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Al Jazeera’s censored series on ‘The Lobby’: a lesson in astroturfing pro-Israel activism

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Over the long Thingstaken weekend, which I spent blissfully alone, I binge-watched “The Lobby,” the multi-part Al Jazeera documentary which was censored right before its release date.   The documentary follows Al Jazeera undercover reporters as they infiltrate Zionist organizations in the United Kingdom and the United States, exposing Zionist efforts to sabotage pro-Palestine activism and organizing. Despite the censorship which stopped its public airing, the documentary was leaked online earlier this month. Electronic Intifada published it, “simultaneously with France’s Orient XXI and Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar” (which provided French and Arabic subtitles).

See part II, part III, and part IV here.

I didn’t find the documentary to be “gripping,” in that it did not teach me anything I didn’t already know quite well: there is a highly organized, multi-pronged assault by Israeli officials and their American friends on pro-justice for Palestine activism in the U.S. and UK (and one can assume, by extension, various other countries), that targets everyone, from students to members of Congress. A lot of it is highly unethical, and oftentimes outright illegal:  character assassination, attempts at ruining one’s personal life, career sabotage, spying on citizens for the benefit of a foreign country, bribing politicians so that they prioritize that foreign government over their own country’s interest, and their constituents’ rights.

But really, what are Israeli practices overall, if not highly unethical and illegal? Would one logically expect Israel, which refuses to recognize its own borders, violates the basic human rights of the people whose land it illegally occupies, enshrines apartheid despite this being a UN-declared “crime against humanity,” has maintained a genocidal siege on the Gaza Strip for over a decade, and continues to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people to this day (more home and businesses were being demolished as I watched “The Lobby”) to somehow act ethically abroad?

Nevertheless, it is always sobering to be reminded of (though not surprised by) the extent of our politicians’ and mainstream media’s subservience to Israel, that there is no public outcry, not even an audible whisper, at the censorship of this documentary. To paraphrase Ali Abunimah, interviewed in the documentary, “if any other country, China, Russia, or Iran, intervened with U.S. domestic affairs like Israel does, if any other country was known to spy on U.S. citizens, there would be public outrage.” Instead, we have American politicians who defend Israel, and seek to criminalize a constitutionally-guaranteed right, our freedom of speech, so that we do not criticize Israel.

For anyone interested in details of the Zionist lobby’s mode of operation, and some specifics of the assault on our activism as we organize for justice, the documentary delivers.  We get the names and positions of many of the Zionist “operatives,” pro-Israel alums of the targeted universities, recruited by AIPAC to disrupt student governments, employees of the Israeli Embassy whose job description apparently entails spying on their own American fellow-citizens, fundraisers whose sleight-of-hand launders electoral campaign contributions that go well above legal limits, and always, the concerted effort to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.  Many are recorded without their knowledge by the Al Jazeera undercover reporter who passes for a pro-Israel student himself. They speak candidly about the intentional smearing they engage in (discredit the message by smearing the messenger), the loopholes that allow them to bribe politicians, who return the favor of campaign money and lavish holidays with approval of military aid money to Israel. We see the cajoling and grooming of our so-called representatives—something which reinforced in me my already-great appreciation of the very few who speak out.  And we are reminded of the immense network of pro-Israel groups in this country, from AIPAC to The Israel Project to StandWithUs, with their fingers almost everywhere, influencing the American “elite” to prioritize Israeli interests above all else.

Interestingly, I noticed that many of those Zionist organizers refer to anti-Zionism as “anti-Israelism.” Indeed, one could argue that modern-day Israel is the realization of the Zionist project. However, there is no mention of Israel being a settler-colonial project modeled upon 19th century European imperialism. No references to the early writings of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the “father of Zionism,” who modeled his project on the settler-colonialism which transformed Turtle Continent into Canada, the United States of America, and Mexico.  Jabotinsky was quite clear about his projected enterprise in his 1923 essay The Iron Wall, as he wrote:  

“Every reader has some idea of the early history of other countries which have been settled.  I suggest that he recall all known instances. If he should attempt to seek but one instance of a country settled with the consent of those born there he will not succeed.  The inhabitants (no matter whether they are civilized or savages) have always put up a stubborn fight. […] It is of no importance whether we quote Herzl or Herbert Samuel to justify our activities, colonization itself has its own explanation, integral and inescapable, and understood by every Arab and every Jew with his wits about him.  Colonization can only have one goal. For the Palestinian Arabs this goal is inadmissible. […] Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population.”

