IRmep

Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"

 

 

 

The Israel Lobby & American Policy Conference 2019 - 3/22/2019

 

Poll: Only 22.2% in US Sympathize More With Israelis -  Despite Gallup claims, most Americans have "no opinion" - 03/13/2019

On March 6 Gallup claimed 59% of Americans sympathized more with the Israelis and only 21% sympathized more with the Palestinians. The poll was part of a multi-question survey fielded by telephone. Gallup’s question was, "In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?"

Gallup said this high purported level of sympathy for Israel was nevertheless below its 64% peak reported by Gallup in 2018. According to Gallup, US sympathy for Israel has now reached its lowest level since 2009.

For the second year IRmep fielded Gallup’s precisely worded sympathy question through the Google Surveys online platform between March 6-8 and once again received vastly different results.

IRmep Poll: In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?

Source: IRmep representative poll of 1,003 American adults through Google Surveys on March 6-8.

A majority of Americans, 52.5%, far from expressing overwhelming – but declining – sympathy for Israel, claim that they hold "No opinion" on the matter. Only 22.2% of Americans said they sympathized more with the Israelis. This amount is less than the total number (25.3%) of Americans answering "Neither" "Both" and "Palestinians. The "Palestinians" response was 6.8%.

Full report at Antiwar.com Polling data IRmep poll page

 

The real reason Congress is targeting Ilhan Omar -  (Hint: it's about the Israel lobby) 03/07/2019

 

Do Members of Congress Take Too Many Private Trips to Israel With AIPAC?
41% now want their representatives to visit Palestinians - 03/01/2019

One of every three members of Congress boarding a jetliner on a privately-funded all-expense paid trip overseas has Israel as their final destination. Only one out of a hundred ever visits Palestinian territories as a final destination.

Analysis of Gift Travel Filings made to the US House of Representatives Office of the Clerk over the past half-decade reveals Israel is far and away their top foreign destination. House of Representatives members made nearly 1,400 trips to Israel, while total subsidized visits to foreign countries other than Israel were 2,500.

  Member of Congress Privately Funded Foreign Trips – 2014-2018  
   
  Source: Travel Reports from the office of Clerk  

The vast majority of Israel trips are funded by the American Israel Education Foundation which raises tax-exempt contributions from pro-Israel donors and Jewish federations. They typically last eight days and cost $10,000. AEIF is a corporation created in 1988 by the domestically-registered lobbying group AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In 2009 66% of AEIF’s board was comprised of AIPAC directors. Since AIEF is merely a lobbying funding conduit with no employees, whenever members of Congress travel to Israel, they are accompanied instead by staffers from AIPAC. In 2017 AIEF reported raising $60 million in revenue and expending $57 million. Another sole-purpose entity set up by AIPAC in 1984 is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy which works to portray policies favored by the Israeli government as being in the American interest.

Full report at Antiwar.com

 

Speakers at "The Israel Lobby & American Policy Conference 2019 " on March 22

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- “The Israel Lobby & American Policy 2019 Conference” takes place all day on March 22 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and will feature the following speakers:

Susan Abulhawa is a Palestinian novelist, poet, essayist and founder of Playgrounds for Palestine. Her keynote speech topic is “Israel: More than just Apartheid.”

Ali Abunimah is a journalist and the co-founder and executive director of the widely acclaimed The Electronic Intifada. He will discuss “What does a censored undercover news investigation reveal about the Israel lobby in America?”

Saqib Ali served as a Democratic Party member of the Maryland House of Delegates and will address “Why I’m suing Maryland to protect my constitutional right to boycott Israel.”

Kathy Drinkard is a retired teacher and elementary school counselor, and pro-Palestine activist who will address “How the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) is preventing Israel affinity organizations from politicizing K-12 textbooks.”

Walter Hixson is a distinguished professor of history at the University of Akron. He will discuss key findings from his forthcoming book, Israel’s Armor: The Israel Lobby and the First Generation of the Palestine Conflict.

Martin F. McMahon is the plaintiffs’ attorney in the landmark legal action against Israeli settlers and their American financiers. He explains what follows his Palestinian and American plaintiffs’ recent legal victory in the DC Court of Appeals.

James Metz co-founded Richmonders for Peace in Israel-Palestine and will speak about “Why VCHR is taking on the Virginia Israel Advisory Board.”

James North is a contributing editor at Mondoweiss and will examine “How The New York Times rigs news on Israel Palestine.”

Paul Noursi is co-director of the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) and will discuss “What is the VCHR?”

Brad Parker is senior adviser, policy and advocacy, at Defense for Children International and will cover “What lessons can activists take away from the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act?”

Grant Smith is research director at IRmep and will speak about “U.S. foreign aid and the Israeli nuclear weapons program.”

Register online at https://IsraelLobbyandAmericanPolicy.org or https://israellobbycon.eventbrite.com

Students may apply for free tickets and stipends at https://israellobbyandamericanpolicy.org/Students_Stipends/

News media may apply for press credentials at https://israellobbyandamericanpolicy.org/Press_credentials/

Ticketholders can attend the main program, ideas fair, receive a box lunch and an invitation to the post-conference reception!

IsraelLobbyCon is solely sponsored by the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep).

