Anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in The Forward!!

As we here at WW4 REPORT know, Israel is a client state of the American empire. In the following article in the well-known anti-Semitic conspirazoid publication The Forward, Ori Nir claims that the recent sacking of two AIPAC officials resulting from the Franklin affair threatens “Israeli efforts to secure swift American action against Iran’s nuclear program.” That kind of “wag-the-dog” theory is anti-Semitic. As WW4 REPORT editor Weinberg noted on this blog, it is obviously the US that is pushing Israel, its client state, to do its bidding:“Is Israel going to take the bait? Will the Israeli leadership ever realize that playing attack dog for US imperialism is utterly counter-productive to the longterm survival and security of their own state?”

Nir also notes that despite the ousting of Iran analyst Keith Weissman, AIPAC is still forging ahead on Iran: “The issue will be front and center at the pro-Israel lobby’s annual conference next month. A walk-through model of Iran’s uranium enrichment apparatus will be the centerpiece exhibit at Washington’s convention center.”

Scandal Stymies Israeli Effort to Pressure Tehran
By Ori Nir
April 29, 2005

WASHINGTON β€” Israeli efforts to secure swift American action against Iran’s nuclear program are being threatened by a stalled presidential nomination and the sudden dismissal of two officials at the country’s most influential pro-Israel lobbying organization.

Last week the Forward and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that the lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was pushing out two of its top officials β€” Steve Rosen, the organization’s policy director, and Keith Weissman, its senior analyst on Iran. The two men, who are reportedly being investigated by the FBI for allegedly passing classified documents to Israel, were Aipac’s point men in lobbying the White House on Iran-related issues.

Also last week, with mounting opposition toward Bush’s choice of John Bolton to serve as America’s ambassador to the United Nations, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed its vote on the nomination. A neoconservative ally of Vice President Richard Cheney and the State Department’s top official on arms control, Bolton is known as a strong supporter of Israel’s position that Tehran is coming alarmingly close to being able to weaponize its nuclear material β€” a view rejected by other top Bush administration officials.

Pro-Israel activists in Washington are privately worrying that the shakeup at Aipac, as well as Bolton’s troubles, will make it even harder for Jerusalem to convince the White House that quick action must be taken against Iran.

“It would sure help to have Bolton in the U.N. and credible [pro-Israel] lobbyists in Washington,” said a senior official with a major national Jewish organization, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “This is a crucial point in time” to impact America’s policy on Iran, the organizational official said.

Israeli experts believe that Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium to a weapon-grade degree can reach a “point of no return” in a matter of months, as opposed to most analysts in the Bush administration who measure the time frame in years.

Last week, in a special Passover interview with Ma’ariv, Prime Minister Sharon said that “only the United States can head” an international coalition to put pressure on Iran that would compel it to abandon its drive for nuclear weapons. In briefing Israeli reporters earlier this month following his summit in Crawford, Texas, with President Bush, Sharon indicated that this was his message to the president.

Referring to international sanctions, a senior official in Sharon’s entourage to Crawford told reporters, “We have to take this to the Security Council; they are the only ones with the tools to do this.”

Sharon’s government and its friends in Washington are still hoping that Bolton will spearhead an American leadership role in imposing U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran. But serious doubts about Bolton’s qualifications for the U.N. post could crush those hopes. A Senate vote on whether to confirm Bolton is scheduled for May 12.

“Bolton has always been tough on Iran, so when you look at the rejection of Bolton you’re looking at what will be interpreted as the rejection of a philosophy in general,” said Thomas Neumann, executive director of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a hawkish Washington-based think tank and advocacy group. “What we need today on Iran is someone like Bolton, who will show the world that we’re tough.”

Similar concerns about the impact of Aipac’s moves are being voiced. But, in addition, these worries are intertwined with a sense of bewilderment and anxiety among Jewish organizational leaders over the dismissal of Rosen and Weissman.

For several months β€” and perhaps for as long as two years β€” the men have been the target of the FBI investigation. They are suspected of having illegally transferred secret information from a Pentagon expert on Iran, Larry Franklin, to an Israeli diplomat. Rosen and Weissman deny any wrongdoing.

