Some Honest Talk About Israel

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Why I Dislike Israel

By Philip Giraldi

Even those pundits who seem to want to distance U.S. foreign policy from Tel Aviv’s demands and begin treating Israel like any other country sometimes feel compelled to make excuses and apologies before getting down to the nitty-gritty. The self-lacerating prologues generally describe how much the writer really has a lot of Jewish friends and how he or she thinks Israelis are great people and that Israel is a wonderful country before launching into what is usually a fairly mild critique.

Well, I don’t feel that way. I don’t like Israel very much. Whether or not I have Jewish friends does not define how I see Israel and is irrelevant to the argument. And as for the Israelis, when I was a CIA officer overseas, I certainly encountered many of them. Some were fine people and some were not so fine, just like the general run of people everywhere else in the world. But even the existence of good upstanding Israelis doesn’t alter the fact that the governments that they have elected are essentially part of a long-running criminal enterprise judging by the serial convictions of former presidents and prime ministers. Most recently, former President Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape, while almost every recent head of government, including the current one, has been investigated for corruption. Further, the Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away.

The most recent outrage is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s direct interference in U.S. domestic politics through his appearance in a television ad appearing in Florida that serves as an endorsement of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The Netanyahu ad and his involvement in the election has been widely reported in the media and has even been condemned by several leading Jewish congressmen, but it has elicited no response from either Obama or Romney. Both should be condemning in the strongest terms the completely unprecedented intervention by a foreign head of government in an American election. That they are saying nothing is a testament to the power that Israel and its friends in Congress and the media have over the U.S. political establishment. Romney might even privately approve of the ads, as he has basically promised to cede to Netanyahu the right to set the limits for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

And why is Benjamin Netanyahu in such a lather? It is because President Barack Obama will not concede to him a “red line” that would automatically trigger a U.S. attack on Iran. Consider for a moment the hubris of Netanyahu in demanding that Washington meet his conditions for going to war with Iran, a nation that for all its frequently described faults has not attacked anyone, has not threatened to attack anyone, and has not made the political decision to acquire a nuclear weapon in spite of what one reads in the U.S. press. At the U.N., Netanyahu’s chart showing a cartoon bomb with a sputtering fuse reminiscent of something that might have been employed by an anarchist in the 1870s failed to pass any credibility test even for the inevitable cheerleaders in the U.S. media. If the U.S. is to go to war based on a Netanyahu cartoon then it deserves everything it gets when the venture turns sour, most likely Iraq Redux, only 10 times worse.

Even more outrageous, and a lot less reported in the media, were the comments made by Patrick Clawson, director of research for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an organization founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). WINEP is widely viewed as a major component of the Israel Lobby in Washington and is closely tied to the Israeli government, with which it communicates on a regular basis. Clawson heads WINEP’s Iran Security Initiative. At a briefing on Sept. 24 he said, “I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough, and it’s very hard for me to see how the United States … uh … president can get us to war with Iran.… The traditional way America gets to war is what would be best for U.S. interests.”

Note that Clawson states his conviction that initiating a crisis to get the U.S. involved in a war with Iran and thereby fooling the American people into thinking that it is the right thing to do is actually a “U.S. interest.” He cites Pearl Harbor, Fort Sumter, the Lusitania, and the Gulf of Tonkin as models for how to get engaged. Which inevitably leads to Clawson’s solution: “if the Iranians aren’t going to compromise it would be best if someone else started the war … Iranian submarines periodically go down. Some day one of them may not come up…. We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier at that.” Clawson is clearly approving of Israel’s staging an incident that would lead to war, possibly even a false-flag operation carried out by Israel that would implicate the United States directly, or he is urging the White House to do the job itself.

Clawson not surprisingly has never served in the U.S. military and has a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research, which would at first glance seem to disqualify him from figuring out how to set up a covert operation to sink a submarine and thereby start a war. He might be seen as moderately ridiculous, but like many of his neoconservative colleagues he is well wired into the system. He writes regularly for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal; appears on television as an “expert”; and is a colleague at WINEP of the ubiquitous Dennis Ross, sometimes called “Israel’s lawyer,” who was until recently President Obama’s point man on the Middle East. Clawson is a useful idiot who would be registered as an agent of the Israeli government if the Justice Department were doing its job, but instead he is feted as a man who tells it like it is in terms of American interests. The distortion of the foreign-policy decision-making in this country is something that can be attributed to Clawson and his host of fellow travelers, all of whom promote Israel’s perceived interests at the expense of the United States. And they do it with their eyes wide open.

