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Israeli Knesset member seeds anti-Palestinian legislation in Congress

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There’s a galling story up on the Ha’aretz website. It’s about how an Israeli Knesset member seeded anti-Palestinian legislation in Congress. If true, the revelation raises serious – uncomfortable – questions about Congressional independence and allegiance to a foreign state:

Capitol Hill in Washington was rocked late last month when the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment requiring the State Department, for the first time, to do a “count” of Palestinian refugees.

The amendment required the State Department to specify how many of the five million Palestinians who receive aid from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency are refugees who were personally displaced from their homes in 1948, and how many are descendants of those refugees.

Known as the Kirk Amendment, after its sponsor, Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), considered one of Israel’s strongest supporters in Washington, the bill conceals within its 150-plus words a fierce battle between Republican legislators and the State Department over the United States’ relationship with UN institutions. . .

What is not common knowledge in the Beltway is that the Kirk Amendment got its start in the Jerusalem office of MK Einat Wilf (Atzmaut ), who toiled for months, together with AIPAC lobbyists and Kirk’s staff, to promote the change.

Last September, as the Palestinians prepared their unilateral bid at the UN, Wilf met with representatives of the pro-Israel lobby in Israel. “I asked them why they weren’t doing anything about UNRWA,” Wilf says, adding: “The answer I got was that figures in the Israeli government had blocked such moves in the past.” . . .

After Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Ron Dermer, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s foreign-policy adviser, gave their approval to Wilf’s efforts, she returned to AIPAC staffers and also approached Steven J. Rosen, a former foreign policy director for the organization who now works for a Washington think tank, to get things rolling on Capitol Hill.

In April Wilf and Rosen met with Kirk’s deputy chief of staff, Richard Goldberg. Kirk is recovering from a stroke he suffered a few months ago, and Goldberg is promoting the senator’s legislative efforts.

After a preliminary draft of the bill was worded, AIPAC officials went on board in an attempt to pass it, holding meeting with many of the senators on the appropriations committee in an attempt to sway them into supporting the legislation.

This story should be important to other world leaders. I wonder if Putin knows that the road to Washington goes through Tel Aviv.

[Editor’s note: See Annie’s post about Richard Goldberg here.]

Ahmed Moor

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a PD Soros Fellow, co-editor of After Zionism and co-founder and CEO of Twitter: @ahmedmoor

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9 Responses

    • annie on June 13, 2012, 2:54 pm

      lysias, it was the chicago tribune story cited in that article that first clued me in kirk had not made a public appearance since since he suffered his stroke in january.

      big red flag, i knew his office had a deep embed. i searched and searched and that was the very first article, published on may 29th announcing the severity of his absence. seemed very weird indeed. not so much that he would be absent after a stroke, but that his absence and his stroke had not been mentioned in any of the national news stories at all in over 4months while this legislation was being discussed in the press.

      • lysias on June 13, 2012, 3:31 pm

        And note that the Christian Science Monitor article also only cites a representative of Kirk’s office, and ends with this:

        Kirk has not made any public appearances since January, when he was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke. He is no longer involved in a relationship with McCracken. His website shows him in rehabilitation, but it’s not known when he will return to work in the Senate.

    • DICKERSON3870 on June 13, 2012, 10:26 pm

      RE: “Sen. Mark Kirk (R) of Illinois faces allegations of violating campaign finance law by funneling contributions to his girlfriend and ex-wife.” ~ lysias

      MY COMMENT: Mark Kirk has long been known as an unmitigated sleazebag! ! ! That makes him just the type of person AIPAC can wrap its toxic tentacles around.
      Something is very rotten, and it ain’t in the state of Denmark!

      • DICKERSON3870 on June 13, 2012, 10:53 pm

        P.S. Being a chronic liar makes Mark Rich superbly qualified to be a lackey for AIPAC!
        “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but facts will never sway us!” ~ Neocon Creed


        (excerpt) Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk accepted responsibility Thursday for a series of misstatements about his Navy Reserve career, including that he served in the Gulf War, that he once commanded the Pentagon war room and that he came under fire while flying intelligence missions over Iraq. . .

        SOURCE –

        ALSO SEE: “Congressman Mark Kirk Lies About Everything”, By Dan Amira, New York Magazine, 6/18/10

        A few weeks ago, an Illinois Republican congressman in the midst of a senate campaign, Mark Kirk, graciously took the heat off of Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal by “exaggerating” his military service even more flagrantly than Blumenthal had. Kirk had said he won the Navy’s “Intelligence Officer of the Year” award, which he didn’t! But that wasn’t all. As reporters dug into his background, more embellishments were revealed. He said he was fired on the last time he visited Iraq. He wasn’t! He said he served in Operation Desert Storm. He was a reservist in Maryland! Now Kirk’s refusal to state any of his life experiences accurately has extended into non-military biographical details, like the time he “taught” nursery school in upstate New York.
        The ‘Times’ reports today that, though Kirk has frequently spoken about his time as a nursery school teacher, an administrator at the Ithaca church where Kirk “taught” says he “was never, ever considered a teacher.” He was just a work-study student from Cornell who acted as “an additional pair of hands to help a primary teaching person.” Eight other members of the church from that time, including two pastors, fail to remember there being a male teacher either. So what else has Kirk embellished about his life? Is he even really a congressman? Does he even exist?

        SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870 on June 13, 2012, 11:22 pm

      RE: “Sen. Mark Kirk (R) of Illinois faces allegations of violating campaign finance law by funneling contributions to his girlfriend and ex-wife.” ~ lysias
      AND RE: “Like any other important member of a campaign team, Ms. McCracken [Kirk’s ‘girlfriend’] made contributions on many campaign activities,” Elk [Kirk’s campaign manager] said ~ Chicago Tribune article

      MY QUESTION: Assuming that Ms. McCracken [Kirk’s “girlfriend”] was an important member of the “campaign team”, were any of said “campaign activities” to which Ms. McCracken contributed* of a “sexual nature”?
      * in return for the more than $143,000 in fees and expenses paid to her by Kirk’s campaign

  1. annie on June 13, 2012, 2:44 pm

    In April Wilf and Rosen met with Kirk’s deputy chief of staff, Richard Goldberg. Kirk is recovering from a stroke he suffered a few months ago, and Goldberg is promoting the senator’s legislative efforts.

    my hunch exactly. thanks for including that link mr editors, and thanks for encouraging me to run with instincts on this.

    After meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Gantz and many others….

    and what a meeting it was. cooking up the legislation..

  2. irmep on June 13, 2012, 9:19 pm

    This looks like the basis for another meeting at the Foreign Agents Registration Act office at the Justice Department.

    If anyone is interested in getting AIPAC reregistered under FARA (like its parent the AZC) would like to go along, let me know and I’ll set it up. It’d be great if MJ Rosenberg came along this time.


    [email protected]

  3. Les on June 14, 2012, 7:32 pm

    Thanks to M. J. Rosenberg for noting that this legislation is premised on the notion that refugees don’t include children of refugees, which means the children of the Jewish victims of the Nazis have no claim to their parents’ expropriated property. Brilliant thinking by AIPAC and its ignorant supporters.

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