Anti-Israel Conference Broadcast Live On CSPAN Features Anti-Semitism » ADL Blogs
March 12, 2014 3

Anti-Israel Conference Broadcast Live On CSPAN Features Anti-Semitism

An event held last Fri­day at the National Press Club and broad­cast live on C-SPAN 3 focus­ing on the U.S.-Israel rela­tion­ship fea­tured a num­ber of vir­u­lently anti-Israel speak­ers who made con­spir­a­to­r­ial claims about Zion­ism, the influ­ence of the “Israel Lobby” and much more.jeff-blankfort-summit-dc-cspan

The event, dubbed as a National Sum­mit to “Reassess the U.S.-Israel ‘Spe­cial Rela­tion­ship,’” was spon­sored by anti-Israel groups If Amer­i­cans Knew, the Coun­cil for the National Inter­est (CNI), the Insti­tute for Research: Mid­dle East­ern Pol­icy (IRmep) as well as the Wash­ing­ton Report on Mid­dle East Affairs.

Ses­sions at the sum­mit included, “How does the Israel lobby influ­ence Con­gress?” and “Does Israel and its lobby exer­cise too much influ­ence on U.S. deci­sions to wage war in the Mid­dle East?” Subtopics for those ses­sions included, “In the Israel lobby’s cross-hairs,” and “Are threats to Israel’s secu­rity inflated to jus­tify occu­pa­tion and U.S. support?”

While almost all of the speak­ers called on the U.S. to end its aid to Israel, the fol­low­ing is a sam­pling of some of the most inflam­ma­tory statements.

  • Paul Find­ley, a for­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Illi­nois and a founder of CNI, said: “The influ­ence of Israel, as of today, is so great on Capi­tol Hill that they [Rep­re­sen­ta­tives] see dan­gers of not sur­viv­ing the next elec­tion if they chal­lenge what Israel is doing.”
  • Cyn­thia McK­in­ney, a for­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Geor­gia, who spoke via Web­cast, told the audi­ence that “the pro-Israel lobby usu­ally has a whole lot of money and those of us who act of con­scious gen­er­ally don’t…they [the pro-Israel lobby] can buy and intim­i­date people.”
  • Philip Giraldi, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of CNI, talked about an Israeli con­spir­acy sur­round­ing the 9/11 attacks.  “The exis­tence of a large scale Israeli spy­ing effort at the time of 9/11 has been widely reported incor­po­rat­ing Israeli companies…Five Israelis from one of the com­pa­nies were observed cel­e­brat­ing against the back­drop of the Twin Tow­ers going down.”
  • Jef­frey Blank­fort, a radio host based in San Fran­cisco, referred to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. as “Israeli-occupied ter­ri­tory” and spoke of “AIPAC’s occu­pa­tion of Con­gress.” He also alleged that “PNAC [Project for New Amer­i­can Cen­tury] ini­ti­ated and made up of pre­dom­i­nantly Jew­ish neo­cons began pro­mot­ing regime change in Iraq.”
  • Grant F. Smith, the Direc­tor of IRmep, said that there has been Israeli espi­onage in the U.S. since the 1940s. “My con­clu­sion,” he said, “is there is no U.S. law that if it stands in the way of Israel…that can­not be thwarted [by Israel].”
  • Allan C. Brown­feld, a nation­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist, said: “What has hap­pened to Amer­i­can Judaism has com­pletely cor­rupted its reli­gious nature. What we are wit­ness­ing today — syn­a­gogues fly­ing Israeli flags, pro­grams urg­ing Amer­i­can Jews to emi­grate to Israel ‘their real home­land,’ — is a form of idol­a­try mak­ing the sov­er­eign state of Israel the object of wor­ship rather than God.” He added, “It is also my view that Zion­ism is a sub­ver­sive enterprise.”
national-press-club-summit-logo

Sum­mit logo

Dur­ing a Q&A ses­sions at the sum­mit, one of the audi­ence mem­bers stated that the “Holo­caust nar­ra­tive is still the third rail” and that teach­ing it in schools is “a vio­la­tion of con­sti­tu­tional rights. It’s a state enforce­ment of a reli­gious dogma.”

Jef­frey Blank­fort responded to that com­ment by stat­ing that, “When it comes to the Holo­caust, there’s no range of opin­ions. You teach a cer­tain line; you do not teach about the Zionist-Nazi collaboration…”

Justin Rai­mondo, the edi­to­r­ial direc­tor of Antiwar.com, inter­jected and asked Blank­fort, “What range of opin­ions could you pos­si­bly have about the Holo­caust?!” Philip Weiss, a co-founder of the anti-Israel Mon­doweiss blog, also responded to Blankfort’s com­ments and called them “repul­sive” but added that, “the West incurred a debt towards the Jews from the Holo­caust and the Pales­tini­ans paid for that.”

Dur­ing another Q&A ses­sion, an audi­ence mem­ber asked, “…why is it such a stretch for us as a body to not pub­licly say, ‘Israel had a hand in 9/11?’”

Stephen Snagoski, a colum­nist for the anti-Semitic and con­spir­a­to­r­ial Vet­er­ans News Now, responded in part: “It seems rea­son­able that they [Israel] may have known a lot about it and didn’t tell that to peo­ple who would act to pre­vent it in the United States…It looks like all the evi­dence has dis­ap­peared.” Snagoski stated that these alleged devel­op­ments were reported on, “even Fox,” which he referred to as, “one of ‘their’ channels.”

Sev­eral other speak­ers par­tic­i­pated in the Sum­mit, includ­ing Stephen Walt, Ali­son Weir, Ray­mond McGov­ern and Paul Pillar.

  • James Koss

    Israel has no right to inter­fere in Amer­i­can Polit­i­cal deci­sions. If proof exists thta it does that is enough to sub­stan­ti­ate the claims above.

  • janbn

    Most of what was said was fac­tu­ally true. Prob­lem is that the ADL wants to once again use the tired old saw of call­ing those who call out Israel and its lobby “anti-Semitic.” If Israel was a coun­try not run of, by and for Jews per­haps the ADL itself might crit­i­cize it.
    Lets not for­get that AIPAC is the sec­ond most pow­er­ful lobby in the coun­try and leg­is­la­tors do risk their future by oppos­ing what AIPAC demands of them. Lets also not for­get that not long ago, as reported in Israel’s Ha’aretz news­pa­per and other pub­li­ca­tions, for­mer CIA offi­cials said that Israel is con­sid­ered to be the MidEast’s great­est spy threat.
    A case in point regard­ing the Lobby. In 1982 after Israel invaded Lebanon a couragous mem­ber of Con­gress gave a speech attack­ing Israel’s aggres­sion against Lebanon. After his speech, as he later told me, he was approached by sev­eral mem­bers of Con­gress who praised him for his speech and added that they wished they had the same courage as he did but the val­ued their seat in Con­gress. When this mem­ber of Con­gress ran in the pri­maries the Lobby ensured that mil­lions of dol­lars would flow to his oppo­nent. The Lobby won and Jus­tice lost.

  • clipdive55

    Of course the ADL would call it anti-Semitism. It takes so lit­tle for them to invoke this tal­is­manic term that any state­ment, how­ever fac­tual, that por­trays any­thing Israeli in less than pos­i­tive terms is now deemed anti-Semitic. Why, this very state­ment is prob­a­bly going to raise the ADL’s hackles.