 

IRmep Poll: 41% want members of the U.S Congress to visit Palestinian territories - 02/26/2019

When asked, 41.2% of American adults recently polled said members making visits to Israel should also visit “territories where Palestinians expelled during Israel’s creation live.”

Question: Should members of the US Congress taking educational trips to Israel also visit the territories where Palestinians expelled during Israel's creation live?

Source: IRmep representative poll of 1,014 American adults through Google Surveys on February 19-23 with a root mean square of 4.7%.

Though not as statistically relevant as the overall poll results, demographic filtering reveals younger and older adults are generally more supportive of Palestinian territory visits. In the 18-24 category, 45.7% favored such visits while in the 25-34 age group 46% were supportive of Congress members visiting Palestine. 55-64 year-olds and 65+ category also had higher favorability to the idea. Other IRmep Polls

Poll: 75% of Americans Oppose Outlawing Boycotts of Israel  - Some fighting back over freedom of speech - 02/12/2019

New legislation passed in the Senate seeks to legalize the right of individual state governments to force American companies to certify they won’t engage in economic boycotts of Israel as a condition for receiving government contracts.

The "Combating BDS Act of 2019" is embedded as Title IV within the ‘‘Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019’’ (S.1). If signed into law, S.1 would allow states to withhold government funding from entities unwilling to certify they will not boycott Israel. Most existing state anti-BDS measures require pledge forms that contractors must sign as a condition for winning or renewing contracts

But only 22.5% of American adults favor anti-boycott measures. A new representative IRmep poll conducted through Google Surveys finds that 74.9% of Americans oppose forcing government contractors to forswear boycotts.

Question: Should Congress force American businesses seeking government contracts to first sign a pledge that they won’t boycott Israel for its human rights record and military occupation?

Full report at Antiwar.com   Polling data   IRmep poll page

What Israel lobbyists have been getting away with for years - 2/11/2019

Flashpoints host Dennis Bernstein and IRmep's Grant F. Smith discuss the Twitter and media frenzy unleashed by Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar's brief tweet about the Israel lobby and money. How did AIPAC reconstitute after the Department of Justice ordered it to register as an Israeli foreign agent? How does AIPAC wield power and influence? Why does establishment media do such a poor job reporting on Israel Palestine and the lobby? What cracks are starting to appear?

Full podcast audio

 

IRmep Lawsuit: US nuclear "policy substitution" for Israel undermines NPT, AECA and bilks US taxpayers - 1/25/2019

On January 17, IRmep filed a 59-page brief (PDF HTML) in a lawsuit demanding release of a series of secret presidential letters promising not to force Israel to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or publicly discuss Israel's nuclear weapons program.

The brief contextualizes a formerly top-secret 1969 cross-agency study about what U.S. policy toward Israel’s nuclear weapons should be. Unanimous consensus between the Departments of Defense, State and intelligence community was that Israel should be compelled to sign the NPT in order to be allowed to purchase conventional U.S. military weapons. Government agencies correctly believed that if Israel was allowed to possess nuclear weapons there would never be peace in the Middle East. National security adviser Henry Kissinger also grudgingly revealed intelligence in the summary that Israelis had stolen U.S. government nuclear material to build their arsenal atomic weapons. (1969 NSC papers on the Israeli nuclear weapons program filed as Exhibit A PDF)

Going against the consensus advice, on September 26, 1969, President Nixon adopted the Israeli policy of “ambiguity” (never confirming or denying Israel’s nuclear weapons program) in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. US presidents through Donald Trump have continued the Israeli "ambiguity" policy in a series of letters written under intense lobbying by the Israeli government.


According to the IRmep legal filing, this policy has perpetuated a $222.8 billion dollar fraud against U.S. taxpayers through non-enforcement of Arms Export Control Act bans on U.S. foreign aid—absent specific waivers—to known foreign nuclear powers that have not signed the NPT. The IRmep filing also debunks a series of assertions and disinformation filed in an affidavit by the National Security Council

On January 18, 2019 the Department of Justice filed a motion to indefinitely stop the lawsuit from proceeding until the end of the government shutdown, citing lack of funds to mount a legal defense. (PDF)

Listen to a discussion about next steps for this critical IRmep litigation and our other lawsuits on the Scott Horton Show (MP3).

IRmep Stream: Evidence of Israel's undue influence: Joshua Geltzer, former Obama NSC, asked to respond

 

NSC Swears US policy on Israel’s Nukes Is Legit - DOJ argues using secrecy to cover up wrongdoing is permissible - 01/15/2019

The NSC and NARA are attempting to dismiss a lawsuit seeking release of the letters by claiming the very fact of the existence (or nonexistence) of such letters would inherently be classified – and that therefore no search for responsive documents need be performed. Since FOIA courts readily defer to agency affidavits asserting irreparable harm to national security – provided such affidavits are specific enough – the NSC also provided a written justification.

Fitzgerald claimed that confirming or denying the existence of the letters could result in "sowing doubt about the US commitment to the Nonproliferation Treaty…eliminating strategic ambiguity…revealing information shared with an expectation of confidentiality; undermining US government policy limiting the potential for an arms race in a particular region…suggesting differential treatment; and revealing the relationship (or absence of such a relationship) with foreign intelligence agencies...."