Anti-Zionism, then, is a decolonial struggle.  And yet, Zionists deliberately blur the distinction between “anti-Israelism” and anti-Semitism, and I did feel that overall, many of the younger Zionists involved in the censorship, stifling, delegitimization, and vilification of pro-justice activism may not themselves be aware of that distinction.

Which brings me to the one short segment in the entire document that made me smile, the comedic and failed astroturfing “protest” where the recruited students were clearly uncomfortable with the activity they had been paid to engage in, namely disrupt the SJP conference at George Mason University.  (“Astroturfing” is “fake grassroots” activism, which relies on paid protesters or supporters). We are shown the astroturf students repeating after Yael Lerman Mazar, StandWithUs director of academic affairs: “SJP is a hate group, BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] is a hate movement,” but the lack of conviction is painful, almost pathetic, when the fakes come face to face with the real grassroots, the student organizers with SJP. I was reminded of my own encounter with “pro-Israel” student protesters when I gave a talk a few years ago at the University of California in San Diego. StandWithUs had found out, probably through their student spies, that I was scheduled to give a talk, and published a flyer about me to their students, with a list of eight questions that were meant to “stump” me, along with a strongly-worded caution not to ask other questions.  Clearly, SWU does not trust its paid protesters to think for themselves. I announced that I had no intention of being derailed by the StandWithUs questions, and two rows of students walked out.

Screen shot from Al Jazeera English’s documentary “The Lobby.”

The lack of conviction of paid protesters could offer an opening in our discussions, assuming they have a modicum of moral integrity.  But I have no illusions that anyone with a modicum of moral integrity would intentionally seek to end a professor’s career, or smear a conservative young woman’s reputation. And still the pro-Israel groups persist.  As BlackLivesMatter activist Khury Petersen-Smith put it: “it’s appalling that a system in Israel has devised incredible and comprehensive ways to have a violent regime against Palestinians, [and] that they would also invest resources to shore up support for that oppression here.”  

But that is, of course, because Israel is dependent on the diplomatic immunity the U.S. grants it, an immunity that is threatened by the success of BDS.  And it is true that if the success of BDS were to be measured in its economic impact on Israel, then not only do we have a very long way to go, but we are even possibly losing.  However, this is not how we measure our success. BDS is economic activism, yes. But we could boycott every single Israeli item available on every single shelf in every single grocery store in the entire U.S., we would likely not be making a dent in Israel’s economy, and if we did make a dent, the U.S. would promptly add a couple of million dollars to its annual aid package.  

BDS seeks a discursive shift, a change in the narrative, and here we are winning.  Despite the pervasiveness and rapaciousness of the Israel lobby’s interference with the impulse towards justice, equality, joint struggle, and anti-racism that unites grassroots activists everywhere these days, we are winning.  The Israel lobby could not stop this year’s National Students for Justice in Palestine conference in Los Angeles, it did not silence the faculty it attacked, and it is alienating young people across ethnic and religious lines, who can see the reality of Israeli apartheid behind its tattered mask of “democracy for some.”

Overall, and once again, “The Lobby” justified my pride in us pro-justice organizers, who are still going strong after years of richly-financed officially orchestrated attack on our grassroots efforts.   And it boosted my confidence that we will come out victorious. So I will conclude with the words of The Israel Project’s Eric Gallagher: “the foundation that AIPAC sat on is rotting.”

About time too…

 

About Nada Elia

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

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53 Responses

  1. JWalters
    JWalters
    November 26, 2018, 6:18 pm

    Thank you for this great review of the documentary. This is a momentous story of Israel’s gigantic “meddling” in America’s politics. But will any editor in the mainstream media cover this story? No. Why not? Perhaps they are also targets of this kind of control? Is there anyone in the entire U.S. the Israelis would not use these tactics on? Are these tactics the real reason America is an “Israel first” nation?

  2. Boomer
    Boomer
    November 26, 2018, 6:48 pm

    Thank you. I had read about this project some time ago on this site, but I didn’t know that the program is now available, albeit unofficially. It is good that it is available: even if not news to some, it will be to many, if they see it Perhaps bits and pieces of the truth will be disseminated, though not, I suspect, by the New York Times.

    Since Trump was elected, NYT has been praising itself profusely: it’s good for revenue I’m sure. Thus, for example, a full page ad in Sunday’s edition, avowing that:

    “THE TRUTH NEVER WAVERS.

