excerpts from the book
The Power of Israel in the United
by James Petras
Clarity Press, 2006, paper
former President Ariel Sharon once boasted, regarding his influence
over President Bush
"We have the US under our control".
J.J. Goldberg in his book, Jewish Power Inside the Jewish Establishment
based on data in the early, 1990's, noted that 45 percent of the
fundraising for the Democratic Party and 25 percent of the funding
for the Republicans came from Jewish-funded Political Action Committees
A more recent survey by Richard Cohen
of the Washington Post shows higher figures: 60 percent of Democratic
financing comes from Jewish pro-Israel PACs and 35 percent of
the Republican fundraising.
No single other lobby including Big Pharma,
Big Oil and Agro-business plays such a dominant financial role
in party funding.
The basis of the [Jewish] Lobby's PAC power is rooted in the high
proportion of Jewish families among the wealthiest families in
the United States. According to Forbes, 25 to 30 percent of US
multi-millionaires and billionaires are Jewish. If we add the
contributions to the Lobby by Jewish-Canadian billionaires with
assets worth over 30 percent of the Canadian Stock Market, we
can realize the scope and depth of the Lobby's power to dictate
Middle East policy to Congress and the Executive.
A poll in Israel, published by the liberal newspaper Haaretz showed
that 68 percent of Israeli Jews reject living near an Arab. Surveys
show repeatedly that nearly half of Israeli Jews favor the forced
emigration of Arabs from Palestine.
The power of Israel is based on that of the Diaspora, the highly
structured and politically and economically powerful Jewish networks
which have direct and indirect access to the centers of power
and propaganda in the most powerful imperial country in the world.
Tribute is exacted via the influence of these 'internal colonialists"
who operate at the level of mass media opinion makers and via
Congress and the Presidency. Close to 60 percent of Democratic
Party funding and 35 percent of Republican Party funding comes
from pro-Israeli Jews.
Who Finances the State of Israel?
The question of who is financing the Israeli
state is basic because Israel as we know it today is not a viable
state without massive external support. As the July 2004 updated
Congressional Research Service Issue Brief for Congress titled
"Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance" points out in its
opening statement: "Israelis not economically self-sufficient,
and relies on foreign assistance and borrowing to maintain its
economy. 1126 Despite what might seem an insurmountable obstacle
not just to Israel's prosperity, but to its sustainability, the
country has nonetheless done rather well. Billions of dollars
are raised from a variety of Jewish and non-Jewish institutions
to sustain the Israeli war machine, its policy of generous subsidies
for Jews enticed to settle in colonies in the Occupied Territories
and in Israel-sufficient to place the country as the world's 28th
highest in living standards for Israel's Jewish citizens.
Without external aid Israel's economy
would require severe cutbacks in living standards and working
conditions, leading to the likely flight of most Israeli professionals,
businessmen, and recent overseas immigrants. The Israeli military
budget would be reduced and Israel would be obligated to reduce
its military interventions in the Arab East and the Occupied Territories.
Israel would cease being a rentier state living on overseas subsidies
and would be obligated to engage in productive activity-a return
to farming, manufacture and services minus the exploitation of
low paid Asian maids, imported Eastern European farm workers,
and Palestinian construction laborers.
Europe continues to privilege the importation
of Israeli exports and financial services, despite overt and malicious
attacks by leaders of both Israeli parties. Prominent Jewish organizations
linked to major parties in France and England have muted any efforts
to use the "trade card" to pressure Israel to accept
European Union or United Nations mediation. European trade and
financial ties to Israel however are not the basic prop for the
Israeli war machine. The principle basis for long-term, large-scale
financial support is found in the US, among public and private
In the United States there are essentially
four basic sources of financial, ideological and political support
for the Israeli rentier economy:
1. Wealthy Jewish contributors and powerful
disciplined fund-raising organizations.
2. The US government-both Congress and
3. The mass media, particularly the New
York Times, Hollywood, and the major television networks.