...However, citing a dubious precedent, the Department of Justice, counsel to NARA in the court battle, argued that even if the letters are being kept secret to cover up wrongdoing, such secrecy is allowed. "There is no legal support for the conclusion that illegal activities cannot produce classified documents…history teaches the opposite." The cited precedent was the withholding of illegal FBI surveillance tapes of Dr. Martin Luther King from assassination researchers in 1980. In that case the DOJ managed to win a court order sealing the records for an additional fifty years since they might "compromise legitimate secrecy needs."
Full report at Antiwar.com  Lawsuit for presidential files

FBI and CIA’s ‘Duty To Warn’ Victims of Israeli Nuclear Smuggling - $500 million Pennsylvania NUMEC toxic cleanup restarts - 12/27/2018

...That NUMEC was a front operation, following in the footsteps of Israel’s 1940s-era conventional weapons smuggling operations from the US such as Martech, Service Airways, and the Sonneborn Institute, is well-known by the FBI and CIA. Both have released extensive archives of intelligence reports and surveillance photographs of Israeli conventional weapons smuggling from the United States through overseas networks. But both FBI and CIA have fought attempts at full disclosure of clandestine Israeli nuclear weapons related activities in the US, ostensibly because such smuggling has been unpunished and unabated. It is also US policy, under penalty of prosecution, that no federal agency may admit that Israel has nuclear weapons or release information about its program.



May 5, 1969 FBI wiretap summary of Zalman Shapiro discussing a toxic spill at NUMEC (PDF)

A February 2015 lawsuit seeking all of the CIA’s "thousands" of files about NUMEC was ended when the presiding judge refused to allow adding the US Department of Justice – which has worn many hats in the NUMEC affair – as an additional defendant. However some CIA documents were released during the court battle, revealing how the CIA had refused to cooperate with two separate FBI investigations of NUMEC, preferring to cover up damning information obtained from clandestine CIA operations in Israel confirming the diversion.

Documents grudgingly released by the FBI so far reveal the intelligence community likely knows that cost-cutting at NUMEC to achieve its smuggling aims was what made it such a toxic polluter. On May 5, 1969, Shapiro discussed a major toxic spill caused by such shortcuts, most likely with David Lowenthal, since the acquisition of other US companies was also part of the conversation. Shapiro ordered NUMEC workers – who often worked with no protective gear of any kind – to dampen down the spill with picks and shovels to avoid the spread of toxic dust and rain runoff carrying away the waste. Shapiro’s call was wiretapped by the FBI.
..

Full report at Antiwar.com     NUMEC document archive      Lawsuit for CIA files

Should Americans Believe Gallup Polling Data? A new look inside Gallup's massive US Mint fraud - 12/17/2018

The Gallup Organization was criminally charged in 2012 under the False Claims and Procurement Integrity Acts. The False Claims Act is the primary tool the U.S. government uses, leveraging insider whistle-blowers, to combat contracting fraud against the government. An uncontested 57-page complaint (PDF) reveals that Gallup intentionally delivered deceptive data to the US Mint, the US Department of State, and DHS (FEMA) to maximize profits on a series of no-bid contracts. Among other acts alleged in the complaint were keeping two sets of books and making job offers to federal employees in positions to renew Gallup’s lucrative government contracts.

Gallup’s history and a review of Gallup’s actual US Mint work product – obtained from the US Treasury under the Freedom of Information Act and made available for the first time online – reveals Gallup’s willingness to secretly engage in fraud to protect lucrative serialized polling contracts. This company culture should raise questions about Gallup polls in categories where there is no similar polling for verification purposes or where Gallup results are inexplicably wildly at odds – over long time periods – with other pollsters.

Full report at Antiwar.com        "Inside Gallup's U.S. Mint Fraud: Freedom of Information Act files

34% of Americans Believe US Elites Exploited 9/11 for Gain - They want government officials to be criminally prosecuted - 12/04/2018

...How do most Americans feel about this immense diversion of wealth and carnage? When asked, "Brown University says the ‘global war on terror’ caused 480,000 deaths, uprooted 21 million & cost more than $6 trillion. Did US elites improperly exploit 9/11 for gain?" a surprisingly high percentage – roughly a third – of Americans replied that "Yes, elites did exploit 9/11 for gain."

Question #1: Brown University says the "global war on terror" caused 480,000 deaths, uprooted 21 million and cost more than $6 trillion. Did US elites improperly exploit 9/11 for gain?

Source: 11/26-11/28 IRmep poll of 1,000 US adults through Google Surveys. RMSE 6.1%. Raw data and demographic filters are available at Google.

Full report at Antiwar.com

Israel and the Trillion-Dollar 2005-2018 US Intelligence Budget - Zero Days: US may have spent "billions" on cyber warfare to placate Israel - 11/07/2018

...The development of secret offensive cyber warfare programs targeting Iran are included in MIP and NIP budgets. According to the 2016 documentary Zero Days by director Alex Gibney, Israel’s incessant public threats to attack Iran coupled with intense secret demands for cyber warfare targeting Iran were the catalyst for massive new US black budget spending.

Former NSA Director (1999-2005) and CIA Director (2006-2009) Michael Hayden claimed in Zero Days that the goal of any Israeli air attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be to drag the United States into war.

