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Democrats are ‘uncomfortable’ with Iran deal because Netanyahu is so ‘influential in our country’ — Rep. Ellison

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Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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49 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson on July 21, 2015, 4:17 pm

    RE: “Prime Minister Netanyahu has been very vocal in his opposition and actually defied the President and came to speak to a joint session at Congress… A lot of people who find him to be an influential figure in our country are reluctant to embrace this clearly good deal because of his very vehement opposition.” ~ Ellison

    MY QUESTION: Pray tell, why is Netanyahu such an influential figure in the U.S.? Is it because of his nifty graphics or is it perchance because of millions of dollars in campaign contributions to our elected officials? *


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

    Candidate /// Amount

    Obama, Barack (D) $2,224,126
    Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $2,036,124
    Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,832,119
    Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,609,085
    McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $1,548,271
    Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) $1,405,855
    McCain, John (R-AZ) $1,252,932
    Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,231,995
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,204,816
    Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $1,164,061
    Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,028,407
    Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $999,362
    Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R-FL) $903,144
    Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $881,919
    Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) $831,765
    Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $814,399
    Lowey, Nita M (D-NY) $778,484
    Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $775,915
    Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) $767,893
    Harkin, Tom (D-IA) $756,560

    SOURCE –

    • michelle on July 22, 2015, 1:47 am

      one wonders is the money America gifted to Israel
      being used to buy the American Government
      iow where does such a needy country as Israel come
      up with the funds to buy/own the American people
      G-d Bless

      • Citizen on July 22, 2015, 5:02 am

        AIPAC-orchestrated campaign donations only need be enough money to buy the American people’s representatives in government. Israel is a single-focus special interest with no significant competition, including in the main media–unlike say, the Gun Lobby. Nearly three fourths of the American people support the Iran Deal according the polls discussed by Rachel Maddow a week ago. Yet 100% of GOP leadership is against the Iran deal. And the Democrat leadership is “uncomfortable” with said deal. ALL the politicians say they speak in behalf “the American people.”

      • JLewisDickerson on July 22, 2015, 8:55 pm

        RE: Nearly three fourths of the American people support the Iran Deal according the polls discussed by Rachel Maddow a week ago. Yet 100% of GOP leadership is against the Iran deal. And the Democrat leadership is “uncomfortable” with said deal. ALL the politicians say they speak in behalf “the American people.” ~ Citizen

        REPLY: The sorry, corrupt bastards will just say they are privy to information not available to the American people, and/or that it’s far too complicated for the American people to understand. “Trust us, we’re looking out for you!”

        P.S. “Campaign contributions just by ‘access’, not votes!” [LOL]

      • JLewisDickerson on July 23, 2015, 4:14 pm

        RE: “Campaign contributions just by ‘access’, not votes!” [LOL] ~ me (from above)

        SHOULD HAVE BEEN: “Campaign contributions just buy ‘access’, not votes!” [LOL]

    • Citizen on July 22, 2015, 5:28 am
  2. Bandolero on July 21, 2015, 5:32 pm

    Taking on the open battle against he deal the lobby did a huge mistake.

    “A lobby is like a night flower: it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.”

    (Steven Rosen, who was then the director of foreign-policy issues at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.)

    I’m convinced that now that the lobby is open in the sun and everyone can see it, it’s going to die.

    • JWalters on July 21, 2015, 5:37 pm

      I share your hope, but it won’t wither on it’s own. The sunlight provides an opportunity to stomp it out, but people have to do that vigorously.

  3. Kay24 on July 21, 2015, 5:35 pm

    Rep. Elllison has impressed me when he bravely takes the right stand defying others. What he says is absolutely right, the entire Congress obeys the command of Netanyahu, and acts anti American when they oppose the policies of their own President in crucial matters that has peace as the objective.

    A must watch video of John Barbour stating his outrage at this situation, and sending a strong message to Sen. Harry Reid and the rest of the Israeli apologists in Congress:

    • Citizen on July 22, 2015, 5:30 am

      Remember when US foreign & economic policy towards the USSR was conditioned on the latter allowing Jews to flow out?

  4. JWalters on July 21, 2015, 5:45 pm

    Tip toe, tip toe. Who is going to bell this cat? Who is going to slay this dragon? Who is going to throw the bankers out of the temple of Democracy?