    “THE TRUTH REQUIRES COMMITMENT. [commitment in the form of a subscription, I assume]

    “THE TRUTH IS WORTH IT” [i.e., the price of that subscription, no doubt]

    Down at the bottom of the page, in smaller type, we read, in part:

    “Telling the full story on every topic we report takes diligence, courage and an unwavering commitment to the truth across the entire organization . . . [etc. etc. etc. blah blah blah]

  3. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    November 26, 2018, 7:08 pm

    “ Everything reminds Milton Friedman of the money supply. Everything reminds me of sex but I try to keep it out of my papers” Robert Soloe

    So many things remind me of Zionism

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/11/why-the-government-should-fund-research-on-incel-culture/

    “Normally for domestic violence or homicide, that usually isn’t the first time someone has committed or threatened violence. It might be the first time that people noticed it or it makes the news, but there are normally behaviors that have preceded that. In the case of incels, it could mean taking seriously every instance of stalking or hate speech directed at women. So, if you’re a college administrator, and it has been brought to your attention that someone has engaged in some comments that are worrisome, you need to have a thoughtful policy or practice about what can we do to get [that individual] what they need so that they reach a healthier social skill? Another way would be to identify the characteristics of those who are in this group, so when we consider them at high risk for some of the harmful behaviors, we can reach them with interventions.

    We call that primary prevention and there are programs that do things like social emotional learning or address gender norms in schools, or even campaigns that would take place in a neighborhood. So that’s a way of getting at it—targeting all people and blanketing them with some prevention messages that would be helpful no matter who you are, but ideally would help to create the impression for people who ultimately are going to wind up being at high risk that this is a community, or school or workplace, where those kinds of actions are not the norm and are not okay.“

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      November 27, 2018, 7:05 am

      Rading the link you provided made me think of Lehava, the rabbinate, the ultra-orthodox and the settler trash of hebron.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        November 27, 2018, 1:40 pm

        It reminded me of Israeli Jewish society. The worship of violence is corrosive.

  4. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    November 26, 2018, 8:48 pm

    There’s a war going on and anything goes. Surely if Palestinians use terrorism and anti-semitism then it behoves Jews who support Israel to protect themselves and do whatever is in their power to annul the efforts of their enemy.

    • annie
      annie
      November 26, 2018, 10:27 pm

      mayhem, what’s terrorism and anti-semitism got to do w/the documentary? other than the lobby rhetoric? their target is primarily the bds movement, a non violent movement that eschews bigotry in all its forms.

      don’t pretend spying on and slandering student activists has any relation to protecting yourself against terrorism or anti semitism.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      November 27, 2018, 3:26 am

      @ Mayhem ‘Surely if Palestinians use terrorism and anti-semitism then it behoves Jews who support Israel to protect themselves and do whatever is in their power to annul the efforts of their enemy.’

      It’s unfathomnable to me the amount of money at the disposal of the zionists and their partners in crime which allow them to ‘protect themselves’. This goes far beyond protecting themselves, unless you consider blackmail, assasinations – character and body, and pimping the powerful to make HaTikva their ringtone, a star of david on the lapel and an israeli flag on the desk of an american senator protection. I would assume you do, and if not you personally, certainly the lovely mr and dr adelson, aipac and co. Doing ‘whatever is in their power to annul the efforts of their enemy part’ has to explain, at least in part an israeli politician to address the u.s. senate and claim the u.s. president doesn’t know wtf he’s doing, same politician suggesting the u.s. destroy iran; also msm reporting any news only if its good for the jews and furthers the aspirations of the apartheid ‘state’ of israel because this program, which doesn’t kill jews, threaten to kill jews or threaten to destroy the apartheid ‘nation-state of the jewish people’, threaten to destroy the enemies of palestine and do whatever is possible to annul the efforts of palestine/palestinian enemies, was just way too much truth to power for the zionist enablers in the united states to even think about airing.

      It’s not working like it used to is it though? #MAGA (make apartheid great again, the blue and white version).

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 27, 2018, 10:38 pm

        “to make … a star of david on the lapel and an israeli flag on the desk of an american senator protection.”

        It is protection. It protects the senator against AIPAC for as long as he keeps the protection money flowing.