4. The trade union bosses and the heads
of pension funds.
There is substantial overlap in these
four institutional configurations. For example, Jewish supporters
in the Israeli lobby work closely with Congressional leaders to
secure long-term, large-scale US military and economic aid for
Israel. Most of the mass media and a few trade unions are influenced
by unconditional supporters of the Israeli war machine. Pro-Israel
Jews are disproportionately represented in the financial, political,
professional, academic, real estate, insurance and mass media
sectors of the American economy. While Jews are a minority
in each and every one of these categories,
their disproportionate power and influence stems from the fact
that they function collectively: they are organized, active, and
concentrate on a single issue-US policy in the Middle East, and
specifically in securing Washington's massive, unconditional,
and continuing military, political and financial support for Israel.
Operating from their strategic positions in the power structure,
they are able to influence policy and censor any dissident commentators
or views from circulating freely in the communications and political
In the political sphere, pro-Israeli politicians
and powerful Jewish organizations have joined forces with (and
even animate)29 pro-Israel ultra rightwing mass-based Christian
fundamentalist powerful political leaders tied to the military-industrial
complex, such as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Vice President
Cheney. Israel's unconditional support of Washington's Cold War
and subsequent anti-terrorist military offensive has further strengthened
ideological and military ties between US rightwing political leaders,
pro-Israeli politicians and the leaders of the leading Jewish
organizations. The politics of Washington's new imperialism coincides
splendidly with the Sharon-Olmert conquest and destruction of
the Occupied Territories.
Wealthy and organized Jewish organizations,
compliant Congressional representatives and rightwing fundamentalist
organizations are not the only financial supporters of Israel.
US taxpayers have been funding the Israeli war machine with over
$3 billion a year of direct assistance for over 35 years (now
totaling over $100 billion and continuing to mount).
Support for Israel from the US government
The data below, compiled by the CRS [Congressional
Research Service] Issue Brief in 2004, provide some notion of
the extent of U.S. aid and special features.
* Israel has received more than $90 billion
in US aid up to 2003, of which $75 billion has been in grants
(i.e. nonrepayable), and $15 billion in loans.
* Since 1985, the United States has provided
$3 billion in grants annually to Israel.
* Resettlement assistance for Soviet and
Ethiopian immigrants peaked in 1992 at $80 million, but continues
to be subsidized at $60 million for 2003, $50 million in 2004
and again in 2005.
* In 1990, Israel requested $10 billion
in loan guarantees, which would enable Israel to borrow from US
commercial establishments, with their loans guaranteed against
default by the US government. In 2004, a further $9 billion in
loan guarantees was included in FL. 1088-11.
Over its fifty years of existence, the
sale of Israel Bonds raised some $22 billion for the State of
Israel. Gideon Pratt, CEO of Israel Bonds, claims the bonds have
financed over 50% of Israel's development
... Rank and file trade union members
might have been surprised to learn that their pension funds had
been invested in Israel Bonds with below normal rates of return
and higher risk. Despite the poor investment quality of Israel
Bonds, some of the largest US trade unions, employee pension funds,
and major multi-national corporations have collectively loaned
billions of dollars to the Israeli regime. In all cases, the decisions
to purchase a foreign government's bonds were made by the trade
union bosses and corporate fund managers without consulting the
membership or stockholders." Nathan Zirkin, a financial director
of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, when asked
if his union would continue to purchase Israel Bonds despite Israel's
repression and arrest of Palestinian trade unionists and activists,
replied "Absolutely. The Palestinians didn't have a damn
thing until Israel came in.
Many of the trade unions, which are purchasers
of Israeli bonds, are controlled or influenced by the Mafia. The
Teamsters Union is the biggest purchaser of Israel Bonds; it is
also the union which has seen more senior officials indicted for
Mafia ties, illicit use of union funds, and massive robbery of
membership pension funds. In this case the trade union Mafioso
were buying favorable propaganda from the mass media and support
from the "respectable" Jewish organizations via the
purchase of Israel Bonds.