"Our belief was that if they [Israel] went on their own, knowing the limitations…No, they’re a very good air force, alright? But it’s small and the distances are great, and the targets dispersed and hardened, alright? If they would have attempted a raid on a military plane, we would have been assuming that they were assuming we would finish that which they started. In other words, there would be many of us in government thinking that the purpose of the raid wasn’t to destroy the Iranian nuclear system, but the purpose of the raid was to put us [the United States] at war with Iran."

Iran was and continues to be a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and remains under comprehensive IAEA monitoring and inspections. But to appease Israel and to demonstrate to its US lobby that the administration was working diligently to preempt the development of Iranian nuclear weapons, President Obama ordered the US intelligence community to work with Israel’s Mossad and Unit 8200 to take out Iranian nuclear facilities.

The "Olympic Games" cyber warfare weapons developed and launched against Iran temporarily set back Natanz centrifuge cascades. But according to Zero Days, Israel’s suspected overzealous derivative uses of the computer worm created for the task (identified as "Stuxnet" by the civilian antivirus industry) spread it throughout global computer networks. That gave countries such as Russia, North Korea, China and Iran the capability to replicate and turn their own versions of the cyber weapons against western targets. Full report at Antiwar.com

Virginians Oppose Taxpayer Subsidies for Israeli Business Projects - VCHR - 10/23/2018

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A plurality of Virginians (38.1%) favor ending taxpayer funding for Israeli business ventures in the commonwealth according to a Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) poll fielded by Google Surveys.

32.7% of Virginians were neutral about discontinuing subsidies, while 29.2% disagreed. The representative September 22 to October 4 poll of 2,110 Virginians is available online from Google.


VCHR, a coalition of 16 organizations representing over 8,000 Virginians, is concerned unconditional funding for Israeli business projects fails to consider Israel's worsening human rights record and disengagement from peace efforts. In 2018 Israeli forces have shot, wounded and killed hundreds of mostly unarmed Palestinian protesters.  VCHR news release  VCHR VIAB campaign  VCHR VIAB files

Israel: The World's Nuclear Renegade - 10/10/2018

Flashpoints host Dennis Bernstein and IRmep's Grant F. Smith discuss secret presidential pledges to Israel designed to subvert Arms Export Control Act enforcement. Israel is the only nuclear power on Earth that enforces a vow of silence on U.S. presidents from both political parties. The Washington DC-based Institute for Research on Middle Eastern Policy has filed suit in federal court to make public letters that the New Yorker magazine says every president since Bill Clinton has signed, promising to never publicly discuss Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons or to pressure Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We spoke with Grant Smith, director of the Institute, and asked him, "How could it be that, for two generations, all discussion of Israeli nukes has been forbidden in official Washington?"

Full podcast audio Nuclear section only (MP3)

Suit to Reveal Presidential Letters on Israeli Nuclear Arsenal - 10/8/2018

The Israelis have illegally collected more than $100 billion in US aid in violation of laws against giving money to nations that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation agreement, said Grant Smith, of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. The Institute has filed suit to make public letters it believes exist in the Clinton and George W. Bush presidential libraries, agreeing never to discuss the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in public. Podcast audio.

Full podcast audio Nuclear section only (MP3)

 IRmep sues NARA for Secret Clinton and Bush Nuclear Pledges to Israel - 9/19/2018

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, IRmep announces a lawsuit has been filed against the National Archives and Records Administration demanding immediate release of presidential letters held by the George W. Bush and William J. Clinton presidential libraries.

The New Yorker in June reported Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama and Donald Trump all issued letters at the beginning of their terms promising never to pressure the Israeli government into signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or publicly discuss Israel's nuclear weapons program.

IRmep believes the government of Israel sought the guarantees in order to preempt Arms Export Control Act AECA limitations on U.S. aid to foreign countries with clandestine nuclear weapons programs.

Defendant NARA refused to release the letters to IRmep under the Freedom of Information Act claiming that to even confirm or deny their existence is a classified national security matter. Obama and Trump administration records are unavailable under the Presidential Records Act and FOIA.
Full news release      Lawsuit web page
 

Americans Would Limit Aid to Nuclear Israel - State and Energy Depts fight to maintain secrecy - 9/17/2018

Most Americans would place limitations on U.S. aid to Israel under laws triggered by its nuclear weapons program. When told the CIA believed Israel has nuclear weapons, 54.8% of Americans agreed that Arms Export Control Act limitations to the non-signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) should apply.

Question: Arms Export Control Act law limits foreign aid to countries with nuclear weapons that haven’t signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. CIA says Israel has nuclear weapons.

 

The representative poll was submitted as evidence (PDF) in an ongoing legal battle to force the Departments of State and Energy to release WNP-136. WNP-136 is titled “Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability.” It functions as a secret gag order preventing federal agency employees and contractors from publicly discussing or releasing US government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. The Department of Justice attorney arguing for the defendants had suggested that there may not be much public interest in whether the presiding judge reviews the secret gag order privately in chambers for possible release. The poll results indicate high interest in the broader implications of the lawsuit. Full report from Antiwar.com  Poll data   Legal filings in the Center for Policy & Law

Treasury Sanctions Foreigners for Israel - Will Israel-lobby-captured OTFI sanction Americans? - 08/30/2018