I will deliberately avoid belaboring another Israel Firster Pamela Geller and her New York subway posters calling Palestinians savages and Israelis civilized, as I am sure the point has been made about how any lie that can serve the cause of Israel will be aggressively defended as “free speech.” A poster excoriating Jews or blacks in similar terms as “savages” would not have seen the light of day in New York City, another indication of the power of the Lobby and its friends to control the debate about the Middle East and game the system.

And then there are the reasons to dislike Israel and what it represents that go way back. In 1952’s Lavon Affair, the Israelis were prepared to blow up a U.S. Information Center in Alexandria and blame it on the Egyptians. In 1967, the Israelis attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmen, and then used their power over President Lyndon Johnson to block an investigation into what had occurred. In 1987, Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel with investigators determining that he had been the most damaging spy in the history of the United States. In the 1960s, Israelis stole uranium from a lab in Pennsylvania to construct a secret nuclear arsenal. And the spying and theft of U.S. technology continues. Israel is the most active “friendly nation” when it comes to stealing U.S. secrets, and when its spies are caught, they are either sent home or, if they are Americans, receive a slap on the wrist.

And Israel gets away with killing American citizens — literally — in the cases of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan of the Mavi Marmara. And let’s not forget Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians which has made the United States complicit in a crime against humanity. Tel Aviv has also played a key role in Washington’s going to war against Iraq, in promulgating a U.S.-led global war on terror against the Muslim world, and in crying wolf over Iran, all of which have served no U.S. interest. Through it all, Congress and the media are oblivious to what is taking place. Israel is a net recipient of over $123 billion in U.S. aid and continues to get $3 billion a year even though its per capita income is higher than that of Spain or Italy. No one questions anything having to do with Israel while Congress rubber-stamps resolution after resolution virtually promising to go to war on Israel’s behalf.

I have to admit that I don’t like what my own government is doing these days, but I like Israel even less and it is past time to do something about it. No more money, no more political support, no more tolerance of spying, and no more having to listen to demands for red lines to go to war. No more favorable press when the demented Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a cartoon at the U.N. The United States government exists to serve the American people, no more, no less, and it is time that our elected representatives begin to remember that fact.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is a contributing editor to The American Conservative and executive director of the Council for the National Interest.


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  1. JFK was “whacked” by the mossad as he was vehemently against israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons capability. He demanded that israel comply with international agreements on the inspection of nuclear reactor facilities, something that israel refused to do. Kennedy had little regard for israel and its leaders, considering them to be arrogant and self-serving.
    Lyndon Johnson has a jewish background and was considered a “crypto-jew”.
    Immediately after Johnson attained the presidency, all of Kennedy’s orders affecting israel were rescinded.
    Let’s not forget the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) which was deliberately attacked by israel on June 8, 1967. This attack was supposed to sink the ship and destroy the entire crew. When a brave sailor reconnected an antenna and got word to the fleet, the false flag operation was exposed. Initially, Johnson refused to allow help to be sent because he wanted “that goddam ship on the bottom”. Johnson’s “false flag operation” was finally exposed, but was whitewashed by none other than Senator John McCain’s admiral daddy. An israeli pilot remarked: “but sir, that’s an American ship” but was ordered to attack anyway.
    The israelis were so dirty, they strafed lifeboats in the water. To this day, there has never been a complete impartial investigation into this “act of war” by “our bestest ally in the middle east.”.
    The “skipper” was awarded the Medal of Honor, not at the White House which is protocol, but at an obscure Naval base. His citation mentions nothing of the deliberate israeli attack on the ship.
    If I had my way, Johnson and McNamara would have been tried and executed for treason. Israel would have been turned into a “glass parking lot” on June 9, 1967.
    As far as I am concerned, israel still owes me for 34 dead and 173 wounded Americans.

  2. If you were Iran, you’d want ‘The Bomb’ as well, considering what the U.S. has done to your neighbors.

    Having ‘The Bomb’ equals no U.S. invasion – they might still bomb, but no ground troops.

    The U.S. military cannot risk even a small (e.g. 5 kT) nuclear device being detonated near a build-up of ground forces, or near a carrier group.

    • That’s it in a nutshell.

      But war-lusty (and cowardly and ignorant) Ahhhhhhmerikuns buy into the “Iran is a threat” bullshit peddled by the neo-cons and their Israeli handlers (or the reverse; it really doesn’t matter). What they cannot abide is the idea of not being able to dictate terms to other countries via the implicit (and overt) threat of invasion and regime change for noncompliance.

      Consider: Iran has not launched an aggressive war in living memory.

      How many aggressive wars have America and Israel undertaken in just the past 20 years?