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 27, 2018, 7:55 am

      || Mayhem: There’s a war going on and anything goes. Surely if Palestinians use terrorism and anti-semitism … ||

      …Jewish supremacists (Zionists) should be entitled to use the highest-tech weaponry to continue doing to the Palestinians whatever “necessary evil” is required to secure both the supremacist status of their state and as much as possible of the territory it and they continue to steal, occupy and colonize.

      || … then it behoves Jews who support Israel to protect themselves and do whatever is in their power to annul the efforts of their enemy. ||

      There you go again, anti-Semitically conflating Israel and Zionists with all Jews and all Jews with Israel and Zionists.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      November 27, 2018, 11:01 am

      @Mayhem

      “There’s a war going on and anything goes. Surely if Palestinians use terrorism and anti-semitism then it behoves Jews who support Israel to protect themselves and do whatever is in their power to annul the efforts of their enemy.”

      Sigh.

      Your comment is laughable. Its comparable to the Nazi occupiers rationalizing their monstrous crimes against the French, Dutch, et al, because in response, members of the resistance movements terrorized, attacked and demeaned them. Oppressed, occupied and dispossessed people always resist and have a legal and moral right to do so. It’s a constant throughout history.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        November 28, 2018, 12:01 am

        Exactly right.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      November 27, 2018, 11:32 am

      The Mayhem is in your brain.

      Fish in a Barrel Shoot = War.
      When one Jew speaks = All Jews speak.
      Slandering students = Fighting the war on terrorism.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      November 27, 2018, 2:02 pm

      The supporters of Israel and the supporters of BDS in the West arr political opponents but not hostile armies, not at war.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      November 27, 2018, 2:54 pm

      They aren’t your enemy, you clown.,War and its enablers are your enemy

    • Tonja
      Tonja
      November 28, 2018, 11:33 am

      Non Sequitur Mayhem. You can’t talk about War and juxtapose next Terrorism.
      If it’s a war per se it can’t be terrorism.
      Or maybe you have adopted the excellent reflection from Peter Ustinov :
      “Terrorism is the war of the poor and war is the terrorism of the rich”
      (but i honestly doubt that)

  5. bcg
    bcg
    November 26, 2018, 11:12 pm

    On the whole tedious conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-semitism: “Steven Beller, Visiting Scholar at George Washington University and author of Oxford University Press’s ‘Anti-Semitism: A Very Short Introduction’, has been similarly blunt: ‘attempts to thus call this hostility to Israel ‘the new antisemitism’ are, to my mind, misplaced and illegitimate’.

    “Cracks In The Wall – Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel” by Ben White, page 106. (reference available)

  6. mondonut
    mondonut
    November 27, 2018, 3:03 am

    Censored? Inflammatory nonsense. Al Jazeera produced it and they have posted on their website (https://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby).

    And no, Israel has not refused to recognize their borders. They have declared borders with each and every adjoining country. More nonsense.

    As to “the extent of our politicians’ and mainstream media’s subservience to Israel” for lack of public outcry over the non-existent censorship – that is simply one lie built upon another.

    • bcg
      bcg
      November 27, 2018, 10:22 am

      @Mondonut: We live in the age of the internet and WikiLeaks, nothing is ‘censored’ anymore in the old sense of the word, sure. But shall we say the documentary has received just about zero coverage in the mainstream press and isn’t being shown on PBS?

      Israel hasn’t declared it’s borders with respect to the 4-5 million stateless people living in the neighborhood. If you read Ben Whites new book “Cracks In The Wall – Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel” you’ll find many quotes from Israeli officials who acknowledge that this vagueness about where the Palestinian entity begins and Israel ends is being deliberately blurred.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        November 27, 2018, 11:23 am

        @bcg, nothing is ‘censored’ anymore in the old sense of the word, sure.

        In this case, it was not censored in any sense of the word. Calling it censored is just a bald-faced lie. And why not on PBS? It is not their property, why would it be?

        But you are correct about borders (the OP was not), while Israel has declared borders with every adjacent country, the borders with a nascent Palestine and disputed territories have yet to be established. And that is by agreement with the Palestinians, so of course not.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      November 27, 2018, 11:26 am

      @modonut

      I must have missed the memo. When did the entity known as “Israel” officially declare its borders and have them agreed to as such by the international community, including all of the neighboring Arab countries? I also remind you that in fact, “Israel” is still illegally and belligerently occupying Syria’s Golan Heights, Lebanon’s Shebba Farms/Kfarshuba Hills as well as the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Yes, the Gaza Strip is still belligerently/illegally and brutally occupied by “Israel” in gross violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (i.e., “Collective Punishment), which has been adopted by the Knesset.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        November 27, 2018, 1:10 pm

        @Misterioso, and have them agreed to as such by the international community, including all of the neighboring Arab countries?