Union pension funds have also been used
by trade union bureaucrats to purchase Israel Bonds. The most
notorious case is the former international Ladies Garment Workers
Unions (ILGWU), now called UNITE, a union whose workers are 95%
Black, Hispanic, and Chinese, most earning at or below the minimum
wage. UNITE's leadership and staff is overwhelming Jewish and
earning between $100,000 to $350,000 a year plus expenses. By
channeling over $25 million in pension funds to Israel, the US
workers are deprived of access to loans for housing, social services,
legal defense, etc. Clearly the Jewish trade union bosses have
a greater affinity for the State of Israel and its oppression
of Palestinian workers than they have with their own poorly organized
workers, employed under some of the worst working conditions in
Israel Bond promoters, with support from
Mafia-influenced corrupt trade union bosses, have sold vast holdings
of Israel bonds to 1500 labor organizations at interest rates
below those of other available securities and well below what
most investors would expect from loans to an economically troubled
foreign government like Israel. On March 22, 2002, the Jewish
weekly Forward actually put a figure on that amount, quoting the
director of the National Committee for Labor Israel as estimating
that "the American labor community holds $5 billion in Israel
Many factors accounted for the US trade
union bosses channeling their members pension funds and union
dues into Israel Bonds: political protection and respectability
in being associated with Israel and its lobbyists-this was especially
important to Mafia-linked and corrupt officials. Ideological and
ethnic ties between Jewish trade union leaders and Israel has
been a second factor.
While Israel bonds may represent a diminishing
factor in the contemporary Israeli economy-perhaps because the
$US 10 billion loan guarantee terminated in 1 998?42-they are
nonetheless still purchased and held, inter alia, by state and
city governments, teachers, universities, and police in the United
States, as well as 100,000 individuals.
In April 2002, over 100,000 people, mostly Jews and Christian
fundamentalists, marched in support of the Sharon regime in the
midst of the siege of Jenin, and were addressed, inter alia, by
Paul Wolfowitz, William Bennett, Hillary Clinton, Dick Armey,
Rudy Giuliani, Dick Gephardt, and AFL-CIO president John Sweeney.
In Israel two out of three Israelis (65 percent) polled in late
April 2002 supported Sharon and almost 90 percent believed the
regime's propaganda that the UN commission to investigate Israeli
devastation of the Occupied Territories "will not be fair
to Israel." The Israeli public, the US trade union bosses,
and the American political and financial elites who financed Sharon
thereby became accomplices to the crimes against the Palestinian
people. Obviously the shrinking minority of Jews in Israel who
oppose the military machine have little or no influence in policy,
in the media, or in securing overseas financial support.
... Wealthy and powerful reactionary Jews
in the Diaspora also gravitated toward Sharon. Seven of the eight
billionaire Russian Mafia Oligarchs have donated generously to
the Israeli state, were on excellent terms with Sharon and Shimon
Peres, and have no use for dissident military reservists. In fact,
two of these, Israeli-Russian partners of the Russian oil company,
Yukos, have taken up residence in Israel to avoid Interpol interdiction,
while a third, Boris Berezovsky, though resident in London, is
an Israeli citizen. Six out of the seven are Jews .
