IRmep

Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"

 

 

 

Lesson From FBI’s ‘Niger Uranium Forgeries’ File:There will be no consequences for twisting intelligence to attack Iran - 05/20/2019

An analysis of 640 pages of FBI investigatory records obtained by IRmep under the Freedom of Information Act reveals how the FBI Director limited Senator John D. Rockefeller’s urgent 2003 written demand for accountability over faulty Iraq war intelligence into a narrow overseas investigation. The released files, originally scheduled for declassification on December 31, 2028 document how FBI special agents from the Washington Field Office trailed Niger uranium sale forgery suspects in European regions where they held little jurisdiction – but were not allowed by FBI Director Robert Mueller to pursue any officials in their own back yard that twisted dubious intelligence to support the US invasion of Iraq. The lesson is clear. Despite subsequent years of Senate investigations into pre-invasion claims that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program, Americans are still vulnerable to the misuse of real and fabricated intelligence deployed by unscrupulous US government officials seeking to plunge the nation into war.

To justify the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, White House officials repeatedly used dubious intelligence to publicly make accusations that Iraq had a clandestine nuclear weapons program. The most compelling accusation was that Iraq secretly sought to purchase 500 tons of yellowcake uranium from Niger to refine and produce nuclear weapons. It was compelling because Iraq had only one plausible use for uranium – making nuclear weapons.

Full report at Antiwar.com   FOIA release of the FBI Niger uranium forgery investigation file

How The New York Times Rigs News on ­ Israel-Palestine
James North, Mondoweiss

...First, there’s nothing better than a little good old-fashioned Orientalism, trying to treat Muslims and Arabs as though they’re a different sort of human being who operate under different assumptions and are motivated in different ways. The Times still relies on this to some extent. Again, I think this is unconscious, but I’m just going to give you [some examples of] good old-fashioned Orientalism, centuries old.

OK, this example is from a news analysis that appeared a couple of years ago. First I’ll quote a paragraph here from Steven Erlanger, who’s a veteran reporter. And then I’ll tell you what I think is going on here. Here’s the paragraph: “Unlike Fatah, Hamas claims the whole of the British Mandate of Palestine as land granted by Allah, which cannot be ceded. In other words, Israel is illegitimate and its occupants should ‘go home.’ The most any senior Hamas official ever offered was a hudna, a cease-fire, which the Prophet Muhammad offered enemies to restore his strength.”

Now this is a classic Orientalist gem. Let’s start with not translating “Allah” to “God.” I mean, this is very commonly done, and not just by The Times. Just imagine if every time you read a story from France where God was mentioned, if it said Dieu, or every time a Spanish person in your newspaper would talk about God, it would put in Dios. I mean, this is why some Americans actually believe that Muslims believe in a different God than non-Muslims. This is part of the reason for it. But it gets better. more at WRMEA

 

U.S. Foreign Aid and the Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program
Grant F. Smith, IRmep

...The policy goals of the entire U.S. policymaking community for the Israeli nuclear weapons program were to compel Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to uphold U.S. obligations under that treaty, withhold the sale of nuclear delivery-capable Phantom jets from Israel that they wanted to buy, and compel the Israelis to dismantle their Dimona nuclear weapons facility. Their consensus, as stated in a memo compiled by National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, was to avert a disaster in terms of the peace process. They felt that nuclear weapons would “sharply reduce the chances for any peace settlement in the future”—and, boy, were they ever right.

Israeli policy goals were to buy those nuclear-capable jet fighters, to maintain their Dimona facility, and to get the United States to enter into an Israeli-contrived policy of forever being ambiguous about whether they did or did not have a nuclear weapons program.

And so, these two policy objectives were fundamentally opposed, and the United States decision factors really rotated around the Nixon assessment of the Israel lobby’s ability to mount pressure upon them. Henry Kissinger noted that if they made public the fact that they were going to base sales of these jets on the nuclear program, that an enormous pressure would be mounted on them by the lobby.... there was another consideration within the policy compilation which they all considered. This is something most Americans don’t know about, but there was concern because they knew that the Israelis had in fact stolen weapons-grade uranium from the United States beginning in about 1965 from a plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania. more at WRMEA

What Does a Censored Undercover News Investigation Reveal About the Israel Lobby in America?
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intafada

...These organizations include the Israel on Campus Coalition, The Israel Project, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies—it’s more like the foundation for defense of apartheid, occupation, sniper murder and so on. It also showed how the Israeli Embassy in Washington itself was running some of these operations. For example, a woman called Julia Reifkind—who at the time was an Israeli Embassy employee, but previously was an AIPAC campus activist in California—described her typical daily work as “mainly gathering intel, reporting back to Israel to report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.” She discusses how the Israeli government is “giving our support to various front groups,” in “that behind-the-scenes way.” She also talks about using fake Facebook profiles to monitor campus and pro-Palestine groups.