  5. JLewisDickerson on July 21, 2015, 7:32 pm

    RE: “Democrats are ‘uncomfortable’ with Iran deal because Netanyahu is so ‘influential in our country’ — Rep. Ellison”

    Matt Duss: The Iran Deal Is a Victory for Obama Diplomacy Over Bush Warmongering
    On today’s show, Matt Duss (@mattduss) President, Foundation for Middle East Peace, will join us to talk about his new piece The Iran Deal Is a Victory for Obama Diplomacy Over Bush Warmongering.
    LINK –

  6. Marnie on July 22, 2015, 12:32 am

    Great video. Its refreshing to listen to a politician speak like a rational human being. Iran is cooperating because of what it stands to gain for its people. The sanctions imposed have been humiliating and caused a great deal of hardship. If Congress fucks this deal up because the prime minister of Israel, a country that spies on the US, attacked the US (USS Liberty), insinuates and manipulates its way into American policy, openly defied the sitting US president’s policies and plans in a speech in Washington, DC at the invitation of Washington traitors bought by that foreign government and humiliated its elected officials in more ways than can be imagined, there’ll be hell to pay. What would Iran do at that point? Who knows, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be a very, very long time before John Kerry would be visiting Tehran, and the US would be isolated for its lack of diplomatic will. I would think that in the Iranian leader’s minds, this deal is about PREVENTING WAR ON THEM. The P5 is standing together in favor of Iran for once, not against it. And the only screaming is coming from Israel, the country that has nuclear weapons but allows no weapons inspections, a country that lied and continues to lie about its nuclear weapons and a country that has been trying to rally the rest of the world to go to war on Iran because, well, why? What has Israel to fear from Iran? What is the “Iranian threat”?

    All the warmongers will be thrilled of course, sending off everyone else’s children to battle and there’ll be that “teflon” action once again between the US and Israel, the tail once again wagging the hell out of the obedient lap dog.

    • ziusudra on July 22, 2015, 2:33 am

      Greetings Marnie,
      ….If Congress……
      They won’t & aipac will fall in line, but choose another ave. to nail Iran.
      PS US contractors have too much to lose in luxury contracts which could perhaps see them drift to BDS.

      • Marnie on July 22, 2015, 6:18 am

        @ziusudra –
        I hope you’re right……

      • RockyMissouri on July 22, 2015, 7:50 pm

        BDS matters.

    • RockyMissouri on July 22, 2015, 7:46 pm

      Thank you, Marnie! A heroic reply.!! I appreciate your eloquent words.

      • Marnie on July 23, 2015, 12:17 pm

        Thank you too-

  7. michelle on July 22, 2015, 1:35 am

    Israel is a stone in Americas shoe
    G-d Bless

    • Citizen on July 22, 2015, 5:59 am

      US has the foreign policy the best money can buy.

    • Boo on July 22, 2015, 12:09 pm

      I’d say more like itching powder in Miss Liberty’s bloomers. Perhaps that’s what is making the Dems “uncomfortable”.

  8. Trygve on July 22, 2015, 2:23 am

    Representative Ellison asks, “…if Israel hits them [Iran], are we going to be dragged into backing up Israel once they come under attack, under our mutual defense pact? ”

    I think the Congressman is mistaken. I can find no evidence that the United States has a mutual defense pact with Israel.

    The U.S. Department of State maintains a web page listing our nation’s collective defense arrangements. There are seven. Israel is not a party to any of the seven.

    The Jewish Virtual Library lists over 120 formal agreements between the U.S. and Israel. Only two are treaties: a treaty of friendship and a treaty on mutual assistance in criminal matters. I cannot find a mutual defense pact between the U. S. and Israel on that extensive list.

    Mondoweiss has commenters who are well-informed about international agreements. I hope someone like Hostage is reading and will chime in. I believe that, legally speaking, it is incorrect to refer to Israel as an ally without a mutual defense treaty.