In the past, Aipac had emphatically denied that any of its employees had done anything wrong.

However, last week, in response to queries from the Forward, Aipac spokesman Patrick Dorton said he could not reply to the question of whether Aipac stood behind its past claims that none of the organization’s employees had acted illegally or improperly. Dorton, who was communications director of President Clinton’s National Economic Council and later specialized in crisis-management public relations, was recently hired by Aipac to speak to the media about the investigation.

This past December, Aipac released a statement saying that “neither Aipac nor any member of our staff has broken any law.” But last week the organization issued a statement saying that it had fired Rosen and Weissman “after careful consideration of recently learned information and the conduct Aipac expects of its employees.” All past statements of support for the two men were removed from the organization’s Web site.

Aipac officials, who in recent weeks were tight-lipped on anything involving the FBI investigation, held a conference call on the firings, but participants said that no explanation was given for the firings.

Sources close to Aipac said that members of the board put pressure on the organization’s leadership to distance itself from Rosen and Weissman. One senior staffer at a national Jewish organization, who knows Aipac intimately, said, “Aipac had to cut bait.” The official said that the ongoing scandal was eating away at Aipac “like cancer.” The same official said that now, “at least there won’t be such a large elephant in the room at the policy conference.” Aipac is expecting thousands of delegates from all 50 states at its annual conference in Washington between May 22 and May 24. Sharon, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the entire leadership of Congress are expected to address the gathering.

Responding to concerns that Rosen’s and Weissman’s dismissal would hinder Aipac’s lobbying efforts on Iran, a spokesman for Aipac said that exposing Iran’s pursuit of unconventional weapons “is a top priority for Aipac; we’re focusing a significant level of resources and expertise on this very important issue.” The organization took up the Iran issue in the mid-1990s at the request of then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin was trying to lower the lobby’s targeting of the Palestinians, with whom Israel was trying to make peace.

The issue will be front and center at the pro-Israel lobby’s annual conference next month. A walk-through model of Iran’s uranium enrichment apparatus will be the centerpiece exhibit at Washington’s convention center.

  1. Sarcasm does not become you
    Conspiranoids, whether of the (overlapping) 9-11 vulture or ZOG-monger varieties, are beloved of the “gotcha document.” Their earnest zeal never fails to disappoint us skeptics.

    Its ironic that my earlier post dredged up for lampooning purposes by my esteemed colleague David Bloom actually quotes his own hero Uri Avnery, who appears to be throwing in his lot with “my” side of this tiresome argument. I never said Israel needed to be “pushed”, or that it doesn’t attempt to “push” Washington. The Colombian paramilitaries, like the Salvadoran death-squads before them, do not have to be “pushed” either. They are quite sufficiently motivated on their own. Yet somehow nobody talks about sinister Colombian conspiracies to undermine American sovereignty.

    The biggest irony is that this story is anti-semitic conspiracy theory! The cats at The Forward would love to think they have the power to sway the U.S. government to their will! Just like them other deluded Jews at the NY Times.

    1. Some editors push back
      Not dissing Avnery, whose work I admire, but I would not call him “my hero.”

      When has Israel ever “played attack dog for US imperialism?” When it attacked Lebanon? Osirik?

      1. This is getting incestuous, as well as tiresome
        Neither of those precisely fit US strategic interests at the time, but they helped create the impression of an aggressive, unpredictable Israeli state, which is important to keeping the Arabs generally intimidated. The Egypt invasion of 1956 didn’t serve US interests either, tho it definitely served British and French interests, and the ’67 and ’73 victories served US interests by sullying the Nasser legacy. I can’t believe I even have to explain this.

        Israel served as a direct US proxy in Guatemala, Colombia and South Africa. No, Washington didn’t have to “push.” Why should it? The ANC and the Guatemalan and Colombian guerillas all supported the PLO, so it was a natural alliance, something the conspiranoids seemingly will never understand.

        If Israel is really stupid enough to attack Iran, it will be the ultimate in surrogate warfare, and terrible for Jews everywhere (especially Israel).

