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‘NYT’ editorial on Flynn’s misdeeds has a laughable omission, Israel’s role

Media Analysis
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Two days ago, the special counsel investigating Russian influence on the Trump campaign submitted a sentencing memo urging leniency for a cooperating witness, former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and the press is, not surprisingly, leaving out the Israel angle.

Flynn’s confessed crime was lying to the FBI about his acting at Israel’s behest in December 2016 to call the Russian ambassador to ask him to veto a Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements that Obama as a lame duck was about to abstain on.

The Russians didn’t play ball, the resolution went through as the last act of the Obama administration on Israel. Five years before Obama had vetoed a similar resolution, when he was seeking a second term.

CNN didn’t touch the Israel angle. NPR left it out yesterday. Left it out again today talking to Mike Isikoff. Particularly egregious is a New York Times editorial on the Flynn sentencing documents in which Russia is mentioned again and again, but the reference to Israel is completely oblique. Just “Obama administration policy in the Middle East.”

As lawyers for [special counsel Robert] Mueller’s office noted in their sentencing submission, Mr. Flynn’s crime was “serious.” On several occasions during a fateful interview at the White House just days into the new administration, the former national security adviser lied to F.B.I. agents about his contacts during the transition with the former Russian ambassador. Mr. Flynn and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, discussed ways to undercut Obama administration policy in the Middle East and toward Russia. We do not yet know whether Mr. Flynn, a former Army lieutenant general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, did this on his own initiative or on orders from Mr. Trump or someone close to him.

As we’ve repeatedly stated, the Michael Flynn Russian influence story is also a story of Israeli influence. Gareth Porter says so too:

The big story about Flynn’s guilty plea and cooperation with #Mueller that big media has predictably downplayed is that Kushner ordered Flynn to contact the Russian Ambassador on behalf of #Israel to get Russia not to vote 4 an anti-Israel UNSC resolution.

Jared Kushner’s family funded Israeli settlements; and Bloomberg suggests that the special counsel is looking into Kushner efforts to gain Russian financing for his family’s real estate company.

But the Israeli press is clear that Israel was behind Flynn’s action. “Flynn Got in Trouble Over Israel UN Vote and Became Asset for Russia Probe,” Haaretz headlines its story.  It says that  Israeli officials asked Trump to try to intervene.

Despite no mention in the document, the Trump team’s decision to contact Russia was made following requests by senior Israeli officials that they try to intervene.

Gosh, here’s more of Israel’s presence in the Russia probe. Vanity Fair has a column noting that Israel played a role in former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos’s decision to cooperate with Mueller.

Papadopoulos has told people he pleaded guilty to perjury because Mueller was threatening to prosecute him as an unregistered agent of Israel.

Evidently, Papadoupoulos had been at the neoconservative Hudson Institute when he worked on energy issues involving Israel, the Washington Post reported.

He… attended a series of energy conferences in Israel, including one held in April 2016, just days after he was named to Trump’s campaign, according to Israeli media accounts.

During those years, he became acquainted with Eli Groner, who has served since 2015 as a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An Israeli Embassy official in Washington told The Post in April 2017 that the two had met while Groner served as the embassy’s economic attache between 2011 and 2015. The two stayed in touch over the years and discussed energy issues, the official said.

How does a fellow go from the Hudson Institute to the Trump campaign? Trump once said that Marco Rubio would become Sheldon Adelson’s “perfect little puppet” if he took Adelson’s money. Of course in the end, Trump got more from Adelson and his wife than any other donors, and he has always looked out for Israel’s interest.

You’d think all this could become a scandal. But it hasn’t yet.

Amos Harel worries that it could all blow up. He writes in Haaretz that Trump is deferring to Israeli interests in the Mohammed bin Salman murder case he’s told everyone to forget about. “Trump’s Decision to Stand by Saudi Prince Has Netanyahu’s Fingerprints on It,” Harel writes; and that could hurt Israel.

Israel, like the Americans, also fears that an attempt to remove the crown prince could topple his government. …

Trump is repeating the argument that his efforts in the region stem from his desire to benefit Israel. Within a week he made the claim twice – to justify his forgiving attitude toward Saudi Arabia and the doubling of the number of U.S. troops in Syria to 4,000.