And, again, these efforts are run in direct coordination with the Ministry of Strategic Affairs whose director general is a woman called Sima Vaknin-Gil, who was herself a former military intelligence officer.

She talks about how her operation, run through the ministry, has mapped the universe of Palestinian rights activism globally, “not just the United States, not just campuses, but campuses and intersectionality and labor unions and churches.” And she says that this data is used for “offense activity” against Palestine activists. See more at WRMEA
.

Israel’s Armor: The Israel Lobby and the First Generation of the Palestine Conflict
Walter Hixson, University of Akron

...Let me conclude in the same spirit. Let us declare here today that if demanding the right to exist while denying it to your neighbor is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If driving people from their land and demolishing their homes is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If asserting absolute authority over a historic city, rightful home to people of all faiths is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If slaughtering children for throwing stones at their oppressors is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

If terror and deprivation that are being inflicted every day upon the imprisoned people of Gaza is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If supplying $125 billion to finance a regime that commits such crimes against humanity is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If converting the Congress of the United States into a lapdog for Israeli policies is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

Let us also emphasize once again that if anti-Semitism is not wrong, nothing is wrong. Cynical deployment of baseless charges of anti-Semitism, however, in order to legislate against free speech, stifle criticism of a foreign nation, or insist on the right to outlaw boycott of an apartheid state—if these things are not wrong—nothing is wrong.

As we continue to struggle, no matter what the odds and the monies arrayed against us, let us derive inspiration from another antebellum freedom fighter. “I am earnest,” William Lloyd Garrison declared in 1831 when he launched the publication of the first issue of the antislavery newspaper The Liberator. “I will not equivocate—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard.” See more at WRMEA
.

Why Talking About the Israel Lobby Matters
Delinda Hanley
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

...So why can’t we talk about the Benjamins? American taxpayers provide Israel with more than $3.8 billion annually in military aid. You’ll be hearing more on that later from our conference co-organizer, IRmep’s Grant Smith.

Since 1948, Israel has received far more U.S. foreign aid than any other country, despite polls showing that most Americans oppose such aid. On March 6 Gallup claimed—although it was the lowest figure since 2009—that 59 percent of Americans sympathized more with the Israelis and only 21 percent sympathized more with the Palestinians. But for decades, Gallup’s lofty claims of U.S. sympathy for Israel, coming out just before AIPAC’s annual meeting, differed significantly from Pew Research.

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

When IRmep fielded Gallup’s poll through the highly accurate Google survey platform between March 5 and 8, IRmep found that only 22.2 percent of Americans said they sympathize more with the Israelis, while 52.5 percent claimed they held no opinion. Americans have long been told they are highly sympathetic to Israel and support giving most of the U.S. aid budget to Israel—when in fact they aren’t, and don’t. See more at WRMEA.

Gallup Quietly Admits ‘Israeli vs. Palestinian’ Sympathy Polls Are Misleading
 4/17/2019

Pollster Gallup admitted on March 28 that three decades of polling data contain fundamental flaws "well beyond what we would attribute to normal sampling error."

Gallup’s admission centers on its high-stakes question of whether Americans have greater sympathy for Israelis or for Palestinians. Gallup loudly trumpeted that Americans "increasingly sympathized with Israel in recent years." U.S. based Israel affinity organizations and the Congressional Research Service long used Gallup sympathy polls to claim that most Americans support giving most of the US foreign aid budget to Israel.

Gallup attributes its sudden admission of error to "an analysis of [Gallup] World Affairs surveys and other surveys conducted at about the same time indicate this is not the case."

Gallup’s reevaluation may have been triggered by more than its own polling and cited polling done by CNN and Pew Research. In both 2018 and 2019 IRmep paid to field Gallup’s precisely worded polling question through the highly accurate Google Surveys representative polling service. The analysis of results, published at Antiwar.com on March 13, 2019 and April 29, 2018, found that contrary to Gallup results the majority of Americans do not sympathize more with Israelis "in the Middle East situation."

Full report at Antiwar.com

YouTube Playlist
The Israel Lobby & American Policy Conference 2019
4/2/2019

 

On The Ground:
The Role Of The Israel Lobby in the Palestine Conflict -
 3/29/2019

Live Video Stream Archive
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 - 2/1/2019

 

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



-
 

 

More

 
 

Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. 
Copyright 2002-2019 IRmep. All Rights Reserved.
Content may not be reprinted or retransmitted in whole
or part without the expressed written consent and
citation of IRmep unless otherwise directed.