        1. Bill, You stink like shit because your full of it
          Israel did not “serve” as a US Proxy in South Africa. This is a text book example where Israel had close strategic and ideological ties to the Apartheid regime for its own reasons. Israel was South Africa’s closest ally, they didnt do it at US behest.

          1. You’d be more entitled to profanity if you were paying attention
            You guys will really never understand, it seems. I never said Israel didn’t have strategic and ideological ties to the apartheid regime for its own reasons. In fact, I explicitly said that it did. That in no way contradicts the reality that Israel was serving as a US proxy.

            1. That is the definition of an alliance not a proxy

              Israel was a proxy in Iran-Contra but not in South Africa, theres a major difference and the core of that that difference lies in the fact that Israel’s interests in Apartheid went beyond economic, in that Zionists and the Afrikaners shared similar ideologies of supremecy.

              What you have defined is a partner relationship, or an alliance. In the case of South Africa, this is what it should be appropritaely defined as.

              Towards the end, even though US Congress supported sanctions for the Apartheid regime, Israel continued to support the Apartheid regime till the bitter end. Some, use the fact that the Bush I funneled goods through Israel as “proof” of Israel being a proxy. It makes me wonder if those who proport this theory are purposely trying to hide the fact that Israel was the only country in the world where their entire political system sought it as a necessity to keep the Apartheid regime alive.

              1. “Alliance” is it now? I thought Washington was Israel’s pawn
                Congress supported sanctions against South Africa, but the executive under Reagan and Bush I opposed them, and the CIA needed a strong apartheid regime to wage its proxy wars in Angola, Namibia and Mozambique. Israel was serving as a U.S. proxy, for its own perceived ideological and strategic purposes. There is absolutely no contradiction here.

                Israel also had its own perceived reasons for serving as a conduit in the arms sales to Iran, as Ari Ben Menashe explains at great length in Profits of War. Why else would Israel have done it?

                I didn’t say “puppet.” I said “proxy.” Honduras was a U.S. “puppet” in the contra war; Israel was a U.S. proxy.

                What I object to is the perverse notion that the United States is a puppet of Israel. It depresses the hell out of me that I repeatedly find myself arguing about this with supposed comrades on the “left.”

    2. Why shouldn’t Jews be able to sway the US government
      I dont quite understand who Imperialism serves. If it serves elites, then are there not Jews in elite circles. Second, if Zionist institutions and organizations, with boat loads of cash, hundreds of thousands of contituents and tons of connections, are not able to critically effect foreign policy, then how would you expect any movement to be effective. This makes absolutely no sense to me, nor should it because the argument that AIPAC is not the critical component for Israel’s expansion in the OT is garbage.

      1. Do you often stoop to argue with those who “stink like shit”?
        Your probable error of vocabulary is a very telling one. “Effect” means to bring about or create. “Affect” (which is what I suspect–and hope–you meant) means to influence. The Israel lobby is one of several pressure groups which do indeed affect US policy. The fallacy is precisely that they effect it.

        Once again, you guys are just moving the goal post. I’m not convinced that AIPAC is “the critical component” for the blank check Israel gets for its expansionism in the Occupied Territories, but it is at least an arguable position. The notion that AIPAC is “the critical component” behind imperialism’s own current expanionism in the Persian Gulf–the occupation of Iraq, apparent designs on Iran and Syria–is what I consider garbage.

        A project of this cost, risk and magnitude is not “critically” about protecting a tiny client state, however strategic or “infuential.” It is “critically” about assuring U.S. world dominance in the 21st century by securing the most “critical” oil resources on Earth against any potential global rival. If you don’t realize this, you have let your ideology blind you to the obvious.

        1. Critical component?

          I’m not convinced that AIPAC is “the critical component” for the blank check Israel gets for its expansionism in the Occupied Territories,

          Oh? What else could it be?

        2. AIPAC, Iraq and Iran
          I personally believe with fairly substantial evidence that Zionists were very influential in enacting the designs for the invasion of Iraq, which played a large part as to why they failed so terribly.

