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Once again, Israel’s influence outpaces Russia’s

US Politics
on 14 Comments

Trump’s fiasco in Helsinki has provided fresh impetus for the story of Russian influence over the White House. Yet again few are commenting on an obvious big winner of the presidential meeting, Israel. Trump repeatedly praised Israel at the press conference, Vladimir Putin vowed to work with Israel in Syria, and Netanyahu pronounced the presidential meeting a great gain for Israel.

CNN is alone in reporting that Israel’s interests were more important to Trump than US interests:

It wasn’t the security of American citizens, however, but rather those of Israel that the US President appeared to have on his mind.

Trump’s praise for Israel was fulsome and unprompted, far more lavish than his praise of Putin. No country has ever been closer than Israel to the US.

We’ve worked with Israel long and hard for many years, many decades.  I think we’ve never — never has anyone, any country been closer than we are.  President Putin also is helping Israel.  And we both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu, and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria having to do with the safety of Israel.  So in that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel, and Israel will be working with us.  So both countries would work jointly.

…I think that working with Israel is a great thing, and creating safety for Israel is something that both President Putin and I would like to see very much.

And here’s Netanyahu’s video statement praising the Helsinki confab. The US Israel relationship has never been stronger.

I praise the things I heard in the press conference with President Trump and President Putin… I greatly appreciate the deep commitment to the security of Israel that Trump expressed at the press conference, and I can say that the friendship between Israel and the US has never been stronger.

So the Trump Putin meeting goes into the same account as Trump breaking the Iran Deal, the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor– which Russia had worked hard to achieve and that Israel had done everything to nullify. It goes into the same account as moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that Russia has sharply criticized for destroying any peace process (and that has generated rage across Palestine).

And it goes into the same account as the first proven act of Russian-Trump collusion: when Trump transition aide Mike Flynn went to the Russians behind Obama’s back in December 2016 to try to get them to veto the resolution against Israeli settlements in the Security Council, which Obama was about to abstain on. Russia didn’t play ball.

Our transactional president has often acted in Israel’s interests and done so, patently, because one of his largest donors, Sheldon Adelson at $35 million, wants him to toe the Israeli line. Adelson has “gotten much of what he wanted” by backing Trump, Eli Clifton writes. And most of Adelson’s asks on U.S. policy “mirror the wish list” of Netanyahu. (Though he wants a Korea deal so he can open a casino there.)

Netanyahu tried to exercise such influence over President Obama, of course, and succeeded in getting Obama to back away on settlements for eight years by using the levers of the Israel lobby. But he failed to stop the Iran deal, even as he had Democrats Schumer, Cardin and Menendez on his side against their president– all three of whom have been predictably righteous about Russian influence.

Netanyahu lately boasted to members of his rightwing political party that he had convinced Trump to exit the deal.

“We convinced the US president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement… And we didn’t give up.”

The same video includes annihilationist fantasies about Iran from Netanyahu and a colleague.

The prime minister then begins to speak about the Iranian regime… before he is interrupted by an unidentified person off-screen who says, “It will disappear with the help of God.”

“You said it. From your mouth to God,” Netanyahu says in response as the clip ends.

Of course, the wonder of Netanyahu’s influence is that it goes largely undiscussed in the mainstream media. It is always the Koch brothers and dark money and the Russians who are pulling the strings. Though CNN made a breakthrough in Ian Lee’s report on Israel’s interests:

Let’s compare that commitment to Israel’s national interest with Trump’s failure to address US interests on Monday…
Netanyahu has extensively lobbied both Russian and US governments.
And last night on Fox, Tucker Carlson said that the “neocon” foreign policy establishment that gave us the Iraq war should have been tarred and feathered and run out of Washington on a rail years ago but they’ve held place for 25 years, and now they’re angry at Trump for disrupting things. Carlson didn’t say a word about Israel, though. Because Trump the great disrupter has only increased Israel’s influence.
It’s no surprise that Putin was so considerate of Israel’s interests in that press conference. He knows that the road to Washington runs through Jerusalem.
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About Philip Weiss

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

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14 Responses

  1. Boomer
    Boomer
    July 18, 2018, 6:29 pm

    re Israel > Russia

    Well said. There have been a few comments, but not, as you say, in the MSM. For example:

    https://www.juancole.com/2018/07/shocked-bromance-netanyahu.html

    Regarding the neocons who should be in disgrace (if not in prison) but are still brazen and influential, there is this important book. It isn’t just history — it remains relevant to today:

    https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/MR-Book-Reviews/march-2018/Book-Review-015/ The reviewer, being in the military, doesn’t make explicit the role Israel played, according to Vogler.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      July 19, 2018, 11:26 am

      Breaking:

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/19/ultimate-deal-israel-palestine-peace-middle-east

      “The ‘ultimate deal’? For Israel, maybe. We Palestinians will never accept it.”

