Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"


81% of Americans Oppose $38 Billion Pledge to Israel - 9/20/2016

An IRmep poll fielded by Google Consumer Surveys reveals 80.8 percent of the US adult Internet user population says they would redirect the proposed spending toward other priorities. Caring for veterans (20.7 percent) was their top priority, followed by education spending (20.1 percent) and paying down the national debt (19.3 percent). Rebuilding US infrastructure was favored by 14.9 percent, while funding a Middle East peace plan received 5.8 percent of support.

Only 16.8 percent said the $38 billion of pledged foreign aid should be spent on Israel. More


wrmea Lawsuit Aims to Block U.S. Aid to Israel - 10/2016

...The lawsuit alleges that the president and key federal agencies are violating both the Administrative Procedures Act and the “Take Care” clause of the U.S. Constitution by failing to uphold Symington and Glenn. It lists many historic cases where the president was required to act, and more recent cases such as post-2010 illegal diversions from the United States of oscilloscopes and pressure transducers for centrifuge cascades by Israeli front companies.

The original doctrine of the U.S. ignoring and Israel never mentioning its nuclear weapons program was hatched in 1969, during a meeting between visiting Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon. Recently declassified files reveal that Nixon feared a “Zionist campaign to undermine” his administration if he withheld U.S. foreign aid over the program. Since then, presidents and national security officials have run away from media requests for comment on the program.

The Obama administration has gone further than any previous one in enforcing this “nuclear ambiguity” policy. In 2012 the U.S. Department of Energy, under guidance from Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Department of State, promulgated what amounts to an illegal gag law. Titled “Guidance on Release of Information Relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability,” the gag law severely punishes any federal official or contractor who frankly discusses Israel’s nuclear program. This has overturned government sunshine laws as federal agencies block Freedom of Information Act requests, string out the release of official records, attempt to charge exorbitant fees to dissuade public interest watchdogs, fail to pay damage awards in lost court battles, and simply claim that records known to exist “cannot be located.” More

cp09/05/2016 Congressional Black Caucus: Deep in the Israel Lobby's Pocket

...This article is not about Debbie Wasserman Schultz but of the influence of who and what she represented as chair of the Democratic National Committee until taken down by Julian Assange, and still represents, in Congress, the interests of Israel, and the power of its domestic supporters over the Black American political establishment as represented by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

cbc To be sure, the CBC’s subjugation by what is generally referred to as the pro-Israel Lobby is not unique. Thanks largely to American Jews having long been the Democratic Party’s major source of funds, estimated by reliable sources to be at least 60% in every election cycle, the Israel Lobby has been not only able to shape the party’s’ Middle East agenda but, of equal importance, determine who will be the chairs and the ranking members on the Congressional committees and subcommittees that have an impact on US-Israel relations. (The same thing can be said about the Republicans but there we see more variety among the donors.)

What makes the Congressional Black Caucus exceptional is that its very presence in Congress has been portrayed as symbolizing the success of the often bloody civil and voting rights struggles of a half century ago of which they are the beneficiaries. Some, like John Lewis, were even notable participants.

Consequently, something more might be expected of them. That the CBC, however, regardless of who comes and goes in their congressional districts, has consistently, as a bloc, voted to send billions of US taxpayers dollars to provide weapons for a foreign government that oppresses another people of color, the Palestinians, is, under the circumstances, nothing less than shameful. More

08/30/2016 Five reasons U.S. aid to Israel is a bad investment

...The majority of Americans, on the other hand, overwhelmingly oppose U.S. aid to Israel , according to polls fielded in 2014 and 2016. Growing numbers would rather boycott, divest and sanction Israel for its human rights abuses than provide the arms and blanket diplomatic support (commonly stipulated in these MOUs) that enable the abuses to continue. Beyond that, there are five lessor known reasons Americans should be actively opposing U.S. aid to Israel:

5reasons1. U.S. aid to Israel yields a huge negative return on investment

From a strictly green-eyeshade perspective, U.S. aid to Israel is a horrible investment. The late Harvard economist Thomas Stauffer in 2002 tallied the cost of Israel to the United States since 1973 to be $1.6 trillion. Stauffer included the oil crisis triggered by Arab governments in the aftermath of wars fought with Israel and other costs emanating from Israel’s violent repression of the Palestinians. Since Stauffer’s death in 2005, no other high-profile economist has taken up the thankless task of calculating such figures, though fresh data to feed such models has been piling up.