          Whether they were critical, i think is a matter of interpretation of the term critical. There is critical from the perspective of those who benefit and then there is critical from the perspective of those who are the practitioners.

          It can not be argued Israel benefitted massively from this war, but it can be argued whether it was sought to be the primary beneficiaries. I would argue that it was, even more so than the US but not in a mutually exclusive fashion.
          One scenario that seems highly plausible is that it is possible that the war was fought for the intention of primarily American interests and secondarily Israeli interests but designed by Zionists who believe that American interests and Israels interests are one and the same. This seems to me one of the only possibilities, precisely because it fits well to the historical record. The visions that were put forth on Iraq were complete fantasy which corresponded closely to the writings of prominent neo-cons (Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, Cheney etc.) When this fantasy was realiized the handling of Iraq moved gradually away from the neo-cons into the hands of the establishment, who are effectively trying to salvage whatever they can out of Iraq.

          With regards to Iran, I can not see how attacking Iran does anything for US power at this point except undermine it. It would be insane beyond belief for the US to attack Iran, if they do that then they will lose the whole place and they know it. The same thing holds true for an Israeli attack on Iran, it would only undermine the US at this point. Iran is a huge country and the US is really unpopular there, Israel even more so. By attacking Iran, it is widely known that it would have the effects of opening the flood gates of Shia into Iraq, where the US would quickly lose its occupation.

          I want to address something you said earlier

          “Neither of those (Lebanon and Osirik) precisely fit US strategic interests at the time, but they helped create the impression of an aggressive, unpredictable Israeli state, which is important to keeping the Arabs generally intimidated. The Egypt invasion of 1956 didn’t serve US interests either, tho it definitely served British and French interests, and the ’67 and ’73 victories served US interests by sullying the Nasser legacy”

          1) 1973 was considered a massive defeat both by Israel and the US, this evetually led them to concessions. 2) The surrounding Arab states did not have to wait till the 1980’s to see Israel as an aggressive, unpredictable state. This much was widely understood in the 1930’s, except for the US left who still look at the pre-state Zionists with dreamy eyes. Furthermore Israel’s alliance with the Brits and the French served its own interests. For the previous 8 years Israel had been engaging in border wars, this is where the Qibya massacre came about. The pretext was terrorism, Israel had established as policy the prevention of return of refugees, which created natural antagonism which was then used as a pretext for expansionism. From Israel’s standpoint the 56 and the 67 wars should be looked at from this context. If you want to read more about it, you should read Israel’s Sacred Terrorism by Livia Rokach, which is a study based on Moshe Sharett’s personal diary.


          PS: According to the theory that domestic constiuencies can not be effective in determining policy, the Christian Zionists shouldn’t have any effect because in addition to not being the vague notion of imperialism (yes, that says imperialism) they are almost exclusively working class or poor people. Yet if this is the case then why has there been such frequent mention of them recently by those who have stridently denied the effectiveness of Jewish Organizations for decades (Chomsky, Bennis, Zunes). I dont think its fair question to ask you, cause I dont think I have ever seen you bait the evangelicals , but it is kinda strange, right?

          1. We have nothing more to talk about, Zaid
            There you go again. I never said Israel’s alliance with the British and French didn’t serve its own perceived interests. (Is there any other posible explanation for it?) You are incapable of either understanding my argument or arguing honestly. I’m not even interested in which at this point.

            I certainly don’t think a bunch of working-class evangelical dupes of the Republican machine are at all “influential” in setting policy beyond their local school boards. (Which is bad enough, mind you.)

            So you think Washington “knows” that aggression against Iran will only cause them to “lose the whole place”, yet is prepared to do so soley because of the “influence” of those nefarious Jews? I guess that must be because imperialism is only a “vague notion” to you.

            You have just acknowledged that your worldview is not informed by an analysis of political economy, but a quest to isolate “influential” agents that are corrupting the system.

            ‘Bye, Zaid.