        Yeah, that’s not how borders work, borders are not agreed to by the International community and the only neighboring countries that matter are those with which they share borders.

        Nor was any of it the original claim “Would one logically expect Israel, which refuses to recognize its own borders…”. Israel has certainly recognized and declared its borders with each and every adjoining country – despite existing territorial disputes.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      November 27, 2018, 2:14 pm

      It’s on the Al Jazeera website now but it wasn’t there when I last checked, a few days ago. The Qatari government did prevent them from broadcasting it, at the instigation of Israel (or of the US on Israel’s behalf), but after it was leaked Al Jazeera must have judged it reasonably safe to put it on their site. However, that is much less effective than broadcasting it.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        November 28, 2018, 5:45 am

        Which justifies the word ‘censorship’ per normal usage. There’s an Electronic Intifada report of AJ management’s rather unconvincing rejection of the term in the face of boasts by pro-Israelis of having used their influence on the Emir.

    • John Smithson
      John Smithson
      November 28, 2018, 12:29 pm

      ” Censored? Inflammatory nonsense. Al Jazeera produced it and they have posted on their website ( https://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby ).”

      That link goes to the Lobby expose on activities in ENGLAND, the expose about the Pro-Israel Lobby activities in the UNITED STATES is the issues at hand in this posting and comment string.

      Nice attempt at mis-direction, elision, whatever.

      “declared borders with each and every adjoining country” – how about Palestine? Oh wait – there the elision is that (and you most clearly and forcefully DO NOT say it OUT LOUD) Palestine does not count as a country – so it’s a TRUE statement.

      Another half-truth.

      Someday the roosters will come home to roost. Get right with reality, get a job, raise a family and join us normal folks in the day to day struggle for some semblance of respect and honesty. What a crappy way to go thru life telling outright lies and half-truths. Be a MAN.

    • InTruth
      InTruth
      November 28, 2018, 5:20 pm

      Nada Elia and others here conflate two related documentaries into one. The first, on Britain (with manufactured accusations of Labour Party anti-semitism, Israeli embassy intentions to ‘take down’ a Conservative deputy minister insufficiently pro-Israel, etc.) was duly broadcast last year on Al Jazeera and is on its website.

      The second, on the United States (richly financed campaigns against pro-justice student activists, etc.) was announced but never broadcast on Al Jazeera — and is NOT on its website so far. Alan Dershowitz, ZOA and other pro-Israel actors pressured the network to suppress it. (Qatar is vulnerable because of the Saudi quarantine that Trump supports.) But bits of it have been leaked and it recently became available on the Chicago-based Electronic Intifada’s website and others.

      Mondonutcase and other Zionist trolls here are misleading readers, as another post states. The Electronic Intifada has extensively reported on the censorship.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        November 28, 2018, 8:08 pm

        InTruth, Mondonutcase and other Zionist trolls here are misleading readers…

        Mondonutcase and other Zionist trolls assumed the OP knew what the hell she was talking about when she conflated two separate documentaries into one. Mea culpa, but I doubt that was common knowledge outside the cadres of committed Israel haters.

        But as long as misleading (and lies) are the topic, lets talk about how nothing was “censored” in the first place. The documentaries are the product and property of AJ and Qatar (who funds and controls AJ). The owners of the property made their own decisions to air or publish it and there was no outside agency that forced the removal of the US version. The liars in this case case are everyone who chooses to characterize an editorial decision as some evil censorship forced upon the gallant journalists.

        Further, if you or anyone else can provide proof that Alan Dershowitz, ZOA and other pro-Israel actors have the power to get a documentary squashed – feel free to provide it.

    • Spring Renouncer
      Spring Renouncer
      November 29, 2018, 12:13 pm

      This is a lie. That link is to The Lobby Part 1, which is about the Zionist lobby in the UK. The censored film is The Lobby Part 2, about the US Zionist lobby.

      The later documentary has been censored, and I still am not able to find on Al Jazeera’s site.

  7. Citizen
    Citizen
    November 27, 2018, 3:54 am

    “Americans are e easily moved”–Bibi Netanyahu. He should know since he grew up here.

  8. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    November 27, 2018, 10:51 am

    Ooooo. The “Lobby”. Sounds so insidious, so menacing. Targeted to a captive audience, no wonder the author isn’t surprised by any revelations. Just a rehash of basic lobbying 101 . If the Saudis, big oil, big pharma or any of the other massive lobbying institutions were documented it would garner no attention by the MW crowd as it wouldn’t be hyper focused on Jews and Israel.
    And the claims of so-called “censorship” of said documentary is absurd and just adds another layer to the conspiracy theories that abound in israel hating sites like MW.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      November 27, 2018, 11:36 am

      @DaBakr

      Yes, “The ‘Lobby'” is indeed “insidious” and “menacing.”