    • Citizen on July 22, 2015, 6:27 am

      The US has no mutual defense treaty with Israel. If memory serves, at one time the US offered to make one but Israel declined because it wanted to stay independent of US; another obstacle, again if memory serves, was that Israel’s borders were not sufficiently defined, an aspect of mutual defense treaties. OTH, the US has a matrix of MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) that reflect the binding together of the two countries in matters of shared/basic resources, security, military defense, inter alia–many more MOUs than US has with any other country. See Trygve’s comment, and here’s an article laying out a good sample of them:

      An MOU is not legally binding as a treaty is, but it’s a lot more than a handshake.

  9. Peter in SF on July 22, 2015, 4:39 am


    Or if Israel hits them, Are we going to be dragged into backing up Israel once they come under attack, under our mutual defense pact?

    The United States has no mutual defense pact with Israel.

    • Citizen on July 22, 2015, 6:33 am

      Just a slew of MOUs .

    • CigarGod on July 22, 2015, 8:27 am

      Don’t need a formal pact. You can bet we will come to their aid anyway. We have a ton of personnel there now.

  10. Louieknoxville on July 22, 2015, 8:40 am

    Will our administration just come out and call Netanyahu a liar.
    Why are we being so politically correct with him? He was horribly wrong about Iraq and if this is an example of his “influence on our country”, he needs to be called out with harsh video, not just with words.

  11. FrankinHonduras on July 22, 2015, 10:09 am

    This is very similar to preaching in prisons. For a Christian worker to go into prisons and attempt to reach the people we are basically very safe, despite what occurs behind the bars. Why? Because there is an underlying “belief” even among those behind bars that to do so is sort of a Karma thing. If anyone attacks a preacher, and other prisoners don’t step in they will “reap what they sow”, bring “bad Karma” on their situation, bring the “wrath of God” on them, for attacking or not protecting the Christian.
    In the case of Israel, there seems to a very similar belief, “anyone who speaks or acts inconsistent with the Jewish faith, and in this situation the nation, will reap the wrath of God”, especially from a supposed Christian nation like the USA. Why?
    Because they are false Christians, much like the Zionists who didn’t care that they ran Palestinians off their lands they had, many in the same family, for hundreds of years in 1948. Why? Because, what Christians fail to acknowledge is that Jesus Himself said they, the Jews would be scattered all over the world, their temple destroyed, the Arc of the Covenant destroyed, thus demonstrating that a new era had began. So in a way both Zionists and confused so called christians adopt this silly premise that both can kill and destroy at will, and the their “god” will honor this new holocaust. Jesus said false believers will proliferate the “church”, and as far as the Jewish faith it’s more of a traditional approach and cannot and does not address the nation’s sin since the Arc is no longer. Its time and purpose passed with the dispersion of the nation since it rejected the “Christ”.
    This is my opinion only, but the “bogey man will get us” belief in the US if we oppose Israel’s actions regardless of the Zionists atrocities, which are never reported”, is very real and permeates the US society and the government.

  12. Kathleen on July 22, 2015, 11:24 am

    Thanks Phil. Attended two Netroots conferences. Followed their panel discussions over the years. They were not willing to touch the Israel Palestine conflict for at least the first six years. Even when asked to do so. Has that changed?

    Just went to their home page. The panel “Netroots Nation stands in solidarity with all people seeking human rights” Really? Palestinians?

    So will Netroots Nation organizers allow Palestinian solidarity activist to take over a foreign policy panel next year? Would they have allowed a takeover this year by Palestinian solidarity activist?

    Has Netroots organizers unwillingness to focus on the I/P conflict changed? For years they completely avoided this critical issue.

  13. David Doppler on July 22, 2015, 11:46 am

    The ongoing influence of Israel in America is greatly facilitated by the ruse that the current (or former) governments want peace, but don’t have a partner, when the opposite is true: the Israelis want all of Palestinian land, and have dehumanized the victims of their aggression. This dynamic has to be made more explicit in American discourse, in order to remove this pillar of Israeli influence over “malleable” Americans. Obama has confronted Netanyahu over his statements in the election, but so far he refuses to impose any real consequences, leaving Netanyahu the freedom to bash US policy as hard as he can, then demand compensation for not getting his way.