            1. Political Economy
              I actually happen to have a sound eduucation in Economics, also in Risk Management. I understand that the Military Industrial Complex stands to gain from any form of violence. The system is already corrupted, but in different ways. For starters, the Iraq Occupation could have been really easy for the United States, but the people who managed and architected this invasion were completely incompetant, so much so that they created the resistance to the occupation within weeks. From the assendence of Ahmad Chalabi to use of Lt. Jay Gardner to de-Bathefication of the army to the intelligence cookbooks, all of these were decisions that were made by the appointed Likud-niks in the DoD. This is not to say that it wouldnt have been done by Clinton or Eisenhower establishments, rather its saying that the way it was done was exemplary of who the practioners were. And in the case of the Iraq war it did not seem that risk or doubt was an issue that they ever took into account. It was an excercise of profound ignorance and arrogance to which the Likudniks shockingly still brag about. The system is surely bad enough too not need these individuals, but that doesnt mean these people dont exist as well and are effective in pushing their way through the system for their own interests, which may not necessarily coincide with the rest of entrenched power. This is the context in which political infighting occurs, not in mutually exclusive universes of imperialism vs. lobbying.

            2. Whineberg vs. Zaid
              Whineberg reminds me of left friends of my parents who were radically active in every anti-racist and anti-imperialist issue of their day (which was several decades ago) but who on the issue of Israel and Palestine became transformed into the Jewish equivalent of Afrikaners.

              Although 35 years have passed and it is no longer possible to deny Israel’s crimes and Palestinian victimization in left Jewish circles, fundamentally there has been little change in the core belief among the overwhelming majority of otherwise progressive Jews, that to place the primary blame for Israel’s actions on its leaders and their Jewish supporters is to replicate the historic scapegoating of Jews. as exemplified by Whineberg’s opening comments on my article. And scapegoating of Jews is, of course, a classic example of anti-semitism.

              I have long ago stopped arguing with such as Whineberg to whom observable facts on this issure are irrelevant. What I would recommend as a prescription for Mr. Whineberg is that he take a trip to both Israel and Occupied Palestine and after seeing what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinians he should then speak with a number of anti-Zionist Jewish activists in Israel, lawyers, professors, journalists, professionals and get their informed opinions on the situation. These Israelis, whose contact information I would happily provide him, have not been saddled by the baggage that clearly prevents the majority of American Jews of which Whineberg is more representative than he might think from thinking clearly on the subject and acknowledging the reality of the situation and the true power relationships.

              Short of that, it would be good to have a public debate on this issue. I just gave a speech in Houston on the power of AIPAC and the process, beginning at the grassroots, in which it brilliantly and openly seduces local officials to Israel’s cause by inviting them first to AIPAC lunches and dinners and then local Jewish federations and organizations provide them with expense paid trips to Israel where they meet with the prime minister, defense minister, go to Yad Vashem, Massada, etc., and come back in the lobby’s pocket.

              It is from this group of people that the next generation of congress derives and even if most of them don’t get that far, they will insure that their local community will be supportive of Israel’s interests. If the whole operation was not directed towards maintaining the domination of Israel over the Palestinians and the region, in general, one would have to admire it for the smooth and effective organization which such otherwise well-meaning Jews such as Whineberg and Chomsky provide priceless cover, like in the Mastercard ads.

              1. Talk about “shit”
                Still playing the same old move-the-goalpost game. I couldn’t agree more that “the primary blame for Israel’s actions” belongs with “its leaders and [to a lesser extent] their Jewish supporters.” Who else would it belong to? I just don’t think “Israel’s actions” include bending the American empire to its will. I oppose the occupation, and always have since I was old enough to even be aware of it. I have devoted gobs of space in this newsletter and gobs of time on WBAI to exposing Israeli land-theft on the West Bank. I loan a voice to groups such as JATO who support an aid cut-off and sanctions against Israel. And while I think Jews have a right to live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (just like they have a right to live anywhere else), I feel absolutely no loyalty to any entity known as “Israel.” I reject the notion of a “Jewish state,” just like I reject the notion that my own country, the USA, should be an Anglo or “English-only” state. I think it is morally abhorrant that there is a Right of Return for Jews who have only a mythical and religious tie to the land of Palestine at a distance of 2,000 years, but not for Palestinian refugees or their children or gandchildren. I can’t let a Passover seder go by without a wry comment at the “next year in Jerusalem” passage.