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was ordered to register as an Israeli foreign agent on November 21, 1962 when it was part of the American Zionist Council. AIPAC has never complied with the order, and the Department of Justice has never enforced it. AIPAC’s associated think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) was spun off from AIPAC as a survival tactic during a 1980s FBI investigation into AIPAC over economic espionage that produced America’s worst-performing bilateral trade agreement. Incredibly, decades later both organizations appeared to want to get into law enforcement and were instrumental lobbying President George W. Bush for the 2004 launch of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (OTFI) Treasury unit. (See Washington Institute for Near East Affairs congressional testimony in support of the creation of OTFI to be headed by Stuart Levey)


Although OTFI proclaims it is "safeguarding the financial system against illicit use and combating rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other national security threats," the secretive office has a special blind spot for major terrorism generators, such as tax-exempt money laundering from the United States into illegal Israeli settlements and proliferation financing and weapons technology smuggling into Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons complex.

Full Report at Antiwar.com                        Legal filings in the Center for Policy & Law

Can the US Keep Lying About Israel’s Nukes? - A judge must soon decide - 08/10/2018

Governmental lying by omission involves intentionally leaving out important facts to foster broad popular misconceptions. In 2012 the Obama administration promulgated a gag order in the form of a secrecy classification guideline – WNP-136 (PDF) – banning all federal agency employees and contractors from discussing, writing about, or releasing government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

When two agencies enforcing the gag order received a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015, they released WNP-136 only after redacting most of the content.

Backers of the gag order hope to undermine informed public debate about nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, ongoing illicit transfers of know-how, material and technology from the US to Israel, to maintain a spotlight on Iran as the region’s nuclear proliferation threat as well as quell debate about whether the US is truly a champion of nuclear non-proliferation. But the overarching purpose of WNP-136, curiously titled "Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability," is even more nefarious. The core objective behind WNP-136 is to perpetuate a single massive and ongoing violation of US law.

Since the Symington & Glenn Amendments became law in the mid-1970s, all administrations have faced public pressure to explain why the US gives away the lion’s share of the foreign aid budget to a country has long been known to have a disqualifying secret nuclear weapons program.

Now part of the Arms Export Control Act, the Symington and Glenn amendments demand special protocols for any US aid delivery to non-NPT signatory countries that traffic in nuclear weapons making technologies like Israel is known to do. Recently released CIA files from another lawsuit reveal Senator John Glenn’s intense concern that the Israeli diversion of US nuclear weapons-grade uranium from Apollo, Pennsylvania was not handled with due diligence. Yet, under pressure from the Israel lobby’s campaign finance network, no administration has ever enforced Symington or Glenn’s required protocols toward Israel in publicly known or black-budget aid disbursements. Congress, subject to the same Israel lobby pressures, has similarly ignored its own law when passing massive annual aid giveaways to Israel, even though it has not amended the law to exempt (or retroactively exempt) Israel. One key backer of US aid to Israel, Senator Chuck Schumer, admitted to a reporter on camera that Israel has nuclear weapons.

Instead, Presidents from Gerald Ford through the George H.W. Bush administration simply turned a blind eye toward any Israeli actions triggering Symington & Glenn. Yet this informal cooperation was insufficient to the Israeli government. The New Yorker revealed that beginning with the William Clinton administration, Israeli officials started soliciting and receiving promises to subvert Symington & Glenn in the form of secret presidential letters. Although the Trump administration was reportedly angered by the Israeli pressure campaign for a letter as it worked to reverse Obama’s key programs from Obamacare to the Iran nuclear deal, it has so far not reversed WNP-136. Full report at Antiwar.com Discussion on the Scott Horton Show

Meet VIAB: Virginia's Taxpayer-Funded Israel Lobby - State funding for Israeli companies, politicized textbooks and fighting BDS - 7/31/2018

The Virginia-Israel Advisory Board VIAB has one key difference with scores of privately funded state chambers of commerce created to foster closer economic integration between the United States and Israel while supporting the Israeli government’s policy agenda.

Originally created by an uncodified act in 2001, VIAB has been funded by Commonwealth of Virginia taxpayers. Its charter is to “advise the Governor on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and the State of Israel, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, and general government.” VIAB is a pilot for how Israel can quietly obtain taxpayer funding and official status for networked entities that advance Israel from within key state governments.

According to emails recently released under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act, VIAB’s lofty claims about creating Virginia jobs and mutually beneficial business opportunities faced growing skepticism inside the governor’s office. VIAB also uses state resources to fight Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. BDS is a nonviolent movement to pressure Israel to stop violating Palestinian human rights. VIAB faced intense scrutiny over its handling of funds by the Virginia State Attorney General. Resistance to public scrutiny and oversight led VIAB to lobby for more "independence" from the governor in early 2018. This move sounded alarm bells at another Israel advocacy organization which feared that VIAB could face public backlash. Report at Antiwar.com

Nuclear safeguards expert "unfamiliar" with Israeli diversion of weapons-grade material from US - 07/10/2018

 

Four Presidents Conspired To Give $100 Billion to Israel - Secret White House Letters Buttress Ongoing US Arms Export Control Act Violations - 6/25/2018

The New Yorker staff writer Adam Entous revealed on June 18 that four sitting U.S. presidents beginning with Bill Clinton signed secret letters agreeing never to publicly discuss Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal. According to Entous, President Trump’s aides felt "blindsided" by Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer’s urgent demand to sign a fourth letter. Only a small number of "senior American officials" in the previous three administrations even knew about the existence of such letters. Though said not to specifically mention Israel’s arsenal, Israeli leaders interpret the letters as binding American pledges not to publicly mention Israel’s nuclear weapons or press Israel to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The letters add to growing evidence of a longstanding multifaceted executive and federal agency conspiracy to violate the US Arms Export Control Act on Israel’s behalf.