Because of powerful unconditional external
financial and military support primarily from influential Jews
in the US, Christian Fundamentalists, the military industrial
complex, Pentagon extremists, and corrupt US trade unionists,
Israel is able to defy world public opinion, slander humanitarian
organizations and human rights leaders, and brazenly continue
its genocidal policies. Israeli leaders know "their people":
they know they have unconditional supporters who have already
Israel and the Right of Free Speech
There is presently an inability in America
even to formulate or sustain a discourse related to the subject
of Israeli influence on the United States. Such an opportunity
seemed to open with the courageous publication of a well-documented
essay written by Professor Walt of Harvard University and Professor
Mearsheimer of University of Chicago critical of the Lobby's influence
on US Middle East policy. However, a virulent campaign against
Mearsheimer and Walt was then waged by all the major Jewish publications
and pro-Israel organizations. From the ultra-rightwing Orthodox
Jewish Press (which claims to be the largest "independent"
Jewish newspaper in the US), to the formerly social democratic
Forward, to the Jewish Weekly, all have launched, together with
all the major Jewish organizations, a propaganda campaign of defamation
("the new Protocols of Zion", "anti-Semitic",
"sources from Neo-Nazi websites...") and pressure for
their purge from academia.
The Jewish authoritarians have already
partially succeeded. Their press releases have been published
by the mass media without allowing for rebuttal by the academics
under attack. Harvard University has demanded that the identification
of the Harvard Kennedy School be removed from the paper. The financier
of the professorial chair (in his name) which Professor Walt,
as academic dean, occupies at the Harvard Kennedy School, is no
longer mentioned in his publication. Ultra-Zionist and torture
advocate Professor Dershowitz and his fellow Harvard zealots called
into question their moral and academic qualification to teach-this
concerning professors of the highest standing, with an established
record at America's top universities.
In both the United States and France,
legislation is being prepared to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
and to criminalize as a 'hate crime' the free expression of outrage
over Israeli atrocities and any criticism of the Lobby's control
of US Middle East policy.
Military violence, direct and through
surrogates, was crucial to the expansion and consolidation of
the empire in South and Central America and the Caribbean-from
1964 to 1990 US-backed surrogate military regimes and paramilitary
forces took power in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay,
Bolivia, Dominican Republic-and later in Guatemala, El Salvador,
Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Over 500,000 people were slaughtered
in order to impose the imperial-centered system of accumulation
(later called "neoliberalism"). The imperial strategy
of invasion and intervention established the parameters for long-term
consolidation: an economic system 'open' to imperial penetration
and control ("free market economies") and a state apparatus
(judiciary, military, central bank, etc.) capable of deepening
and consolidating the imperial-centered economy. Subsequently
the domesticated electoral politicians accepted the imperial parameters
and Washington encouraged political competition. In the case of
Mexico, voter fraud ensured the election in 1988 of "President"
Salinas who proceeded to "integrate" Mexico via NAFTA
into the US Empire.
A similar process took place in Africa.
From 1970 through to the 1990's, massive US military intervention
and support of "surrogate" mercenaries aided by US strategic
ally, South Africa, killed millions in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea
Bissau, and Congo, destroying the economic and political basis
for development and establishing client regimes. These mineral
and oil rich countries were incorporated into the empire. In the
case of South Africa, the leadership of the African National Congress
was coerced and then co-opted and became an integral part of the
Euro-US imperial system. Similar processes took place in Asia
where imperial wars were followed by economic 'openings' extending
imperial dominance throughout the region... at the cost of over
11 million dead Koreans, Indochinese, Filipinos, Indonesians,
Between the 1990's and the present the
US empire expanded into the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Baltic
countries, Central Asia and the Caucasus by aggressive ideological
intervention aided by the corruption and deep rot in the dominant
Communist parties ruling in those countries. The Middle East,
Southwest Asia and the Balkans were next, in part because they
are integral to exploiting oil resources, building pipelines and
building military bases. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were
invaded. Satellite regimes were established in Kosovo, Macedonia
and Serbia. A US puppet regime in Kabul rules in alliance with
opium-subsidized mercenary warlords. Iraq was invaded, occupied
and ruled initially by a US pro-consul. The US Empire has been
built on wars, using its own military forces, surrogate mercenaries
and paramilitary forces.
