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April 23, 2015

“Israel Lobby” Conference Features Anti-Israel Rhetoric

A one-day conference titled, “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is It Good for Israel?” took place on April 10, 2015 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The conference featured several anti-Israel speakers who chose to focus on the alleged role that the “Israel lobby” plays in the U.S.-Israel relationship and to evaluate whether it is positive or negative for both countries.

Miko Peled

Miko Peled speaking at the conference

At the conference, there were six panel discussions on topics such as “What Is the Israel Lobby and How Does It Work?,” “Are Critical Voices Silenced?,” “Is Freedom of Speech Encouraged on American Campuses?,” and “Is the Lobby Good for Israel?” Speakers on the panels included Grant Smith, the founder and director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP); Israeli anti-Zionist author and activist Miko Peled; Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist from Ha’aretz; Richard Falk, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights; and Huwaida Arraf, a co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

During the discussions, participants spoke about various aspects of the “Israel lobby” and groups that are involved with Israel advocacy work in the U.S. Below are some of the most inflammatory comments from participants at the conference:

  • Richard Falk, in his presentation titled “Weakening and discrediting the UN: The work of pro-Israel NGOs,” claimed that the United Nations is biased towards Israel and that pro-Israel groups are engaged in work to delegitimize the UN. He spoke about the recent AIPAC Policy Conference where Senator Lindsey Graham reportedly spoke negatively about the UN and stated that Graham’s remarks didn’t rest on facts, but instead claimed, “It rests on the repetition of the defamation and if you repeat, as Joseph Goebbels understood very well…If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes a kind of publicly accepted truth. And that’s where the very destructive effect of these kinds of tactics occurred.”
  • Miko Peled spoke about “How the Lobby enables Israeli Policy: Views of an Israeli in America.” In his remarks, he claimed that Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing and that Israel is an illegitimate state because “Israel was created as a result of a brutal ethnic cleansing and established itself as an apartheid regime immediately when it was formed. There was no better Israel. There was no uncorrupt Israel. There cannot be an uncorrupt Israel because it was built on a crime and has no legitimacy.”
  • Gideon Levy’s presentation, which was titled “Does unconditional support for Israel endanger Israeli voices?,” addressed whether or not the U.S.-Israel relationship is corrupt and whether it has had a negative impact on both countries. Levy stated, “We are dealing with a corrupting friendship. I think that if it wouldn’t be the Israel lobby, Israel would have been today a better place to live in. Israel would have been a more just place. And I think that if there wasn’t an Israel lobby, the United States would have been a better place and a more democratic place, but it’s not for me to judge the American politics.”
  • Grant Smith delivered a presentation titled “How big is the Lobby and what does it do? An overview of the 501(c) universe,” and in his remarks, he claimed that U.S. taxpayers are “victims” who are owed money from Israel for U.S. aid that he believes was delivered to Israel on false pretext. He also labeled pro-Israel groups in the U.S. as “Israel-affinity groups” and claimed that, “The education and training indoctrination segment of Israel-affinity groups and organizations is really involved with training within the community, Zionist education.

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December 12, 2014

Anti-Semite Gordon Duff Discusses Israeli Control of U.S. In Syria

The Syr­ian government’s Coun­tert­er­ror­ism and Reli­gious Extrem­ism Con­fer­ence featured remarks by American anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Gordon Duff during which he described the U.S. as being controlled by Israel.

Gordon Duff speaking at conference

Gordon Duff speaking at the conference

Senior editor at Vet­er­ans Today, a web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, Duff described himself as the “U.S. Keynote Speaker” at the conference. During his remarks, Duff told his audience that “I do believe there are areas of misunderstanding [about] how the United States works politically…It’s very difficult to understand what has happened as far as Israeli control of American politics, and I will, as succinctly as possible, I will explain this to you.”

Duff also elaborated on the Veterans Today delegation’s objective while in Syria, stating, “It’s our goal here while we are here to try to establish a method of communication that will allow Syria and other nations in the area to understand Israel’s control of the U.S., the control of the U.S. by organized crime, and how the U.S. government is subservient to a worldwide criminal organization.”

Duff also invoked conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the U.S. government, claiming that the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission “turned control of the Congress of the United States over to human traffickers, narcotics traffickers, and particular the most powerful individual in the United States today, a gambling boss named Sheldon Adelson, an Israeli citizen who fled the U.S. living in Macau.” Duff alleges that Adelson “spent over one billion dollars in the last election and bought control of both houses of Congress, now Senator John McCain, the father of al-Nusra, the father of ISIS, will be running U.S.  legislative and military foreign policy.”

Without specifying about whom he is speaking, Duff also states in his remarks that “their motivation is largely economic, they’re a criminal organization but they’re part of a worldwide criminal organization and they’re here in your territory taking your things, your factories, your lives, your people, for the enrichment of a very specific group of people who need to be held to account…”

Gordon Duff’s audience at the conference

Duff, who describes himself as “one of the top global intelligence specialists” and one who “regularly consults with governments” also claimed that Syrians have him to thank for preventing the U.S. from bombing Syria after “false-flag gas attacks near Aleppo.” He continued, “It was our organization here that supplied the intelligence that stopped those attacks.”