This line of thinking may convince good Jews (at the moment there are fewer and fewer) to vote for the Republicans in 2020. But it’s also a very damaging statement for Israel because it confirms the anti-Semitic fantasies about Jewish control of U.S. foreign policy. Such declarations will eventually boomerang on Israel.

Thanks to Donald Johnson and James North.

Philip Weiss

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

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10 Responses

  1. Kay24 on December 6, 2018, 1:29 pm

    Apart from referring to Flynn’s involvement with Russia and the illegal settlements, when this document was released, the Z media in the US, never discussed, or spoke of it again.
    It seems Russia and Saudi Arabia’s interference in the US is consistently criticized, but not a negative words about Israel’s, AIPAC, or the control it has over Congress. They control the media, and we know it.

  2. Keith on December 6, 2018, 6:50 pm

    PHIL- “Flynn’s confessed crime was lying to the FBI….”

    In the cesspool of corruption that is the US political economy circa 2018, I find it curious and unwholesome that the one agency you can’t lie to is the FBI, the national political police. And the primary use of this special power is to engage in entrapment. Yet, none of the bankers who engaged in fraud have been prosecuted, much less convicted. Bill Black who successfully prosecuted over 1000 fraudsters during the Savings and Loan scandal says that the 2008 financial meltdown was much worse, yet no one is held to account. Obama rescued the bankers, not the 99% or the economy. Was Caligula’s Rome this bad?

    • Jon66 on December 6, 2018, 9:08 pm

      “I find it curious and unwholesome that the one agency you can’t lie to is the FBI”

      I think it’s time for you to amend’ another of your statements. It is illegal to lie to any branch of the federal government.

      “Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 makes it a crime to: 1) knowingly and willfully; 2) make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation; 3) in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States. Your lie does not even have to be made directly to an employee of the national government as long as it is “within the jurisdiction” of the ever expanding federal bureaucracy. Though the falsehood must be “material” this requirement is met if the statement has the “natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing, the decision of the decision-making body to which it is addressed.” United States v. Gaudin, 515 U.S. 506, 510 (1995). (In other words, it is not necessary to show that your particular lie ever really influenced anyone.) Although you must know that your statement is false at the time you make it in order to be guilty of this crime, you do not have to know that lying to the government is a crime or even that the matter you are lying about is “within the jurisdiction” of a government agency. United States v. Yermian, 468 U.S. 63, 69 (1984). For example, if you lie to your employer on your time and attendance records and, unbeknownst to you, he submits your records, along with those of other employees, to the federal government pursuant to some regulatory duty, you could be criminally liable.”

      • RoHa on December 7, 2018, 12:11 am

        “It is illegal to lie to any branch of the federal government.”

        And if a branch of the federal government lies to you …?

      • Keith on December 7, 2018, 10:22 am

        JON66- “I think it’s time for you to amend’ another of your statements.”

        So amended. Jeez, things are even worse than I imagined. Who knew? Obviously, prosecution is highly selective in our political economy in which lies and deception are the norm. Sounds like make-work for lawyers. And how did you stumble across this little publicized information?

      • Jon66 on December 7, 2018, 8:51 pm

        “And how did you stumble across this little publicized information?”
        I read books and other stuff like that. . . It’s amazing what you can find in the written word. There’s been a lot published since Das Kapital.

  3. amigo on December 6, 2018, 7:06 pm

    Phil , CNN Europe mentioned it twice and I nearly fell off my chair ,however , it seemed to be written out after that. Somebody decided that it was too delicate even for European ears.

    Needless to say it was too dangerous to US Security to share it with US citizens.

  4. James Canning on December 7, 2018, 1:01 pm

    If the New York Times reported accurately and fairly about Israel’s overly large role in setting US policies in the Middle East, would it suffer financial penalties? Substantial penalties?

  5. ErikEast on December 7, 2018, 3:20 pm

    The Guardian has an expose on the international funding behind the British far-right figure, Tommy Robinson. Despite the article mentioning the likes of The Middle East Forum, Robert Shillman, The David Horowitz Freedom Center etc. not once does the article mention the Israel-angle. Even though pro-Israel advocates have long-been stoking anti-Muslim hysteria.

  6. edthespark on December 8, 2018, 8:34 am

    The famous israel angle strikes again and lo and behold we are told that the russians did like flynn.

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