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April 15, 2013

Anti-Israel Organizations Attack Israel with Tax Day-Themed Campaigns

Today, April 15, is “Tax Day,” the date by which all Americans are required to submit their tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While it is an appropriate day to spend a few minutes thinking about what our government spends our tax dollars on, there are several anti-Israel organizations that are capitalizing on today’s deadline to initiate campaigns about what the U.S. government should not spend its money on: aid to Israel.

In the past week, two prominent anti-Israel organizations have launched a new website and a new report calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel. Although a priority that has long been at the forefront of the domestic anti-Israel movement’s agenda, it has picked up steam in recent years due to economic concerns caused by the Great Recession, sequestration and budget deficits.

The first campaign, titled “Demand a Refund,” was initiated by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in coordination with American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and CODEPINK. The campaign’s website features a petition from taxpayers to President Obama which reads, in part, “As a taxpayer, I am outraged that your administration is reportedly opening negotiations to give Israel up to $40 billion in U.S. taxpayer-financed weapons,” an apparent reference to defense weaponry and technology that the U.S. sells to Israel.

The petition claims that Israel uses American weapons to “commit systematic human rights abuses” and “oppress Palestinians.” It also criticizes President Obama for increasing the amount of aid to Israel during his administration. The organizers of the petition hoped to gain 10,000 signatures by today (the campaign was launched last week). At present there are a little more than 3,000 signatories.

And just last week, the anti-Israel organization If Americans Knew (IAK) released a new report titled “The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans” to coincide with Tax Day. Originally published in 1998, the new version of the report was written by Pamela Olson, a new analyst for IAK.

Although the report makes similar allegations to the anti-aid petition highlighted above – noting, for example, that “it is critical to examine why we lavish so much aid on Israel” – the language cited in this report is far more egregious. It claims that U.S. aid to Israel is a result of the “Israel lobby” and insists that the U.S.-Israel relationship harms the U.S. because Israel causes “rage and resentment among billions of people… and sells America’s military secrets to its enemies.”

In its mention of the “Israel lobby,” the report goes so far as to allege that the U.S. and Israel do not enjoy a strong relationship because of shared values or interests but because “Congressmen receive payments and support from the lobby in exchange for their loyalty.” The report also asserts that U.S. aid to Israel makes the possibility for peace between Israel and the Palestinians “even more distant.”

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June 12, 2012

Press TV Airs Anti-Semitic Interviews to Mark U.S.S. Liberty Anniversary

Press TV, Iran’s English-language propaganda television station, marked the 45th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Liberty by interviewing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activists Alison Weir, Michael Santomauro, and J. Bruce Campbell.
During the interview, which was held on June 8, the trio accused Israel of purposefully targeting the U.S. warship during the height of the 1967 Six-Day War. (The circumstances surrounding the U.S.S. Liberty, an American ship that was unintentionally fired on by Israeli forces, has been regular fodder for anti-Israel conspiracy theorists.) The interview also included several anti-Semitic statements and conspiratorial accusations of Jewish control over the U.S. government.
Michael Santomauro, an anti-Israel blogger and Holocaust denier, alleged that the USS Liberty is a cover-up maintained by U.S.-based Jewish support for Israel and the disproportionate influence Jews hold over the U.S. government. Jewish interest groups, whom Santomauro claimed provide over the overwhelming amount of funding to U.S. political parties, wield their power through what he termed “Jewish PAC money.”
J. Bruce Campbell, a contributing writer for the anti-Semitic website, Veterans Today, claimed that the attack on the Liberty was part of a conspiratorial U.S-Israeli plan he called Operation Cyanide, a secret military operation that Campbell alleges purposefully sent the Liberty to get sunk by the Israelis in order to place blame on Egypt. The desired result, Campbell claims, would have been for the U.S. to retaliate against Egypt and to “drop nuclear bombs on Cairo and Alexandria.” Campbell asserted that this was ordered by the U.S. to assist Israel in creating “great [sic] Israel stretching from the Nile to Euphrates rivers.”
When asked by the host whether he agrees that Israel controls the U.S. government, Campbell responded, “I would say the Jews in America [run the United States]. Israel is a euphemism … It is really American Jews who are behind this [the Iraq and Afghanistan wars] just as it was during 1967…” Campbell also claimed that American Jews want to kill “millions of Muslims” and “thousands of Americans. This is what American Jews want, this is what they make happen through Washington D.C.”
Alison Weir, president of the Council for the National Interest (CNI), an anti-Israel organization that opposes U.S. aid to Israel, added to Santomauro’s comment about the pro-Israel lobby and characterized the U.S-Israel relationship as an “extremely unhealthy situation.” Weir also said that large sums of donations from pro-Israel groups are the cause of “tragedy, misery, violence and war after war after war.” Weir’s comments are consistent with her record of using anti-Semitic imagery and portraying Israel and its agents as powerful forces that control American policy through intimidation and deception.
Press TV, which is based in Tehran, is used by the clerical regime to provide a platform for extreme elements and activists to air their views and opinions. Many of Press TV’s U.S.-based guests are frequently invited by the station specifically for their conspiratorial anti-Israel views. Earlier this year, Weir appeared as a guest on the station to discuss the 2012 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, calling the pro-Israel lobby “very dangerous to the world” and “for Americans.”

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March 2, 2012

“Occupy AIPAC” Conference Seeks to Lambast Pro-Israel Lobby and Cast Antiwar Agenda as the “99%”

An anti-Israel conference to counter this weekend’s annual AIPAC Policy Conference will begin today and includes a variety of events, rallies and public demonstrations through March 6.
This year’s protest event, titled “Occupy AIPAC,” seeks to capitalize on the success of the Occupy Movement and foster common cause between the popular social protests and anti-Israel efforts. The event’s Twitter feed tries to paint Israel and its supporters in the U.S. as part of the proverbial “1%” and  the left-wing antiwar movement as the 99%, a repurposing of the Occupy Movement’s rhetoric. In addition, one of the conference sessions links the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street Movement with anti-Israel efforts.
The conference session that is likely to feature the most egregious rhetoric is titled “AIPAC: What it is, who its allies are, why it’s dangerous and how to stop it.” It will feature, among others, Hatem Bazian, the leader of the extreme anti-Israel organization American Muslims for Palestine; Jeffrey Blankfort, an anti-Israel journalist who claims that the “Israel lobby” controls U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East; and Alison Weir, the director of the Council for the National Interest. Weir’s writings and comments have at times crossed the line into anti-Semitism, including accusing Israelis of harvesting Palestinians’ organs. According to descriptions provided on the conference Web site, the session will include a segment on how AIPAC “promotes Muslim otherness.”
Conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in several rallies and demonstrations against AIPAC events, including protests outside the White House during President Obama’s and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speeches.
Occupy AIPAC’s Twitter feed accuses AIPAC of excessive control over U.S. policy, including posts reading “We want our country back” and “End big money lobbyist control of MidEast Policy.”
The conference has already attracted at least one anti-Semitic attendee, Charles Carlson. Carlson is the co-founder and director of “We Hold These Truths,” an Arizona-based Christian anti-Semitic group that regularly protests outside Christian Zionist churches. In a message to his members inviting people to join him at “Occupy AIPAC,” Carlson wrote:
“Every political candidate for president is bowing and scraping to the state of Israel…they are not appealing for Israeli votes,  but for the tens of millions of American Christian Zionist votes…Thousands of mistaken and opportunistic Pastors also fear the truth because they have mislead their congregations.  Knowledge of Christian Zionism can drive a stake through it, to be someday buried in the graveyard of apostate, religious acts of war.”

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