    How about sending the clear message that the Netanyahu and Israeli policy of using an illusory peace process as cover for continuous ongoing land-grab is unacceptable, and aid will be cut off until specific steps are taken, including replacing Netanyahu, before he does more damage.

    We need to stop appeasing the Israeli right wing.

  14. ritzl on July 22, 2015, 1:29 pm

    Bring back the draft. NO exceptions.

    Let the kids (and their kids) of the wafflers and the people instigating the waffling (the Israeli Lobby) serve right alongside the rest of us. For the duration of our “little wars for Israel” (i.e. a couple generations).

    Inject some significant personal downside pain into the equation and see who waffles then.

  15. ivri on July 22, 2015, 7:00 pm

    I will never understand how intelligent people believe in this money-trail fairy tale. No money on the world can buy so many representatives for so long. It may lubricate here and there but not much more than that.
    People here are reluctant to admit that Israel prestige stems from its ability to withstand huge challenges of all kinds – doing so at the backdrop of huge failures by many countries (not just in the mid-east) – which for many replicates the frontier spirit that people still long to as a hilarious chapter in US history.
    It conflates with outright interests: Having just one real reliable and truly effective partner is not a small thing in this world- and then there is also the religious dimension (under the powerful Judeo-Christian heritage). For many Israel is no less than “the shining place on the hill” – notwithstanding the continual toxic defamation of it by those that themselves are seen to many as “part of the problem” of the US – an entity, or rather a model, that the support of which appears as a moral, emotional and psychological imperative.
    That` s the only way to account logically for what`s going on.

    • annie on July 22, 2015, 8:08 pm

      Israel prestige stems from its ability to …

      what prestige? it was my understanding it was the 3rd most disliked countries in the world. North Korea prestige stems from its ability to ….

      • Marnie on July 22, 2015, 11:24 pm

        +1, at least Annie!

      • Bandolero on July 22, 2015, 11:58 pm

        Israel’s prestige is likely based on her ability to organize huge rallies in New York.

        The Guardian reports:

        Iran nuclear deal with US sees thousands protest in Times Square

        An estimated 10,000 people, consisting mainly of pro-Israel supporters, chant ‘kill the deal’ and demand Congress vote down proposed nuclear agreement

        The only thing a bit irritating with that huge 10,000 strong rally on Times Square is the picture of that rally attached to the Guardian report:

        To me the pitucure looks more like about 70 anti-deal-protesters, if at all. A video of that protest doesn’t show many more anti-deal-protesters neither:

        But anyway, the Guardian reporter and other zionist mass media reporting on this huge event seems to have found about 9930 more of AIPAC’s anti-Iran-protestors than I did. Even when factoring in the pro-Iran-deal protesters then the numbers of people showing up for AIPAC seem not have to been close to what was reported. See Pro-deal-protesters, same time, same place:

        To me the pics of that anti-Iran-protest on Times Square look like AIPAC & Israel ran out of money so they couldn’t even pay enough people to show up on Times Sqare to make a nice pic, but the Zionist media tries to portray the protest a success for Israel.

      • annie on July 23, 2015, 10:24 am

        that’s funny bandolero, the video especially. where’s the huge crowd. 10k? i don’t think so.

      • Bandolero on July 23, 2015, 12:54 pm

        In Vienna today the Israel lobby (Stop the Bomb) organized a protest against a conference for business opportunities in Iran. The protest against the Iran business conference was announced days before in all national media, TV and so on. And then, today, only 6 (in words Six!) protesters have shown up to protest against dealing with Iran in Vienna.

        Here is a pic of the protest from the organizer:

        A major Austrian newspapers makes fun of the no show of the mighty Israel lobby, putting the number of 6 anti-Iran-protesters in the headline of their report from the conference:

        The Israel lobby seems to have huge problems mobilizing significant numbers of protesters.

      • catalan on July 23, 2015, 1:12 pm

        “A major Austrian newspapers makes fun of the no show of the mighty Israel lobby – ” bandoleer
        I agree that the Israeli lobby is not mighty. It’s your side that claims that everyone dances to the tune of the Jews. Everywhere. Whatever cultural differences exist between America and Bulgaria, the power of the Jews seems to be a universal meme.