We in the United States appear to have accepted to live in a House
of Horrors-where empire building via torture and assassination
is executive policy, where White House-approved torture is exposed
in the media but continues to be state practice. The mass media
promoters and publicists of the House of Horrors count on our
short memory: they praise Ronald Reagan, whose infamous presidency
marked a decade of genocide against Mayan Indians in Guatemala
(300,000), and in Nicaragua (50,000), El Salvador (75,000), Honduras
(several thousands). It was Reagan who publicly defended General
Rios Montt, the butcher of Guatemala, from criticism for human
rights abuses ("He's getting a raw deal") and who praised
the butchers of Afghanistan's secular society as 'The moral equivalent
of our founding fathers".
Ariel Sharon, former Likud Party Prime Minister, Agence France
Press, November 15, 1998
"It is the duty of Israel/ leaders
to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain
number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these
is that there is no Zionism, colonization or Jewish state without
the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands"
David Ben Gurian, former Labor Party Prime Minister, 1937
"We must expel Arabs and take their
Golda Meir, former Labor Party Prime Minister
"There's no such thing as a Palestinian
people. It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their
country. They didn't exist."
Menachem Begin, former Likud Party Prime Minister
"The partition of Palestine is illegal.
It will never be recognized. Eretz Israel will be restored to
the people of Israel. All of it. And forever."
Ehud Olmert, Israeli Prime Minister, to the US House of Representatives,
"I believed and to this day still
believe, in our people's eternal and historic right to this entire
Beginning on the night of June 28, 2006, Israel launched a massive
land and air assault on the Gaza Strip. As scores of helicopter
gunships and fighter jets fired missiles and rockets into populated
centers, destroying the basic infrastructure of over 1.4 million
Palestinians, over 5,000 soldiers poured into the territory following
hundreds of tanks and armored carriers. The Jewish State's pretext
for total war was to free a single captured Israeli soldier held
as a prisoner of war (erroneously described as a "kidnapped"
soldier) held by a Palestinian resistance group.
Even the pro-Israeli Financial Times saw
through Prime Minister Olmert's flimsy excuse, remarking that:
"...the disproportion between the means and ends suggest
this (the release of the Israeli prisoner) may be a pretext".
The FT goes on to argue that the purpose of Israel's assault was
to destroy the democratically elected government, claim that it
had no one to negotiate with, and then ... ..unilaterally [set]
new borders for an expanded Israeli state, by annexing large swaths
of the occupied territory on which the Palestinians had hoped
to build their independent state
Israel's strategic goal as each and every one of its Prime Ministers
- Labor, Likud or Kadima - have explicitly stated is the total
control of all of Palestine by the Jewish state, the forcible
seizure of Palestinian land and the expulsion of millions of Palestinians
from the "Land of Greater Israel". This totalitarian
vision of a Final Solution has advanced methodically over the
years, accelerating over the past year through the systematic
destruction of the elementary conditions for Palestinian survival.
US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton
"I think it's important that we
not fall into the trap of moral equivalency here. What Hizbollah
has done is kidnap Israeli soldiers and rain rockets and mortar
shells on Israeli civilians. What Israel has done in response
is act in self-defense."
Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, July 2006
"Israeli leaders could be charged
with war crimes."
Daniel Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, July
"The Third World War.., has already
started What we're seeing today in the Middle East is a chapter
Poll conducted by the European Union in early 2006
"Israel is the biggest threat to
peace in the eyes of most Europeans."
Kristalnacht, the 1939 Nazi assault on Jewish homes, stores and
persons in 'reprisal' for a Jew killing a German Embassy officer,
was a garden party compared to the Jewish State's ongoing destruction
of Lebanon. The Nazi 'reprisal' led to the killing of several
Jews and property damage in the millions of dollars. Israel's
murder and destruction toll as at August 1st, 2006 already included
over 828 Lebanese civilians dead, 3200 wounded, 750,000 (some
say 900,000) refugees, hundreds of destroyed apartment buildings,
thousands of homes, schools, factories, aqueducts, water and sewage
treatment facilities, churches and mosques, radio and television
stations, all the major bridges and highways, the airports and
ports-in fact anything and anybody standing, hiding, or fleeing
Israel's deliberate 'total blockade' in
addition to its carpet-bombing has created a humanitarian catastrophe
for 2.5 million Lebanese, including the 750,000 refugees. According
to the Financial Times, "The humanitarian situation has been
made worse by an Israeli sea and air blockade and the targeting
of roads and bridges that hinder the distribution of aid, both
to the refugees and to the people who have stayed behind.