US Foreign Assistance to Israel Since the Clinton Administration (US Billion)

Source: 2018 GAO report "US Foreign Aid to Israel," MOU commitments, inflation-adjusted, excludes black budgets.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who has FBI-documented personal connections to Israel’s nuclear weapons program smuggling operations – was particularly concerned about newly-elected president Barack Obama. On February 9, 2009, veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas asked if Obama knew "of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons." Obama dodged answering the question before finally replying that he didn’t "want to speculate." Speaking in Prague in April, 2009 Obama called for strengthening the NPT. However, by May 2009, Obama yielded to Israeli pressure and signed an updated version of the secret Israeli gag letter, according to Entous. On September 6, 2012 Obama’s Department of Energy, in consultation with the Department of State, issued a secret directive called "Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability," or WNP-136 making it a crime for any US government employee or contractor to publicly communicate any information – even from the public domain – about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Report at Antiwar.com Audio version at YouTube.

Podcast discussion audio from "Takes on the World" and "The Scott Horton Show"

Americans Oppose Investigating the Gaza Massacre - Because most never heard about it or were misinformed - 5/30/2018

Most Americans would oppose any Trump Administration support for an International Criminal Court investigation into Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinian protesters on May 14. This is because they either never heard about the massacre or received slanted coverage.

Thousands of Palestinian protesters in Gaza gathered in May near a "no-go" zone along an Israeli-built separation fence. They protested the 70th anniversary of the "Nakba" – or expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 from what is now Israel. Throughout "March of Return" protests Israeli snipers shot, killed and severely wounded protesters from behind the safety of protective berms. Palestinian casualties peaked the day Trump administration and Israeli officials celebrated recent U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by opening a brand-new US embassy in the contested city on May 14.

Palestine, a non-member observer to the U.N. since 2012, submitted a referral to the ICC calling on prosecutors to open an investigation into Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Trump administration opposes all such investigations, having returned to the "no daylight" stance preferred by Israel and its US lobby under which administration policies are indistinguishable from policies advanced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley claimed Israel acted "with restraint" in Gaza. The US and Israeli governments, neither a signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC, have repeatedly blocked such UN accountability measures. When polled, a majority of Americans also oppose any ICC investigation into the massacre.

Question: Should the US support an International Criminal Court investigation into the May 14 deaths of more than 60 Palestinian protesters and the wounding of another 2,771 in Gaza?

Source: IRmep poll of 1,504 US adults through Google Surveys May 23-25, RMSE 5.5%. Raw data and demographic filters at Google.

Report at Antiwar.com

Israel Uses Intelligence Cutouts To Target the US: From JCPOA to FTA – cutouts can cost the US billions - 5/11/2018

An Israeli intelligence entity called "Black Cube" targeted Obama administration officials such as former foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes and outside experts, such as the National Iranian American Council’s Trita Parsi, that advocated for passage of the JCPOA known as the "Iran nuclear deal." Though most media reports reference Black Cube’s self-designation as a "private intelligence company" while noting it employs former Mossad officers, there are reasons to doubt it is entirely unconnected from the Israeli government, which wanted to undermine the JCPOA. Israeli spy Shai Masot, secretly recorded in an Al Jazeera undercover video, freely admitted Israel was setting up just such private corporations to clandestinely do its bidding. While not solely responsible for the Trump Administration’s decision to ditch the JCPOA, Black Cube’s intelligence operation clearly tried to inch the US closer to open military conflict with Iran, which could cost countless lives and trillions of dollars.

Black Cube’s covert operations targeting the JCPOA and previously as a gun-for-hire against Harvey Weinstein’s victims at first glance seem risky, reckless and rushed. Blind offers of cash for consulting on "movie projects" via email solicitations, using thin LinkedIn profiles and Wix generated websites. Recorded phone calls to incriminate or blackmail unknowing victims. Why use such a clumsy foreign cutout to target mostly U.S.-based American citizens?

The answer is simple, Black Cube as an overseas cutout can be folded up or reconstituted in the extremely unlikely event of criminal investigation. It is disposable. It therefore provides a thick layer of insulation between the users of potentially illegally obtained information and the gatherer. If Black Cube had managed to gather incriminating information on Parsi or Rhoads via illegally recorded phone calls while either was located in a two-party consent state, Black Cube could still pass the information to friendly recipient journalists and interest groups in the US, eager to trash the JCPOA, and who could not be prosecuted.

