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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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January 23, 2014

Ron Unz: Controversial Writer And Funder Of Anti-Israel Activists

ron-unz-extremism

Ron Unz

Conservative businessman Ron Unz has stirred controversy over the last year by publicizing ideas that appeal to anti-Semites, offering a forum for writers who demonize Israel, and funding several anti-Israel activists, some of whom promote anti-Semitic canards. Though Unz does not appear to be an anti-Semite, he provides support to extreme anti-Israel ideologues and his writings resonate with and are regularly cited by anti-Semites.

In November 2013, Unz created a webzine called The Unz Review that addresses controversial political and racial topics because he believes the mainstream media ignore or conceal certain information and ideas.  Although Unz claims that he does not agree with many of the views presented in the webzine, he nonetheless has provided a new outlet for certain writers to attack Israel and Jews.

The Unz Review emerged a year after Unz published a controversial article “The Myth of American Meritocracy,” in The American Conservative in which he claims that Jews are overrepresented at elite schools even though their achievement levels have been in a downward spiral. He also claims these schools discriminate against better-qualified Asian-Americans and non-Jewish whites who represent a greater percentage of the population.

Unz postulates that one reason that Jews are more readily admitted to Ivy League schools is that a large percentage of the schools’ administrators are Jewish and are more apt to admit Jews based on “unconscious biases.” Most disturbingly, Unz implies that Jews are an alien presence in the United States compared to White Anglo Saxons who dominated elite schools in the past.

As might be expected, anti-Semites have latched onto Unz’s work to affirm their own views. In particular Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic professor of evolutionary psychology at California State University, Long Beach, and anti-Semite David Duke both assert that Unz’s work shows that Jews in power discriminate against white European-Americans.

Unz is involved in other endeavors that raise questions about his views of Jews and Israel. He funds a number of extreme anti-Israel ideologues through the Unz Foundation including Paul Craig Roberts, an anti-Semitic syndicated columnist;  Mondoweiss, an anti-Israel blog run by Philip Weiss; and Philip Giraldi, the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, an anti-Israel group based in Washington, D.C.

For full article, see “Ron Unz: Controversial Writer and Funder of Anti-Israel Ideologues.”

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February 3, 2012

The Penn BDS Conference Opens Tonight

In advance of this weekend’s BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania, we are highlighting five of the most anti-Israel individuals scheduled to speak at the conference.


Today we profile Philip Weiss, a writer and the founder of an anti-Zionist blog called “Mondoweiss.”

Weiss regularly tries to portray Israel as the only antagonist in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including describing much of its history asa “neocolonialist landgrab.” Weiss alleges that Israel abuses the memory of the Holocaust in order to justify the “endless mistreatment of Palestinians” and that Israeli policy toward the Palestinians is a sort of vicarious revenge for the Holocaust, with Palestinians standing in for the Nazis and the “abused becoming the abuser.”

After a visit to Gaza in 2009, Weiss described the Gaza War as an “assault…[that] reminded me of what I had heard about the Jews in Warsaw and in Germany and Austria in the runup to the Second World War. Those Jews were persecuted; and these Palestinians were too.”

Weiss has also frequently alluded to an excessively powerful pro-Israel lobby, even claiming that President Obama’s insufficient focus on the revolution in Egypt during his 2011 State of the Union address was a result of “the unwavering influence of the Israel lobby in our public life.”

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