The con­fer­ence in Syria, held on Novem­ber 30 and Decem­ber 1, brought together rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 25 coun­tries with Syr­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials who report­edly harshly crit­i­cized the U.S. led anti-ISIS coali­tion and sug­gested an “Inter­na­tional Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Forum” be estab­lished in Dam­as­cus instead to deal with this issue. Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi and Justice Minister Najm al-Ahmad also spoke at the conference. Duff describes al-Ahmad as being “extremely helpful” in bringing the Veterans Today group to Syria.

Additionally, according to Syrian official media, Head of Hezbollah’s Arab Affairs Division, Sheik Hassan Ezzil Deen attended the conference.

Four of the eight Americans  who participated in the conference were from Veterans Today, including Jim Dean, a man­ag­ing edi­tor for Vet­er­ans Today who has made claims of Israeli con­trol of Amer­ica, Colonel Jim Hanke who claims to be a former military attaché to Israel, and Mike Har­ris, who has ties to mem­bers of the neo-Nazi National Social­ist Move­ment (NSM) and has claimed that Zion­ists are respon­si­ble for a num­ber of mass shoot­ings in Amer­ica.

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December 4, 2014

Syrian Counterterrorism Conference Attracts U.S. Anti-Semites

The Syrian government’s Counterterrorism and Religious Extremism Conference is the latest conference organized by a foreign government that has attracted American anti-Semites.

Gordon Duff

Gordon Duff

The conference in Syria, held on November 30 and December 1, brought together representatives from 25 countries with Syrian government officials who reportedly harshly criticized the U.S. led anti-ISIS coalition and suggested an “International Counterterrorism Forum” be established in Damascus instead to deal with this issue. Syria’s Justice Minister Najm al-Ahmad reportedly stated at the conference that the U.S. is “interfering in other states’ affairs and breaching their sovereignty under the pretexts of humanitarianism and counterterrorism.”

Attendees from Europe at the conference included far-right politicians such as Nicholas John Griffin, a former chairman and later president of the far-right British National Party and Philip Dewinter and Frank Creyelman, members of Vlaams Belang, a far-right Flemish nationalist party.

Four of the eight Americans who participated in the conference were from Veterans Today, a website that presents anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as news.

Jim Dean, a managing editor for Veterans Today who has made claims of Israeli control of America, attended the conference and told an Arabic-language newspaper that Veterans Today has “unconfirmed reports that a secret U.S. organization supported by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad carried out assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists” and that “the same organization has links to the Islamic State (ISIS) and it supervises, through a specialized department, the television filming of beheadings.” He claimed that this secret American-Israeli-supported organization supposedly “oversaw the filming of the beheading of American journalist James Foley in August.”

The delegation from Veterans Today also included Gordon Duff, Colonel Jim Hanke, and Mike Har­ris, who has ties to mem­bers of the neo-Nazi National Social­ist Move­ment (NSM) and has claimed that Zion­ists are responsible for a num­ber of mass shoot­ings in America. Among the Americans was also Richard Hines, described by the Syrian media as a former South Carolina politician who previously served in the Ronald Reagan administration.

Coverage of the conference by Press TV, Iran’s government-run English-language satellite news network which provides a platform to well-known American anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, was consistent with the conference’s messaging, discussing the West’s supposed “unprecedented support for terrorism in Syria” which aims “to create sectarian tensions and destroy Syria.”

syria-prime-minister-wael-nader-al-halqi-damascus-conference-2014

Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi

Press TV also claimed that even “U.S. experts slammed Washington for interference in Syria’s internal affairs,” and then presented Gordon Duff, senior editor at Veterans Today, as an expert. Duff told Press TV that “thinking that ISIS…the intelligence support they’re getting, that it doesn’t involve multiple intelligence agencies, that it doesn’t involve a number of governments, is unrealistic. We have to accept that we’re dealing with something that involves a broad conspiracy.”

Others at the conference were not as specific about who to blame for terrorism in Syria, but discussed it as part of a general conspiracy. Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi discussed the need “to defeat the conspiracy” and Syria’s Justice Minister Najm al-Ahmad stated that the current events in Syria represented “organized terrorism backed by several countries.”

Additionally, according to Syrian official media, Head of Hezbollah’s Arab Affairs Division, Sheik Hassan Ezzil Deen attended the conference.

Other recent conferences abroad that have hosted American anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and conspiracy theorists include the 2nd New Horizon Conference in Iran in September 2014, a May 2014 pro-“resistance” conference in Beirut that attracted members of Palestinian terrorist groups as well as at least three American activists, and the Iran Hollywoodism Conference in February 2013. Americans who frequent these types of conferences are often given a platform for their fringe views.

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