      One example:

      https://israelpalestinenews.org/sheldon-adelson-spending-100-million-total-to-keep-control-of-u-s-policies-on-israel/
      If Americans Knew Blog, Sept. 23/18

      “Sheldon Adelson spending $100 million to keep control of U.S. policies on Israel”

      “Casino billionaire’s total contributions on behalf of Israel in 2016 & 2018 reported to surpass $100 million, possibly making him the largest single donor in American politics today”
      By Amir Tibon, reposted from Ha’aretz

      EXCERPT:
      WASHINGTON – “Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson is reportedly spending at least $55 million during the upcoming midterm elections in order to keep Republicans in control of Congress. Adelson’s spending commitment was first reported on Saturday by the New York Times, in an article describing how Adelson has become the most influential donor in the Republican Party during U.S. President Donald Trump’s time in office.

      “According to the report, Adelson’s total spending on behalf of the Republicans in the 2016 and 2018 election combined, will surpass $100 million, probably making him the largest single donor in American politics today. Adelson had previously spent tens of millions of dollars during the 2012 election in a failed attempt to help Mitt Romney, that year’s Republican nominee, oust Barack Obama from the White House.”

      (2)
      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50387.htm
      Sheldon Adelson: “Best Government Money Can Buy” By Philip M. Giraldi
      October 6/18

      EXCERPT:
      “Very few Americans know who Sheldon Adelson is and fewer still appreciate that, as America’s leading political donor, when he speaks the Republican Party listens. By virtue of his largesse, he has been able to direct GOP policy in the Middle East in favor of Israel, which might well be regarded as his true home while the United States exists more as a faithful friend that can be produced at intervals whenever Israel finds itself in need of a bit of cash or political cover.

      “Adelson’s recent successes in translating his political donations into policy favorable to Israel have included shifting the US Embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to Palestinians, ending the Iranian nuclear monitoring agreement and closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s diplomatic office in Washington. All those Trump Administration measures were reportedly worked out privately by Adelson speaking directly with the president.

      “Adelson’s activities in buying politicians reflect what he believes, he reportedly having said that ‘there’s no such thing as a Palestinian.’ Nor does his world view include much concern for the country that has sheltered him and made him wealthy. He served in the US Army in World War 2 and has said that he regrets having done so, as he would rather have worn an Israeli army uniform. He also expressed his desire that his son might become an Israeli Army sniper.

      “Adelson benefits from his exceptional access to the White House to the detriment of actual American interests. A New York Times article ‘Sheldon Adelson Sees a Lot to Like in Trump’s Washington,’ states that he ‘enjoys a direct line to the president’ and meets the president monthly ‘in private in-person meetings and phone conversations.’ He has been delighted with the openly expressed threats emanating from the Administration’s key foreign and national security policy spokesmen regarding Iran. He would like to see the United States go to war with the Iranians to destroy their government and bring about some kind of regime change, and, judging from recent developments, he just might get what he seeks, which could easily have catastrophic consequences for the entire region and beyond.

      “Adelson is somewhat unhinged on the issue of Iran and has even called for dropping a nuclear bomb on a desert region of the country as a negotiating tactic to show ‘we mean business’ so Washington could then ‘impose its demands [on Iran] from a position of strength.’ If Iran continued to resist, Adelson would to drop the next one on Tehran. If Tehran were to be nuked millions of Iranians would die, which doesn’t bother Adelson one bit. Such a development would, in Adelson’s opinion, be good for Israel, which is his primary concern.”

    • annie
      annie
      November 27, 2018, 6:27 pm

      no wonder the author isn’t surprised by any revelations. Just a rehash of basic lobbying 101

      it’s one thing knowing it’s going on, it’s another witnessing it on film. i personally liked discussion of the cluster or bundled payments going to politicians.