It is now the consensus view that America was attacked on 9/11 because of U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia and unconditional U.S. support for Israel. The 9/11 attacks cost $3.3 trillion according to one conservative estimate. Israel lobbyists often claim that U.S. foreign aid to Israel is an investment that yields “dividends” and is therefore a “bargain.” If we assume aid is an investment and adjust for inflation, publicly known aid through 2011 is $233.6 billion. If we then assign unconditional U.S. support for Israel half the blame for motivating 9/11, an actual return on investment calculation is possible. The ROI of U.S. aid to Israel considering only half the costs of 9/11 is negative 806 percent. By any measure, this is an extremely poor return.

2. U.S. Aid to Israel is not a significant “U.S. jobs creator”

Many pundits are now spinning the proposed new MOU as a “U.S. jobs creator,” particularly in view of the pending restrictions against spending much of the aid in Israel. But how many jobs do military sales actually generate? Pitifully few. The top five military contractors, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrup Grumman claim to employ nearly a half-million, on annual 2015 revenues of just under a quarter trillion dollars. At $463,069 to support a single direct job, military equipment and service vendors employ many fewer employees per dollar of revenue than most other industries. Looking back, even if Israel spent 100 percent of its past ten-year $3.1 billion annual MOU dollars on “top shelf” U.S. military goods, like the Joint Strike fighter, it would have produced less than 7,000 direct U.S. jobs. More


08/11/2016 IRmep Briefing: Lawsuit to block US foreign aid to Israel

A lawsuit filed August 8, 2016 in the D.C. federal district court challenges U.S. foreign aid to Israel. IRmep's Center for Policy and Law held a conference call briefing about the lawsuit August 11 at 10AM EST. This video introduces the call, the recorded briefing begins the slide presentation at #9. Grant F. Smith responded to conference call participant questions at the end of the call.


08/11/2016 Lawsuit claims aid to nuclear Israel illegal under Symington Glenn Amendments

ccrA lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. claims that United States aid to Israel is illegal under a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear powers that don’t sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The lawsuit was filed by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP).

The lawsuit comes as the Obama administration is pushing to finalize a ten-year memorandum of understanding which will reportedly boost aid to Israel to $4 billion per year.

Such aid violates longstanding bans on foreign aid to non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) with nuclear weapons programs, the lawsuit alleges.

Since the bans went into effect, U.S. foreign aid to Israel is estimated to be $234 billion.

Smith says that during investigations into the illegal diversion of weapons-grade uranium from U.S. contractor NUMEC to Israel in the mid-1970s, Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn amended the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act to ban any aid to clandestine nuclear powers that were not NPT signatories.

Symington said at the time that “if you wish to take the dangerous and costly steps necessary to achieve a nuclear weapons option, you cannot expect the United States to help underwrite that effort indirectly or directly.”


08/10/2016 On Eve of Aid Boost, Researcher Flags Israel's 'Clandestine' Nukes

WASHINGTON (CN) - U.S. aid to Israel violates a long-standing ban on giving foreign aid to clandestine nuclear powers, the director of a Middle East policy nonprofit claims in a federal complaint. Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, says the United States has given Israel an estimated $234 billion in foreign aid since Congress passed the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976. Discussing his Aug. 8 lawsuit in an interview, Smith said the pro se litigation has been 10 years in the making. Though Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Smith noted that it is a known nuclear power and recipient of U.S. aid. The U.S. has had a long-standing policy of keeping mum on the existence of Israel's nuclear weapons program, a poorly kept secret that successive U.S. administrations since Gerald Ford have refused to publicly acknowledge. Smith's lawsuit comes on the eve of a deal that would boost U.S. aid to the country by between $1 billion and $2 billion per year over a decade. Israel already gets $3 billion a year in U.S. aid. More


8/9/2016 Lawsuit aims to block U.S. foreign aid to Israel - Conference Call

CONFWashington—A lawsuit filed Monday in the D.C. federal district court challenges U.S. foreign aid to Israel.

