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Saban urged Clinton campaign to do negative research on Jeremy Ben-Ami re Israel

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Another email from the Clinton campaign released by Wikileaks demonstrates how rightwing Clinton’s staff is on Israel. Mega-donor Haim Saban slams Bernie Sanders as “bad bad bad” for Israel, and cites as evidence his talking to James Zogby of the Arab American Institute and Jeremy Ben-Ami  of J Street, who are also “awful.” He urges campaign chair John Podesta to dig up “ammunition” on “these 2.”

Bernie Sanders has a 25 year awful record on Israel,,,,THIS is NOTHING,,,,, The advisers he mentioned are Zogby,and Ben Amy. Get your researchers to come up with some of the awful things these 2 have said about the US/Israel relationship,and you will have plenty of ammunition on the issue. He’s bad bad bad.

Ben-Ami is a liberal Zionist, who has mildly opposed the settlement project. Saban is a centrist Zionist who stands behind all Israeli policies. This just shows how nuts the Israel lobby gets about punishing any dissent on the one-and-only-holy Jewish state.

The Feb. 27 email was back in Democratic primary days and reveals the Clinton team’s excitement over a New York Times article saying that Bernie Sanders was getting advice from realist Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. The Times highlighted Wilkerson’s speculation that “Israel might have carried out chemical attacks in Syria.”

The short article drew the attention of campaign chair John Podesta. His chief of staff, Sara Latham, wrote to Clinton political strategist Craig Smith and Jewish outreach director Sarah Bard under the heading, “Re: Larry Wilkerson advising Bernie..”

“Craig – this is what John called you about this morn Sarah, likewise, he’s hoping we can get our jewish friends fired up about this…”

Bard writes that the Jews are excited; and Clinton is destroying Sanders in an Israeli poll:

Thank you- they are pretty fired up. As more and more of his record (or absence of) comes to light. We beat Sanders (and every other candidate) 41:5 in a recent Israeli poll

Podesta sends all this on to mega-donor Haim Saban, and references the upcoming Florida primary (March 15):

Trying to get our Florida friends cranked.

Thus prompting Saban’s outburst, above.

Saban was apparently referring to a list published by Politico of a dozen foreign policy experts he said he had consulted. Politico reported then that Ben-Ami had briefed Sanders as he briefed many others.

“I wish that everybody that we meet with would list me as an adviser,” joked Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of liberal Israel advocacy group J Street, who says he has briefed countless members of Congress and multiple presidential candidates.


Philip Weiss

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4 Responses

  1. US Citizen on October 28, 2016, 4:41 pm

    This is disgusting and hypocritical of Shillary as she shrieks about how Russia is trying to ‘influence’ the election outcome.

    U.S. policy couldn’t be more pro-Israel than it is now ? Wait until Shillary gets there. Haim Saban pledged to spend “as much as necessary” to make her President. Shillary has pledged to invite Nothingyahoo to the While House in her first month as President, to use the occasion to “reaffirm the unbreakable bonds of friendship and unity” between America and Israel, and to do everything to destroy the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) movement.

    She continues to echo Israeli denunciations of Iran as a dangerous “terrorist state” and equate criticism of Israeli policies with “anti-Semitism” while blaming the people of Gaza for Israeli assaults on their wretched territory.

    Our Congress, our government and out soon to be criminal Shillary are bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, AIPAC, WINEP, etc. No one, let me repeat, no one get their hands as deep
    into the American pocket and government as Israelis have been for the past 60 years.
    Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are just two shining examples.

    As Secretary of State and as a member of the Quartet Shillary did nothing of substance for solving the I/P issue. Not to mention being a whore for AIPAC/Israel Lobby.

    Demonstrating once again the sniveling and shameless fealty to the wealthy that she and her husband have elevated to a high art over the last 30 years. Ugh. Get rid of her.

    • Philip Munger on October 28, 2016, 10:10 pm

      Ugh. Get rid of her

      Not going to happen.

      Not sure where it might all go after she wins in 11 days, but I bet Saban gets to have some say on who SoS is in her administration. That Biden addressed the J Street gathering this year makes him DOA for that job.

  2. Keith on October 28, 2016, 6:56 pm

    PHIL- “This just shows how nuts the Israel lobby gets about punishing any dissent on the one-and-only-holy Jewish state.”

    This is because Zionism has morphed into a fundamentalist ideology whose power-seeking ability is enhanced by the strong internal solidarity which fundamentalism provides.

    In a similar vein, there is an article over at CounterPunch regarding the extent to which Tom Hayden had to appease American Jewish Zionists to even run for the California State legislature. Simply unbelievable. A quote followed by the link.

    “In other words, in this article Hayden was describing, in an unusually concrete way, how the state of Israel, through its state officials and their compliant American partners, was effectively managing—exercising veto power over Democratic Party candidates, at the very least—American elections down to the level of State Assembly. In any constituency “attuned to the question of Israel, even in local and state elections,” Hayden knew he “had to be certified ‘kosher,’ not once but over and over again.” (Jim Kavanagh)

  3. Citizen on November 1, 2016, 4:20 pm


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