      • annie on July 23, 2015, 3:57 pm

        why do we keep hearing about bulgaria? are you obsessed with your own background? please, enough already.

      • CigarGod on July 24, 2015, 8:44 am

        Now, I’m curious about BIPAC…or a similar organization in Bulgaria.

      • catalan on July 23, 2015, 4:24 pm

        “why do we keep hearing about bulgaria? are you obsessed with your own background? please, enough already. -” Annie
        Obsessed or not, it is my background. I like to bring it up because it is a symbol. It is a counterweight to the general sense of superiority of the moralists. I feel that Americans sometimes speak as if everyone else should know their place. I think that the humility I learned as a kid has made me so successful on this side of the ocean.
        Also it’s a good test for tolerance and stuff. I love small countries. Bolivia, Hungary, Sweden – they fascinate me.

      • Keith on July 23, 2015, 5:56 pm

        CATALAN- “Whatever cultural differences exist between America and Bulgaria, the power of the Jews seems to be a universal meme.”

        Does this “universal meme” reflect objective reality or is it your attempt to insinuate universal and irrational anti-Semitism? Is organized Jewry relatively powerful or not? Are Gentiles irrational Jew haters or not?

    • ivri on July 23, 2015, 2:39 am

      What I wrote applied to the US mainly (that was the article`s topic) but that is also increasingly so in the other “New-world immigration” countries as Canada and Australia. There is also a transformation going on in India, Japan and other Asian countries – where they are beginning to see what goes on in the region here in new ways. Admittedly, Israel has a problem with Europe, mainly indeed W. Europe, where there are instinctive anti-Israel sentiments due all kinds of reasons – historical and present (large Muslim immigrant sector).
      The has been a long anti-Israel propaganda campaign, in regard to how the conflict with the Palestinians was presented but that kind of gradually collapsing because of general broader and new insights into what really goes on in here and in the Mid-East at large

    • eljay on July 23, 2015, 10:38 am

      ivri: … People here are reluctant to admit that Israel prestige stems from its ability to withstand huge challenges of all kinds … For many Israel is no less than “the shining place on the hill” … That` s the only way to account logically for what`s going on. ||

      There are other ways to account for what’s going on with this oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, intransigent, belligerent, nuclear-armed and religion-supremacist state, including irrational religious support, financial and media influence, intimidation and guilt.

  16. JohnWV on July 23, 2015, 6:34 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.

  17. JohnWV on July 23, 2015, 6:35 am

    “While we’re at it, how about a Citizens for a Nuclear Free Israel effort as well? No need for nukes anywhere in that part of the world. If they give up their nukes, I’m sure the Iranians will as well.” (GKSanDiego in The Hill 7/17/2015)

  18. Citizen on July 23, 2015, 8:25 am

    Indirectly related apropos Phil Weiss’s article on 9 Reasons re Iran Deal, etc., Phil gets some support from the US veterans web site re the sociopath Bibi, inter alia:

  19. amigo on July 23, 2015, 11:31 am

    Maybe Democrats should start heeding Obama,s policies.

    ” Obama officials tell Haaretz: Netanyahu would reject any Iran deal – except capitulation
    Congressional override of a presidential veto would make it harder for U.S. to defend Israel, senior administration officials tell Haaretz.

    The officials expressed both dismay and disappointment at the fact that Netanyahu and other Israeli opponents of the Iran deal did not find anything positive in the Vienna agreement – even though many Israeli positions had been incorporated in the final document. The officials noted that the agreement also met the “red lines” that Netanyahu himself had drawn during the past few years – “and then some.”

    Under such circumstances, they added, “It’s hard to have reasoned discussions” with Israel.

    The officials were confident, however, that Congress would ultimately approve the deal or at least be unable to muster the votes to override a presidential veto. They painted a dark scenario, however, if their confidence turns out to be misplaced. A Congressional vote against the deal would most certainly lead to its complete unraveling, allowing Iran to slip away from its own commitments. Tehran would then be free to pursue its nuclear program, as the international sanctions regime inevitably collapses. Washington, in the meantime, would be roundly condemned by its allies and isolated on the international stage.

    “It’s hard to see how that is good for either the United States or Israel,” the officials said. “Haaretz

    No pay wall.

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