Cutouts performing illegal activity for Israel’s US operatives are not new. Rather, cutouts are now a preferred model for Israeli intelligence operations targeting the United States when the stakes are very high. While damage assessments are hard to quantify in most cases, one operation can be precisely calculated every year: cutout Dan Halpern’s economic espionage against US industry has through 2017 cost America precisely $170.72 billion. Report at Antiwar.com

Special "Israel Lobby & American Policy" Conference Edition - May 2018

Top 10 Articles from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:

The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right by Gideon Levy

When and How Did Evangelicals Become Zionists? by Thomas Getman

The Israel Lobby and the U.N. by Ian Williams

Israel Versus Russian Media Influence by Ali Abunimah

CIA and Mossad: Tradeoffs in the Formation of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship by Jefferson Morley

An Overview of the Israel Lobby Agenda by Grant F. Smith

Is the U.S. Ramping up its Military Presence in Syria and Preparing to Attack Iran for Israel? by Lawrence Wilkerson

Challenging the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Pushing Back Against Jewish Exceptionalist Politics by Barry Trachtenberg
 
How and Why the Israel Lobby Is Suppressing Free Speech and Academic Freedom on College Campuses by Rabab Abdulhadi

How Support for Israel’s Violations of International Law Puts the U.S. on the Wrong Side of History by Noura Erakat


Why Gallup overstates American sympathy for Israel: False claims and outdated methodologies fuel policy disasters - 4/18/2018

Pollster Gallup has claimed since the year 2001 that the majority of Americans (averaging 59% between 2001-2018) hold much greater sympathy for Israelis than for Palestinians (averaging 17%) “in the Middle East situation.” Gallup releases its yearly results with titillating headlines, such as “Americans Remain Staunchly in Israel’s Corner” (2018 poll) and "Israel Maintains Positive Image in U.S." (2017 poll).

Gallup’s results are uncritically amplified in mainstream and Israel partisan news outlets as the single most reliable indicator of Israel’s ongoing high standing among Americans. Gallup also combines "sympathy" with other polling results to distill policy implications such as "Americans would lean more on the Palestinians to make peace." Gallup hasn’t missed a single year asking the sympathy question in surveys. This means Gallup alone can confidently tout historic high points, as it did in its 2018 survey results claiming "favorable views of Israel at 17-year high...." But how accurate are Gallup polls? Why did the company recently pay $10 million for making "false claims?" How does Gallup compare to Pew Research? Do Gallup and others asking key public policy questions use state-of-the-art polling technology? How do Americans respond when "non-response" and "modal" bias are mitigated? Report at Antiwar.com   Poll page with IRmep's results and raw data on the same question.   Scott Horton Show podcast

Israel advocacy groups demand questionable changes to Virginia textbooks - 4/16/2018

A consortium of state and national Israel advocacy groups has sent a detailed set of requested changes to textbooks and teaching guides used in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Requested changes include:

1. Deletion of references to Israel “occupying” territories captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and substituting “controlled.” International conventions clearly outline the responsibility of occupying powers and the illegality of collective punishment and population transfers.
2. Changes to maps to recognize Israel’s declared “annexation” of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The U.S. and most other countries do not officially recognize Israeli annexation of either territory.
3. Substitution of references to “occupied territories” to “captured areas.”
4. Substitution of references to “Jewish settlers” and “settlements” with “building of homes and communities.”
5. Deletion of a lesson reviewing a video documentary by Iranian-American religious studies scholar, author, producer and television host Reza Aslan.
6. Deletion of an activity based on reading the biography and work of Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi.
7. Substitution of an editorial cartoon titled “The Mideast Peace Game Rules” with a cartoon of an Arab suicide terrorist holding a “Road Map to Peace” game hostage.

Israel Lobby Archive documents and analysis           PR Newswire release

IRmep lawsuit challenges secret gag order on the Israeli nuclear weapons program - 4/6/2018

Classification bulletin WNP-136, which took effect on September 6, 2012, forbids covered persons from making any comment on U.S. government information or information in the public domain about Israel's nuclear weapons program. The classification bulletin was first used against former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear policy specialist James Doyle after he wrote the following sentence in an article titled "Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?" which had been security cleared by his employer and published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"Nuclear weapons did not deter Egypt and Syria from attacking Israel in 1973, Argentina from attacking British territory in the 1982 Falklands War or Iraq from attacking Israel during the 1991 Gulf War."

After an unknown congressional staffer read the article and demanded a review, it was referred to classification officials for a second review. Doyle's pay was then cut, his home computer searched, and he was fired.

IRmep alleges in the lawsuit that the American public has been harmed by being kept in the dark about U.S. policy toward the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Important questions include:

  1. Should Israel’s nuclear weapons facilities be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency?

  2. Where does Israel dispose of the toxic waste its program generates?

  3. Is the U.S. still vigorously investigating (though not prosecuting) diversions of materials and technologies to Israel, as it did in the past over nuclear triggers (The Milchan-Netanyahu krytron smuggling ring), weapons grade uranium (NUMEC), oscilloscopes and other weapons development technology diversions (Telogy LLC)?

  4. Are Israel’s nuclear weapons used to coerce the U.S. into making adverse policy decisions?

  5. Besides apartheid South Africa, has Israel offered any of its nuclear weapons for sale to other foreign countries?

  6. Has Israel mounted nuclear weapons onto its German-supplied Dolphin-class submarines?

Get more information about this lawsuit at IRmep's Center for Policy & Law

In 1974 CIA Claimed Israeli Nuclear Missiles Could Hit Neighbors: Newly released details link Israel’s highly enriched uranium to Pennsylvania plant - 3/19/2018

The Central Intelligence Agency believed that by 1974 Israel could strike all of its bordering countries with nuclear-tipped two-stage Jericho missiles. Israel was viewed by CIA as a proliferation threat via sales of turn-key nuclear weapons systems to its close allies such as apartheid South Africa. This was corroborated in year 2012 news reports revealing Israeli sales contracts. Although the now-defunct Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) demurred, the CIA also believed that a substantial quantity of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) was diverted from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) in Apollo, Pennsylvania to Dimona for weapons production. These stunning new revelations are contained in the top-secret report Special National Intelligence Estimate, "Prospects for Further Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons" otherwise known as the 1974 SNIE.