IRmep's Center for Policy and Law is holding a conference call briefing about the lawsuit August 11 at 10AM EST.

Register online to receive the conference call phone number, access code and briefing materials at:

Registration closes 9PM on August 10.

The U.S. is finalizing a ten-year memorandum of understanding which will reportedly boost aid to $4-5 billion per year. The director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) in the suit challenges the authority of the president and U.S. federal agencies to deliver such foreign aid to Israel. Such aid violates longstanding bans on aid to non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) with nuclear weapons programs. Since the bans went into effect U.S. foreign aid to Israel is estimated to be $234 billion.

The lawsuit reveals how in the mid-1970s during investigations into the illegal diversion of weapons-grade uranium from U.S. contractor NUMEC to Israel, Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn amended the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act to ban any aid to clandestine nuclear powers that were not NPT signatories. Symington clarified the legislative intent of the amendments: "...if you wish to take the dangerous and costly steps necessary to achieve a nuclear weapons option, you cannot expect the United States to help underwrite that effort indirectly or directly.”

The Obama administration follows precedents established since the Ford administration by ignoring internal agency and public domain information that should trigger Symington & Glenn cutoffs and waiver provisions governing foreign aid. The administration has gone further in criminalizing the flow of such information from the federal government to the public.

In 2012 the Department of Energy under U.S. State Department authority passed a secret gag law called "Guidance on Release of Information relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability." The gag law and related measures promote a "nuclear ambiguity" policy toward Israel. The primary purpose of the gag law is to unlawfully subvert Symington & Glenn arms export controls, the suit alleges.

IRmep won unprecedented release of a Pentagon report about Israel’s nuclear weapons program through a 2014 lawsuit. A 2015 IRmep lawsuit dislodged CIA files about the NUMEC diversion.


VP choice Pence dodged Israel nuke question - 7/21/2016

pence_nuclear...Being a journalist based in the Washington, D.C. area, I try to ask tough questions of political figures when I can. Perhaps my favorite question is some variation of “do you acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons?” I’ve asked this of many political figures and virtually no one has given me a straightforward response. But the most surreal — almost comical — response came from Donald Trump’s VP pick in 2011. At the time, he was a congressman and vice-chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia:

Question: You’ve also served on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Do you know that Israel has nuclear weapons?

Pence: [long pause, looks down] I’m — I am aware that Israel is our most cherished ally. And I strongly support Israel’s right of self defense and to take such actions as are necessary to secure their homeland as much as we take actions to secure ours.

Question: Do you think it increases or decreases U.S. credibility around the world when U.S. government officials can’t even acknowledge that Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal?

Pence: The American people support Israel. I call Israel our most cherished ally and I will continue to stand — without apology — for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and strong cooperation with our most cherished ally in a very volatile part of the world.

He was utterly incapable of engaging on the issue of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. His passionate attachment to Israel has become a mantra and no inconvenient facts need enter the equation... More

Watch Pence and other U.S. government officials respond to The Center Public Integrity's Sam Husseini questioning them about Israel's nuclear weapons on Youtube.

Dennis Ross dodges question about legality of US aid to Israel - 07/05/2016

Former AIPAC/Washington Institute/Jewish Agency for Israel operative dodges an important foreign aid question on C-SPAN.

ADL's challenge to pro-peace & justice groups - 6/2/2016 it is Muslims, Arabs and Persians in general (Palestinians, Iranians and the territories where they live in particular) that are under constant assault – not by Roget’s – but vastly more powerful forces such as the military-industrial-congressional complex, Hollywood, the mainstream media and not coincidentally, many Israel affinity organizations. Like the Japanese-American internees once secretly targeted by the ADL, such groups are judged to be weak, disorganized, disenfranchised and unable to tell their own stories – or even possess stories worth hearing. They serve as convenient scapegoats for enfranchised elites and the national security state. Unlike evangelical Christians or Hispanic groups, they do not factor into the Israel lobby’s larger political calculations – and likely never will – absent a radical shift in Israel’s – and therefore the ADL’s – strategy.

