuff you don’t like not intermediation. Lobbies are political intermediaties AIPAC is just a lobby. There is nothing specific about Israel in that claim.

      • JWalters
        March 20, 2017, 8:13 pm

        JeffB, Israel’s theft of nuclear material and bombing the USS Liberty are not merely my personal dislikes. Israel is a criminal enterprise and AIPAC is its lying tool.

  15. Ossinev
    March 20, 2017, 6:28 am

    @JeffB
    “Pollard was a spy not a traitor. He committed espionage not treason”

    I know you think I “suck at” Google but I really am making an effort just for you.

    Try:
    “Origin
    Middle English: from Old French traitour, from Latin traditor, from tradere ‘hand over”

    I seem to recall that one of the all time great Zioheroes American citizen Pollard “handed over” American secret documents to Israel .All those vicious anti – Semites out there claim it was in exchange for loads of money but actually it was pour la defense to sa patrie = Israel.

    BTW You call it anti – Semitics,I call it anti – Semantics. Let`s call the whole thing off.

    Byeeee.

Leave a Reply