Professor Juan Cole argues persuasively that the war on Lebanon
was planned for at least a year, citing the presentations by senior
Israeli army officers to Washington think tanks, diplomats and
journalists outlining the coming invasion.
The Israeli pretext of rescuing two captured
soldiers is laughable given the instant massive offensive and
the sustained destruction of all of Lebanon, including large areas
of central and northern Lebanon where there are few if any Hezbollah.
For Israel, the military attack [on Lebanon] was directed toward
destroying all of Lebanon, converting it into an economic wasteland
while ethnically cleansing the Lebanese civilians from southern
Lebanon, facilitating its declaring the country a 'free-fire'
zone-to be bombed at will, killing any remaining persons on the
grounds that they were Hezbollah sympathizers, activists, social
workers, medics, and fighters. The strategy was to 'empty the
pond (southern Lebanon and south Beirut-perhaps 40 percent of
the country's population) to catch the fish (Hezbollah)'. (Hezbollah
is a mass political and social movement with a mass base of 1.1
million Lebanese which, inter alia, provided social services to
local populations in what might have been viewed as in the best
traditions of progressive socio-political movements, had not racist
bias and antipathy toward religion-or only specifically toward
Islam, since if similar activity had been undertaken by Christian
activists in Latin America, would it not have been embraced?-prevented
western progressives from arriving at such an assessment.) In
the process, Israel sought to create a client regime in Lebanon
and to cut off the moral and material support that Hezbollah gives
to the democratically elected Hamas government in Palestine.
In the course of events, Israeli and US
assumptions failed. Israel's massive terror bombing undermined
the pro-US Beirut regime and turned the great majority of Lebanese
in favor of Hezbollah-as surely might have been anticipated, since
recent infliction of collective punishment on the population of
Iraq with a view to turning them against even such a tyrant as
Saddam Hussein had miserably failed. In the total absence of the
Lebanese government, it was Hezbollah that rushed victims to hospitals,
provided food, evacuation convoys, and a modicum of relief to
all Lebanese-regardless of affiliation. Washington's precautions
to the Israelis to respect (Lebanese) civilians and civilian infrastructure
were brazenly ignored by the Jewish state from the start, which
knew full well that the Jewish Lobby in the US would ensure Washington's
complicity in mass murder and the undermining of its (n client
The entire massive Jewish and pro-Israel propaganda machine has'\
covered the US media with messages of unconditional support for
Israeli murder, denials of Lebanese suffering, and justification
of the wanton destruction, presented as an act of heroic defense...
by the 'mad dogs' (ref. Moshe Dayan) of Israel. The voices of
Americans horrified by Israeli atrocities or who just feel sympathy
for its victims go unheeded, or worse, are attacked and ridiculed.
(The veteran octogenarian White House correspondent, Helen Thomas,
of Lebanese ethnic origin, was taunted as the 'voice of Hezbollah'
by the President's Press Secretary, Tony Snow.) The US peace movement,
prohibited by its Jewish progressives from voicing outrage at
Israel, let alone the Lobby, is moribund. Once again, Israel gets
away with murder; its overseas political transmission belts dominate
the mass media. The US Congress kneels to the Lobby's dictates
... The US submission and complicity in
the Gaza ethnocide and now the destruction of Lebanon without
internal debate in Congress, in the mass media, or even in the
so-called 'peace movements', speaks loudly and clearly to the
stranglehold of Israeli power within the United States and to
the enormous and continuing damage to our basic democratic freedoms.