But their stories and tactics are relevant. Not because of "competing loyalties," but rather the sheer relevance of Palestinian resistance against all odds as an example for oppressed people tired of poverty, war and oppression around the world. Many in the peace and justice movement are both curious and have internet access. Armed with accurate information, they are unlikely to become sympathetic to the ADL’s highly selective and self-serving historical narratives of the good ol’ days...

wrmea Ten ways the Israel lobby "moves" America - 5/2016

smith chart02...So there is a false idea that these are major, major forces in the Israel lobby. What we do know, though, is that Americans generally, if you ask them, favorability ratings about Israel, they’re generally favorable. Most are favorable, 59 percent; 41 percent, not favorable or don’t care. We’ve given over $250 billion of aid to Israel, far more than any other country, inflation adjusted. And a large portion of aid is classified. President Obama made a statement at American University that it’s now unprecedented, but you can’t get the figure for intelligence aid. If it’s unprecedented, then we know with military aid it’s either $1.9 billion a year, or $13.2 billion if the president adjusted for inflation. But when you ask the CIA, which must be handling intelligence aid to Israel, they say sorry, that’s classified. We’re suing them for that information, by the way. [Applause]

In a 2014 poll, when you ask Americans something beyond favorability, when you ask them about the aid and ask this question: "the U.S. gives over $3 billion annually or 9 percent of the foreign aid budget, more than any other country, this amount is _____," the statistically significant 2014 survey conducted through Google Consumer research, 60.7 percent say it’s either much too much or too much; 25.9 percent say about right; 13.4 percent too little. Well, this is an old poll. Surely, this is a fluke. Many, many respondents must have given, I don’t know, there must have been a fluke. Well, no. In 2016, they conducted again this month, the figure has risen to almost 62 percent who say it’s too much or much too much. This is a specific question with information sufficient to make an informed answer, and the movement is generally against foreign aid. So these five false narratives that are used to move America can be or should be challenged...

America's first and worst bilateral trade agreement
Centre for Research on Globalization - 5/13/2016


FTAz...Members of congress, various Israel lobby organization pundits and chambers of commerce occasionally trumpet the deal as a success. In 2009 Martin Indyk, head of the AIPAC research unit that worked hard to lobby in support of the deal (before spinning off AIPAC’s think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy at the peak of the FBI investigation) confidently claimed, “the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement served as a wedge that opened up the Congress to Free Trade Agreements throughout the world, including the NAFTA agreement. No doubt there are some downsides to it, but otherwise it's been a very positive thing.” (YouTube version)

However, the numbers reveal that it has been positive only for Israel. In terms of the cumulative inflation-adjusted deficit created since this first “free” trade deal was signed, it is the worst-performing of all US bilateral trade agreements, and the second-worst of all US trade agreements, trailing only NAFTA.

Source: US Census foreign trade data


c-spanIRmep: The Israel lobby raises $4 billion a year in the U.S. and promotes unnecessary wars: Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy responds - 5/9/2016



Podcast Interview: The Israel Lobby, what it does and how it works. 4/18/2016

We are supposed to believe that the network of organizations promoting a particular view of Israel and the U.S. relationship with that country doesn’t exist, and that anyone who says it does is a crank and a hater. Yet it’s precisely the network of organizations that would call such a person a hater that we’re talking about in the first place. Grant Smith joins Tom Woods for a rational discussion of this inexplicably sensitive issue based on the new IRmep book Big Israel: How Israel's Lobby Moves America.

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and host of The Tom Woods Show, which releases a new episode every weekday. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Audio download

WRMEASpecial digital issue covering the conference "Israel's Influence: Good or Bad for America? 5/2016


US aid to Israel is 'too much' say 61.9% of Americans - 4/6/2016

grant-040516A majority Americans say US foreign aid to Israel is excessive--either "much too much" (32.5 percent) or "too much" (29.4 percent).

The single-question March 10, 2016 opinion survey, fielded through Google Consumer Surveys, reveals only slight changes since it was first asked on September 27, 2014.

For details on sample size, bias and other findings, see the survey data links above).







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