      And the claims of so-called “censorship” of said documentary is absurd

      this is exactly what i mean by knowing its going on and having the proof on film. this has been reported extensively, and you call it “so-called” censorship. israel’s lobbies act as a foreign agents inside the US and the UK. someday that’s going come back to bite them and these documentaries will be part of the evidence used to sink them.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        November 28, 2018, 2:21 am

        @an

        Chad. Bahrain. UAE. Another Muslim nation forging closer ties and ‘normalizing’ relations with israel . african, Latin, Asian nations. It’s all coming back to bite us

  9. bcg
    bcg
    November 27, 2018, 12:11 pm

    @Mondonut: “the borders with a nascent Palestine and disputed territories have yet to be established. And that is by agreement with the Palestinians, so of course not.”

    I wasn’t aware that the Palestinians have agreed to the ever expanding settlements, home demolitions and to being put in jail with no trial and no charges.

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      November 27, 2018, 1:57 pm

      @bcg

      What do any of those claims have to do with borders? Or my comment that you reference?

  10. genesto
    genesto
    November 27, 2018, 1:51 pm

    Wow! There seems to be an expanding number of Zionist trolls on this site. That can only mean that Mondoweiss is making real progress in enlightening the public about the evils of the Zionist enterprise, to the point where more characters like DeBakr and Mondonut are rising to the call of their motherland, Israel, to attack and destroy us.

    Congrats, Mondoweiss, on your success to date. Let’s hope that the truth smokes out more Zionist soldiers to join the battle. After all, it’s a battle they can never really win, no matter how much Israel spends to perpetuate its lies.

    • annie
      annie
      November 27, 2018, 2:10 pm

      That can only mean that Mondoweiss is making real progress in enlightening the public about the evils of the Zionist enterprise

      or team israel got a fresh influx of funds and doubled up on their online presence. we’ve always been on their radar. remember the time we discovered a regular commenter’s ip address came straight from israel’s PM office? anyway, these things are measured in slow drip drip drips. but hopefully yes. we are making real progress.

      • catalan
        catalan
        November 27, 2018, 3:24 pm

        “or team israel got a fresh influx of funds and doubled up on their online presence.” Annie
        I concur – the money has been amazing lately with each post earning extraordinary money (three figures). It just doesn’t get any better if you want a side gig; Adelson’s generocity is rare.

      • annie
        annie
        November 27, 2018, 6:16 pm

        snark about it all you want, they do hire online advocacy (TIP among others). they also give college scholarships for advocacy in israel (i think run out of the ministry of foreign affairs as i recall, we’ve covered it here and haaretz/jpost have too). it’s part of the routine hasbara now on steroids due to the growth in support for BDS).

        whereas, that’s not the case for palestine. of course, it’s not really necessary for palestine either, because unlike israel, palestine have so many more people worldwide who advocate for palestine naturally there’s no need to stack the decks by hiring advocates.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 27, 2018, 3:55 pm

        “Adelson’s generocity is rare.”

        Yeah, and just look at the value he gets for his money.

      • catalan
        catalan
        November 27, 2018, 7:27 pm

        “palestine have so many more people worldwide who advocate for palestine naturally there’s no need to stack the decks by hiring advocates.” Annie
        That is disappointing as for the right money I would not mind pointing my sharp pen at Israel to extol the successes of BDS and Hamas. And there are Palestinian super wealthy, like the Hadids let’s say. Or Muslims, people like the sultan of Brunei or the emir of Qatar or the royals of Kuwait could set up a fund. I naturally require much more than a scholarship in Israel where all I get is to listen to lectures about Zionism; with all due respect, I am past the point of needing to learn that type of stuff. If I go to Israel, I would spend my time at Arab falafel places in Haifa or the coffee shops in Yaffa and Tel Aviv. But life is short and who knows if that will ever happen.

      • Spring Renouncer
        Spring Renouncer
        November 29, 2018, 12:05 pm

        Hey @annie I’m guessing you can’t change the comment policy unilaterally, but I implore you to consult with Philip etc. about doing so. I know it’s possible because the comments policy was changed in 2012. The trolls are exploiting the freedom you give commenters to undermine this platform. They act with shameless impunity, like marauding settlers on the hills of Hebron. Please stop them.

      • annie
        annie
        November 29, 2018, 4:36 pm

        hi spring, i spent more than a few years of my life obsessed with our comment section. they know my views. i would suggest writing them yourself. get a collection of troll tweets. explain to them how you think it damages the site. make an appeal. the other side does it, believe me.

        i feel very fortunate i can post here and say whatever i want. but of course i would relish a comment section where i could ban whoever i wanted! i can think of a few right off the top of my head. but it’s just not my purview, never was. you’d probably have better luck than me. just go for it.