To stand against totalitarian terror and US complicity should
be a common reflexive act of decency. Today under the Lobby's
all pervasive domain, it is an act of courage, even though it
may reach only a few tens of thousands through the alternative
Israel's political and military leadership have repeatedly and
openly declared their preparation to militarily attack Iran in
the immediate future. Their influential supporters in the US have
made Israel's war policy the number one priority in their efforts
to secure Presidential and Congressional backing. The arguments
put forth by the Israeli government and echoed by their followers
in the US regarding Iran's nuclear threat are without substance
or fact and have aroused opposition and misgivings throughout
the world, among European governments, international agencies,
among most US military leaders and the public, the world oil industry,
and even among sectors of the Bush Administration.
An Israeli air and commando attack on
Iran will have catastrophic military consequences for US forces,
cause severe loss of human life in Iraq, and most likely ignite
political and military violence against pro-US Arab-Muslim regimes,
such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, perhaps leading to their overthrow.
Without a doubt Israeli war preparations are the greatest immediate
threat to world peace and political stability.
Pushing the US into a confrontation with Iran via economic sanctions
and military attack has been a top priority for Israel and its
supporters in the US for more than a decade." AIPAC believes
the Islamic Republic poses a grave threat to Israel's supremacy
in the Middle East. In line with its policy of forcing a US confrontation
with Iran, AIPAC, the Israeli PACs (political action committees)
and the CPMAJO [Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations]
have successfully lined up a majority of Congress people to challenge
what they describe as the "appeasement" of Iran. According
to the Jewish Times, "If it comes down to a political battle,
signs are that AIPAC could muster strong support in Congress to
press the White House to demand sanctions on Iran."
The pro-Israel Lobby's power, which includes AIPAC, the Conference
of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the PACs and hundreds
of local formal and informal organizations, is magnified by their
influence and hegemony over Congress, the mass media, financial
institutions, pension funds and fundamentalist Christian organizations.
Within the executive branch, their influence in these institutions
amplifies their power far beyond their number and direct control
and representation in strategic public and private institutions
(which itself is formidable). AIPAC's "Progress and Policy
Report for 2005"-published on its website-lists, among its
accomplishments getting Congress to approve 100 pro-Israel legislative
initiatives, $3 billion in direct aid and more than $10 billion
in guaranteed loans, transfer of the most advanced military technology
to Israel's multibillion dollar arms export corporations, and
the lining up of a 410 to 1 vote in the House of Representatives
committing the US to Israel's security-as defined by Israel.
Despite the near unanimous support and widespread influence of
I the major Jewish organizations, 20 percent of American Jews
do not support Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. Even
more significantly, 61 percent of Jews almost never talk about
Israel or defend Israel in conversation with Goyim (nonJews)."
Only 29 percent of Jews are active promoters of Israel. Even in
Israel, the support fluctuates.
It is important to note that the Israel First crowd represents
less than a third of the Jewish community and hence their claim
to speak for 'all' US Jews is false and a misrepresentation In
fact, there is more opposition to Israel among Jews than there
is in the US Congress. Having said that, however, most Jewish
critics of Israel are not influential in the big Jewish organizations
and the Israel lobby; they are excluded from the mass media and
mostly intimidated from speaking out, especially on Israel's war
preparations against Iran. The minority Jewish critics cannot
match the five to eight million dollars spent in buying Congressional
votes each year by the pro-Israel lobbies.
Fabrication of Iran's Nuclear Threat
Israeli intelligence has determined that
Iran has neither the enriched uranium nor the capability to produce
an atomic weapon now or in the immediate future, in contrast to
the hysterical claims publicized by the US pro-Israel lobbies.
Mohammed El Baradei, head of the United Nations International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has inspected Iran for several
years, has pointed out that the IAEA has found no proof that Iran
is trying to construct nuclear weapons. He criticized Israeli
and US war plans indirectly by warning that a "military solution
would be completely unproductive".
