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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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March 27, 2014

Alison Weir: Zionists Have Controlled American Society For “100 Years”

Alison Weir book blogAlison Weir, the director of If Americans Knew and the Council for the National Interest, two grassroots anti-Israel organizations, recently authored a book titled Against our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel.

The book conspiratorially argues that supporters of Israel have exercised undue control over American society “for over a hundred years” and have dominated the American media and political system in order to advance the goal of creating a Jewish state in Palestine and causing the “complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine.”

Weir argues that the goals and objectives of American supporters of Israel are “profoundly damaging to the United States itself” and claims that:  “It [Zionism] has targeted virtually every significant sector of American society; worked to involve Americans in tragic, unnecessary, and profoundly costly wars; dominated Congress for decades; increasingly determined which candidates could become serious contenders for the U.S. presidency; and promoted bigotry toward an entire population, religion, and culture.”

In addition to her anti-Semitic accusations that supporters of Israel wield undue influence – which they achieved, according to Weir, through both “paid and unpaid” means” – Weir further portrays Zionists as willing to do almost anything throughout history to achieve their goals. She even makes the claim that there was collusion between Nazi and Zionist leaders and that “Zionists pushed for the U.S. to enter the war [World War I] on Britain’s side as part of a deal to gain British support for their colonization of Palestine.” Weir also claims that after the Holocaust, Zionist groups gained access to displaced persons camps in order to “target the weakest population” for emigration to Palestine.

Weir, a former journalist, has made it her life’s mission to demonize Israel and its supporters in the U.S. She has shown no bounds when it comes to railing against Israel, even appearing on Press TV, the English-language satellite news network controlled by Iran, and the radio broadcast of Amer­i­can Free Press (AFP), a virulently anti-Semitic newspaper. She regularly speaks on college campuses across the United States and the misleading and hateful flyers produced by IAK are almost ubiquitous at anti-Israel conferences and other events.

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March 12, 2014

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.

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