      • Spring Renouncer
        Spring Renouncer
        November 29, 2018, 5:14 pm

        Ok thanks for the info annie. I will consider writing to them. I feel like they may change their mind if many people come forward, because the situation has truly changed. The current level of trolling is higher than ever before. Any story with more than a few comments is targeted.

      • catalan
        catalan
        November 29, 2018, 5:32 pm

        “but of course i would relish a comment section where i could ban whoever i wanted! “ Annie
        This is the most succinct description of the various varieties of socialism I have ever seen. It encapsulates the fundamental difference between those of us who agree with the Founders (it’s not called the first amendment for nothing) and those of us dreaming of a one dimensional world deprived of all opposition. It also describes the fundamental weakness of the BDS movement: the fear of descent.

      • Spring Renouncer
        Spring Renouncer
        November 29, 2018, 5:53 pm

        Yes catalan we fear “descent” into idiocy and oppression.

      • annie
        annie
        November 29, 2018, 8:11 pm

        spring, what i find amusing is that while team israel puts the hammer down on things we are not allowed to say (google marc lamont hill) and within 24 hours they can get cnn to fire a popular pundit (making suggestions implying anyone controls the press is out of line, can’t say that either) we won’t hear you know who lambasting that kind of power. and hell no, i don’t fear everyone i wouldn’t want sitting around my dinner table. i think of our comment section as more of a dinner table vs a facebook or twitter format.

        https://theintercept.com/2018/11/29/cnn-submits-to-right-wing-outrage-mob-fires-marc-lamont-due-to-his-offensive-defense-of-palestinians-at-the-un/

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 29, 2018, 7:07 pm

        As goes the Right, so goes the allrightnik. It never fails.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 30, 2018, 2:04 pm

        “This is the most succinct description of the various varieties of socialism I have ever seen.”

        Why, it makes every blogger his or her own Stalin!

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      November 27, 2018, 3:05 pm

      @genesto

      Nobody is attacking or destroying this place, other than the Mondoweiss widespread aversion to facts and prolific invention of “rights”. And for the record, my motherland is central Massachusetts.

      But if there is money to be had, please let me know where I should apply for it.

      • annie
        annie
        November 27, 2018, 6:36 pm

        mondonut, here: https://www.theisraelproject.org/job-listings

        scroll down to “Digital Communications Specialist”

        note references to “social campaign”, “Assist with organization’s social media accounts”

        inquire here: [email protected]

        here’s another https://zoa.org/current-job-openings/

        “Teach post-graduate Boot Camp programming as well as Israel advocacy programming for contracted third parties.”

        i bet if you sign up for zoa’s “bootcamp” you can find out how to get a job in “advocacy programming for contracted third parties”.

        classes of 15-35 young professionals in Israel advocacy, 1-2 times/week, covering subject matter including: principles of communication, the history of Israel (1880-present), the status of Judea & Samaria, BDS, the apartheid myth, and the ongoing refugee problem.

        they hold these trainings routinely and then hire the online advocates. or maybe they hire them and then send them to boot camp.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        November 28, 2018, 2:23 am

        Why does Israeli history only go as far back as 1880? It’s the Jewish Homeland so they must have been there since forever

      • annie
        annie
        November 29, 2018, 2:28 pm

        Maghlawatan, it’s the history of zionism. these “bootcamp” sessions are to prepare for online advocacy. but similar to what many young jewish kids encounter on campuses, they are not taught uncomfortable facts. ie this morning on twitter someone countered on twitter “Maybe Palestinians should recognize Israel and its right to be a state”. it takes about a nano second to google whether that ever happened (it did). they learn by rote, that’s why so many of them sound the same. i think it was dershowitz who wrote some school instructional on ‘how to counter anti israel arguments’ for the classroom. remember that film awhile back crowdfunded by these young jewish students appealing to the elders to tell them stuff. they talked to a lot of jewish teens who said things like “nobody told me about palestinians” or “i didn’t know there was an occupation”. so these are like crash courses. all you really need is a zest for israel, that’s what they want. someone came at me on twitter this morning, he had one follower.

        anyway, this is a little OT, but maybe relevant. Marc Lamont Hill spoke at the UN yesterday calling for equality i palestine and then said or the day before and said “palestine should be free from the river to the sea”, and the trolls went apeshit. they said it was genocidal yada yada. there was an overwhelming swarm of the little trolls attacking him. that happens by design. there’s probably some robo call to thousands of them.

        anyway, i think jewish history is a much longer story than you can encapsulate in a few bootcamps. much easier to train bots.

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