The principal result will be a massive escalation of war throughout
the Middle East. Iran, a country of 70 million, with several times
the military forces that Iraq possessed and with highly motivated
and committed military and paramilitary forces, can be expected
to cross into Iraq. Iraqi Shiites sympathetic to or allied with
Iran would most likely break their ties with Washington and go
into combat. US military bases, troops and clients would be under
tremendous attack. US military casualties would multiply. All
troop withdrawal plans would be disrupted. The 'Iraqization' strategy
would disintegrate, as the US 'loyal' Shia armed forces would
turn against their American officers.
Beyond Iraq, there would likely be major
military-civilian uprisings in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan,
Palestine, and Pakistan. The conflagration would spread beyond
the Middle East, as the Israel-US attack on an Islamic country
would ignite mass protests throughout Asia. Most likely new terrorist
incidents would occur in Western Europe, North America, and Australia
and against US multinationals wherever their operations might
be located. A bitter prolonged war would ensue, pitting 70 million
unified Iranian nationals, millions of Muslims in Asia and Africa
against an isolated US accompanied by its increasingly reluctant
European allies" facing mass popular protests at home. .
The only possible beneficiary of a US or Israeli military attack
on Iran or economic sanctions will be Israel: this will seem to
eliminate a military adversary in the Middle East, and consolidate
its military supremacy in the Middle East. But even this outcome
is problematic because it fails to take account of the fact that
Iran's challenge to Israelis primarily political, and does not
lie in its non-existent nuclear potential. The first target of
the millions of Muslims protesting Israeli aggression will be
the Arab regimes closest to Israel. An Israeli attack would be
a pyrrhic victory, if a predictable political conflagration unseats
the rulers of Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia. The consequences
would be even worse if the US attacks: major oil wells burning,
US troops in Iraq surrounded, long-term relations with Arab regimes
undermined, increased oil prices and troop casualties inflaming
domestic public opinion. An attack on Iran will not be a cleanly
executed 'surgical' strike-it will be a deep jagged wound leading
... Already, it seems fair to say, the
US is suffering geo-political repercussions from its unreasonable
targeting of Iran and, in the eyes of the Muslim world, Islamic
populations. While as yet they attend only as observers, Iran
and also Pakistan are seeking to join the new Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO), which, though not yet officially a mutual
defense organization similar to NATO, has nonetheless already
envisaged conducting joint military operations. While China has
said that no new decisions on membership are immediately pending,
Russian President Vladimir Putin "suggested that the alliance
form an 'energy club' but offered no details in public sessions.
Clearly, this is far from the end of the matter:
... the SCO's influence in the region
is on the rise.., a stronger SCO, particularly one with a military
component and Iran as a full member, might serve as a check to
U.S. interests and ambitions in the region. "An expanded
SCO would control a large part of the world's oil and gas reserves
and nuclear arsenal," David Wall, an expert on the region
at the University of Cambridge's East Asia Institute, told the
Washington Times. "It would essentially be an OPEC with bombs.
The problem is that there is no political leadership to oppose
the pro-Israel war lobby within Congress or even in civil society.
There are few if any influential organized lobbies challenging
the pro-war Israel Lobby either from the perspective of working
for coexistence in the Middle East or even defending US national
interests when they diverge from those of Israel. Although numerous
former diplomats, generals, intelligence officials, Reformed Jews,
retired National Security advisers and State Department professionals
have publicly denounced the Iran war agenda and even criticized
the Israel First lobbies, their newspaper ads and media interviews
have not been backed by any national political organization that
can compete for influence in the White House and Congress.
As we draw closer to a major confrontation
with Iran and Israeli officials set short term deadlines for igniting
a Middle East conflagration, it seems that we are doomed to learn
from future catastrophic losses that Americans must organize to
defeat political lobbies based on overseas allegiances.