Get more information at Antiwar.com

The Israel Lobby and American Policy 2018 - Full Conference Video Playlist - 3/2/2018

 

Also see C-SPAN2 full coverage of "The Israel Lobby & American Policy 2018"

Will Al Jazeera Air The Lobby Before AIPAC Meets? Israel’s lobbyists are working to suppress U.S. exposé - 2/14/2018

The Israel lobby has a lot of levers it can push and pull to curry favorable news coverage from media organizations. These range from denying access to the limited pool of top-tier pundits and Israeli government officials, to crippling economic boycotts. This power is visible in the battle to punish and shutter Al Jazeera, the Qatari state-funded news organization.

Al Jazeera’s undercover investigative series The Lobby stunned both U.K. and US viewers last year. The product of a six-month 2016 undercover investigation, the four-part series revealed the Israeli embassy’s close guidance of allegedly "independent" pro-Israel UK domestic organizations, unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism lodged against Labour Party members, and coordinated efforts to take down lawmakers deemed hostile to Israel. The series led to the dismissal of Shai Masot, a shadowy Israeli embassy official profiled in part four of the series, and apologies from the Israeli embassy.

Less well known is that concurrent to the UK investigation, another undercover reporter was hard at work penetrating Israel’s Washington lobby. James Anthony Kleinfeld, a British citizen, interned at The Israel Project. The Israel Project works as a quasi-public relations agency for Israel, using its cartel-like access to sought-after Israeli officials to shape media appearances and influence who can appear opposite Israel’s media luminaries. The behind-the-scenes activities of The Israel Project’s chief, former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spokesperson Josh Block, to condition and ultimately quash the appearance of Rula Jebreal on VOA, were exposed via a FOIA request in 2016.

Kleinfeld reportedly gained access to The Israel Project’s donor information by asking to work in donor development, a position not normally given to interns. Not much is known about the source of the nonprofit 501(c)(3) The Israel Project’s funding. Under the leadership of founder Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi, donations grew from $1.8 million in 2003 and peaked at nearly $20 million in 2010. Donations fell to $8.7 million in 2016 after The Israel Project received stinging rebukes from more established Israel lobbying organizations over its claims to be a one-stop shop leading all major branches of Israel advocacy. The Internal Revenue Service claims it cannot locate any of the publicly-releasable (PDF) documents The Israel Project presented in its application for tax-exempt status or explain what social welfare purpose it allegedly serves.

Get more information at Antiwar.com

 

Author of acclaimed "Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan" Scott Horton Lectures in Washington on March 4

Veteran radio broadcaster and podcaster Scott Horton will present key topics drawn from his widely acclaimed new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan at two public appearances in Washington on March 4.In his dynamic and wide-ranging lecture, Scott will explore uncomfortable and little-known facts about U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. He will review the shifting rationales given for America's longest war and why they do not advance U.S. national interests. Register for Horton’s free March 4 book lecture at Middle East Books and More in Adams Morgan in the morning or the Tenley Friendship Public Library in the afternoon. Fool’s Errand has received critical acclaim from leading Americans. (see Foolserrand.us)

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM – Middle East Books and More, 1902 18 Street Northwest, Washington, DC (just north of Dupont Circle) https://foolserrandadamsmorgan.eventbrite.com

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM - Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest, Washington DC (Across from the Tenleytown-American University Red Line Metro stop) https://foolserrandtenley.eventbrite.com

 

Poll: Americans oppose cutting aid to countries that condemn US Jerusalem policy - 1/5/2018

Foreign countries unlikely to respond like US politicians to Israeli incentives

The Trump administration threatened to end billions of dollars in US foreign aid to countries opposing recent US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. On December 21, despite US threats, 128 UN member states voted to uphold long-standing international consensus that the status of Jerusalem can only be settled through a peace deal between Israel and Palestinians. An additional 35 countries abstained. Both Palestinians and Israelis want Jerusalem to be their capital.

According to a poll conducted between December 22-January 2, the majority of Americans (56.6%) oppose using US foreign aid as a tool to coerce international recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Question: The Trump administration threatened to end foreign aid to any country that condemned its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Do you approve of such tactics?

The IRmep poll was fielded by Google surveys to 2,505 adult Internet users from December 22-January 2 and has an RMSE score of 7.6%. Demographic filtering and raw data are available online from Google.

Get more information about of this report Poll page All IRmep polls

NUMEC & the Israeli nuclear weapons program "off the table" in Washington - 1/2/2018

 

IRmep Director Grant F. Smith asks Anthony Cordesman of CSIS, who in 1986 told the LA Times that Israel had diverted US government-owned weapons grade uranium, if the U.S. has now lost moral authority in the nuclear non-proliferation arena.



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