      “A US-backed deal to bring ‘peace’ to the Middle East would just legitimise Israeli aggression – and oppress my people further.”
      By Hanan Ashrawi, The Guardian, July 19/18

      EXCERPT:
      “President Donald Trump and his administration have been promising to announce what has been called, ironically, the ‘ultimate deal’ for Israel and Palestine. It is a proposition for ‘peace’ that violates the most basic requirements for a just and sustainable solution, flouts international law, contradicts the global consensus on peace (which in itself constitutes a major compromise by the Palestinians), and even departs from the declared policies of several previous US administrations.

      “The ‘ultimate deal’ suffers from multiple fatal flaws and misconceptions that several successive US administrations have repeatedly failed to recognise. The spirit of the Palestinian people cannot be broken or brought into submission; nor will we ever succumb to external pressure and blackmail. To expect us to surrender our rights and freedom in exchange for a mythical ‘economic peace’ is nothing short of a flight of fancy.

      “The US partnership with the Israeli occupation came to a head with Trump’s highly contentious recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and then, in another act of provocation, his moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision emboldened the right wing, racist, ethno-sectarian and hyper-nationalist forces in Israel – and gave the Israeli government the green light to colonise more Palestinian land and effectively deal the final blow to an already ailing two-state solution. The inability to recognise that Jerusalem is the historical, cultural, geographic and demographic heart of Palestine already set up the ‘ultimate deal’ for failure. Jerusalem is the linchpin of peace.

      “The same ideology that violated Jerusalem is also behind the US administration’s assault on Palestinian refugees and their right of return – a universally recognised right that cannot be denied just to accommodate Israel’s exclusivity and exclusionary policies. The Trump administration targeted Palestinian refugees by cutting funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) – and denying them access to healthcare, education and social services.

      “Palestinian refugees have been longing for home for 70 years after being violently uprooted and expelled from their ancestral homeland. To deprive them of their rights and to crush their hopes and aspirations for redress and a life worth living is the utmost cruelty. Such an injustice will also fuel the flames of extremism and violence, leading to further regional instability and conflict. In addition to being morally reprehensible, such a policy is utterly dangerous and irresponsible.

      “The ‘ultimate deal’ does not intend to offer a solution but rather to reinvent the occupation as a system of military and unaccountable control, and accommodate the continuing theft and fragmentation of our land, thereby relegating us to imprisonment in isolated territories at the mercy of Israeli security control. It further suffers from the illusion that the Palestinian people will give up their deep historical, cultural, and national commitment to Jerusalem – and relinquish the rights of our refugees.”

  2. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    July 18, 2018, 7:19 pm

    One of the ways in which the US privileges Israel is that Israel is allowed to maintain close relations with Russia without ever being criticized for doing so, as any other US ally that tries to do the same is criticized. At the time of the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 Israel remained silent on the issue and took no part in the West’s propaganda campaign against Russia. Now Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are promoting a grand deal by which the West would again give Russia a free hand in Ukraine and perhaps throughout the former Soviet Union (except for the Baltic states) in exchange for Russia withdrawing from its engagement in Syria and not intervening when the US attacks Iran. This reduces the danger of escalation to nuclear war in both regions but also means that there is no longer any external force deterring the US from aggression in Syria and Iran — unless China steps forward to take Russia’s place. That would be a bold step on China’s part but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

  3. Keith
    Keith
    July 18, 2018, 9:28 pm

    PHIL- “Trump’s fiasco in Helsinki….”

    I would be most interested in how you came to the conclusion that it was a fiasco. Also, something that may interest fellow commenters is the fact that during the 2012 Presidential election campaign, Obama and the rest of the Democratic elite pilloried Mitt Romney for demonizing Russia as our enemy. They described Romney as stuck in an out of date cold war mentality. Some turnabout! I link to a Chomsky interview where clips of some of these comments are shown. Most interesting. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49873.htm

  4. JWalters
    JWalters
    July 19, 2018, 2:26 am

    “Of course, the wonder of Netanyahu’s influence is that it goes largely undiscussed in the mainstream media.”

    That tells us something about the relationship between Netanyahu’s influence and the mainstream media.

    A couple of classic articles on this topic –

    “Let’s talk about Russian influence”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence

    “Why Not a Probe of ‘Israel-gate’?”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/20/why-not-a-probe-of-israel-gate

    and highly related –

    “The Gaping Holes of Russia-gate”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/20/the-gaping-holes-of-russia-gate

  5. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    July 19, 2018, 7:22 am

    In what appears to be a great timing, the police (some say anti-terrorist police) in UK have announced that they progressed with their investigation of Skripal poisoning and they have several Russian suspects ei. people who they think are involved.