                But for you guys, I am “the Jewish equivalent of an Afrikaner.”

                Learn some new tricks already, willya?

                1. Whineberg whines on
                  Since this thread began with Whineberg’s accusation that I was scapegoating Jews with my article on Noam Chomsky, a charge for which he provided not an iota of substance, he is obviously going to great lengths to maintain his credibility. If he read my last post carefully, he would recognize that folks in his category, i.e., anyone who would use such an allegation in lieu of intellectual argument, have advanced from the Afrikaner stage of the 70s to the more sophisticated positions that he holds today.

                  Now, granted that he actually means all of the statements in his reply to me, I would be interested to know his response to the following questions. All of his negative responses should be explained.

                  1) Does he support stopping, not suspending, all forms of financial and military assistance to Israel and making all forms of investment, private, as well as public, illegal?

                  2) Does he support the boycott of Israeli products and institutions, such as the new academic boycott?

                  3) Does he believe that AIPAC should be legally obliged to register as an agent of a foreign government?

                  4) Does he believe that those who argue that the war in Iraq was launched, whether mistakenly or not, in Israel’s behalf, are anti-semitic?

                  5) Does he believe that AIPAC controls the votes of Congress on issues affecting Israel and Palestine?

                  6) Does he believe that those who describe Congress as “Israeli Occupied Territory” are anti-semitic?

                  7) If he answers “Yes,” to $4, #5 and #6, he should exlain why it is easier to criticize the US president in Congress than it is to criticize the prime minister of Israel?

                  This will give us a better picture of what Whineberg really thinks.

                  1. “Intellectual arguments”
                    Using the word “obvious” in lieu of any argument at all is an “intellectual argument”?

                    1-3: The answer is “yes, but”, and the “but” is that I don’t trust the intentions of many of those raising such demands when they also argue that Israel “controls” U.S. foreign policy, and never seem to get so hot under the collar about U.S. subsidy of ethnic cleansing by Indonesia, Turkey, Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Algeria, Croatia, Nepal (none of which receive nearly as much U.S. aid as Israel, I acknowledge, but still…).

                    4: This is a weasel question. Of course the Pentagon “Jewish cabal” thought the war was in Israel’s interst. But yes, the argument that the war was “critically” or fundamentally “in Israel’s behalf” is an anti-Semitic one. 5: No. 6: Absolutely. 7: I find it equally easy to criticize both. What, I’m cutting slack for Sharon now? Do you read this newsletter?

                    Oy vey, I should have known better than to end with a question…

                    1. Whineberg’s Jewish Defense League
                      As far as I am concerned, what Whineberg or any other member of the left JDL (for that’s what it is) has to say about the atrocities committed by Israel is irrelevant and merely a diversion to get folks to look away from whose hands guide the the controls. As long as people believe that Israel is acting in US interests, that Congress supports Israel because Israel defends US interests while disregarding Jewish influence, as far as I am concerned, he is working for the other side since the evidence supporting my case is overwhelming and all this pitiful whiner can come up with is a Foxmanlike accusation of “anti-semitism” which if patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, the charge of anti-semitism, thanks to the likes of Whineberg, has become the first.

                      The “buts,” added to the whiner’s response to the first three questions, makes these essentially “no” answers, because if he thinks I am an anti-semite or a self-hating Jews, no doubt he will have the same opinion of anyone who answers yes to those questions and acts on them.

                      Frankly, I prefer David Horowitz to Whineberg because while the former may be a fascist pig, he doesn’t attempt to disguise himself.. I don’t know what Whineberg is, but I do know what he pretends to be while doing damage control for Israel.

                      I think my next article will be about the Whineberg-like segment of the faux left and his comments in this exchange will serve as a classic example of the genre. My tentative title will be “Rabbi Kahane Move Over; There’s a new Jewish Defense League.”