    Amusingly, the novichok transmogrified from gel to spray, the supposedly professional hit ended with novichok being (presumably) dumped in the bushes for a tramp lady (Dawn Sturgess) to find, and police (but not Metropolitan Police which would not comment – so we have no clue what “police”) are saying they identified suspects, and they are Russian.

    The nerve gas 8 times stronger than sarin takes 9 days to kill tramp lady that, so they say, mistook it for perfume, and applied it directly to her skin damaging, they say, her face and hands, because everyone knows you spray perfume on your face and hands.

    All this before autopsy is performed (it will be done from today) which is meant to establish the cause of death.

    All the while, Porton Down, UK government chemical weapons facility nearby, has not even been able to establish the source of the novichok. (they have stock of their own, by the way), not that you can see it from the news.

    Oh, and Skripal and Skripal’s daughter still have not contacted his ailing mother, while being kept, “for their own good” in safe house by some vaguely identified security agency.

    There is another coincidence that is worth noting: in the hospital where Skripal and his daughter were admitted, there were doctors who freshly completed training in Porton Down and this allowed them to have presence of mind to apply anti-nerve agent treatment.

    Will be educational to know if Dawn Sturgess will get a proper inquest. Right now it has been adjourned to January 2019.

    123/134

  6. eljay
    eljay
    July 19, 2018, 7:22 am

    … The same video includes annihilationist fantasies about Iran from Netanyahu and a colleague.

    The prime minister then begins to speak about the Iranian regime… before he is interrupted by an unidentified person off-screen who says, “It will disappear with the help of God.”

    “You said it. From your mouth to God,” Netanyahu says in response as the clip ends.

    There’s no end to the hatefulness, immorality and hypocrisy of Zionists.

  7. inbound39
    inbound39
    July 19, 2018, 3:26 pm

    When it comes to Israel and Russia I get the impression that Putin tolerates Netanyahu and that Putin is simply providing Netanyahu a false sense of security in Syria. I am expecting Russia to set Israel up for a fall. That at some stage Israel will come racing over the border with its F-35 jets and few will return home. Already Israel is not as safe as it was to attack Syria at will and its effectiveness to some extent has been curbed due to S-300 missile systems. I would not write off the deployment of S-400 systems yet either. I cannot see Putin dumping Iran. Things are going on behind the scenes we have seen nothing of yet.

    • inbound39
      inbound39
      July 20, 2018, 1:58 am

      Exactly LHunter. We have Dems and Republicans and the CIA running around like chooks with their heads off,whining about Russian meddling in elections yet its okay for zionists like Netanyahu and Adelson and Saban et al to meddle and make complete fools of the American Government while they pad their bank out with American Taxpayer money. Israel has done far more harm to America than Russia.

  8. Marnie
    Marnie
    July 20, 2018, 12:23 am

    I wonder if trump will try to declare the united states as the nation state(s) of white people, the official language is whatever it is he speaks and all the other non-white people will become by law 2nd class citizens, will be deported (specific threat to NFL players – deport to where???) or worse if they don’t respond to him like he was nebuchadnezzar and stand at attention when they hear etc., etc. Along with women’s rights to determine their reproductive destinies, I picture them taking away their voting rights (because they are a demographic threat, especially black women who finished Roy Moore) and rolling back the 13th amendment because as he remarked as only he could, that the constitution was archaic.

  9. RoHa
    RoHa
    July 20, 2018, 2:33 am

    Good article here.

    I particularly like the line “he is both the president we have and the one we deserve. ”

    And if you ask “What did we do to deserve Trump?”, the author gives an answer.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-18/luongo-us-politics-reaching-breaking-point

  10. iResistDe4iAm
    iResistDe4iAm
    July 20, 2018, 11:29 am

    The prime minister then begins to speak about the Iranian regime… before he is interrupted by an unidentified person off-screen who says, “It will disappear with the help of God.”
    “You said it. From your mouth to God,” Netanyahu says in response as the clip ends.

    Breaking FAKE News: ‘Netanyahu Threatens to Wipe Iran Off the Map, with the Help of God!’

    Sound familiar? Remember when Ahmadinejad supposedly ‘Threatened to Wipe Israel Off the Map’…

    The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran’s first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,” just as the Shah’s regime in Iran had vanished.

    Now They Tell Us: Iran Didn’t Actually Threaten to Wipe Israel Off the Map
    https://fair.org/home/now-they-tell-us-iran-didnt-actually-threaten-to-wipe-israel-off-the-map/

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