  3. I’m so glad to read this; there are so very few voices willing to state unequivocally I hate Israel.

    Because if you do, you’re automatically anti-semitic.

    And that meme works every fucking time; the propaganda is so deeply embedded, the post-hypnotic suggestion so unshakably rooted in the sheeples’ cortex, that it’s not a topic open to discussion.

    Like so many other “facts” in the modern lexicon, it’s designed that way.

    Just a few facts; please, feel free to research these yourself. I’m not providing footnotes because there are just too many and it’s late:

    Israel is a completely artificial construct. The so-called “Star of David” on the flag is a blue version of the Rothschild’s red hexagram. Jews in WWII who escaped were purposely turned away from potential shelter countries to ensure the maximum number killed; this was a ploy to ensure their fate was so catastrophic they’d be pitied forever after…and cynically used to further the interests of the powers that established “Israel” in the first place.

    Truman was bribed $2million to be first to formally recognize Israel…very shortly after its declaration of sovereignty.

    This rabbit-hole goes very deep indeed. The “Jews” that defend themselves so vehemently against “defamation” are in fact mostly Khazars–who today call themselves “Ashkenazi”, but are very far removed from any original Jewish bloodline.

    It’s a disgusting setup and a nasty, cynical manipulation of well-meaning people.

    • You know Methyl, we could go a long ways down that rabbit hole, but what’s the point? We can discuss the root causes, the hidden motives, the elitist plots and the blatant chauvinism represented by the State of Israel. Or we could just cut to the chase and judge the society by what it does in the present.

      Israel has never been a good neighbor. It has never been self sufficient. It picks fights then calls Dad to beat up its enemies. It’s a coward and a bully. The nice thing about approaching Israel from this perspective is that the analysis isn’t based on speculation; these are directly observable behaviors.

      I’d venture the entire Rothschild/Asholenazi/Huzza conspiracy mythos is itself part of the plan you allude to rather than something of any real import.

      • Absolutely.

        Except for this crowd, I never bring this stuff up in public because it’s a guaranteed method to shut down further conversation and blacklist yourself as “one of those conspiracy nuts”.

        God how I hate that label! It’s the refuge of the intellectual cowards around us to forestall real conversation.

        But that said–bringing up Israel’s real history is like farting loudly in church.

        Your approach works much, much better. Point out the criminality of the Israeli leadership. Point out their egregious treatment of the Palestinians. Point out their belligerence, aggression, manipulation.

        Unfortunately 99% of “Christians” believe Israel’s stance is justified because they’re convinced the world is out to get poor, poor innocent little’ole Israel.

        I like to mention that Israel has at least 200 nukes, probably more like 400…the first few for which they stole the uranium from us. Meanwhile Iran has none, and is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; unlike Israel.

        Not that the NNPT is a wonderful thing; but it shows Israel’s arrogance.

        I bring up their REAL history here because if I didn’t spout these things once in a while, my head would explode from the pressure of truth building up like a testicle retaining too much seed.

  4. WWIII – being fought for Israel.
    WWII & WWI w fought for England.

    It’s never too late to come clean. Let’s start with Englands agreement breaching starvation blockade of Germany. We acknowledge our role in the murder of German civilians in 1916. By being honest, maybe we can regain our neutrality and stop being a bunch of patsy lapdogs eager to kill on command for the older more subtle nations.

    • Tor, you’re talking about matters that occurred nearly a century ago and we can’t get knuckleheads TODAY to recognize and admit what happened a decade past.

      • True, but theoretically, you can trace our current disaster backed to its origins, time zero, beyond which its too late.
        Often, I drop or omit crucial pieces of my train of thought.

        In 1912, America was a neutral nation, kept everything consistent. You can’t keep peace and be shown to prefer Persia over turkey, for example, as long as both adhere to the rules.

        This even dealing was what kept longest peacetime in world history. From 1790 French Revolution, until 1914 World War I. Only a return to the original principles will work. This is huge reason why France is the biggest tourist destination and most respected nation in world. They are the most principled fairest dealing major power.

        Take hurricane katrina. Hurricanes originate over N Africa. Can we revegetate it so it doesn’t get so hot and create such a hurricane delivery system? Why not try?
        What happened to peace corps. Now we all join war corps? Not me. I only hate the state. Any productive civilians, Men Without Hats, are a potential market for a neutral nation.

        Surrender monkey=adhere to NAP. Funny how words obscure.

        What about the wetlands? Why not engineer something at the Mississippi Delta to capture all that valuable fresh water, before it gets to the gulf. Sell it to Mexico or whoever.
        We know Gov sux and it has only allopathic solution of “Build Bigger Levy, derp”.
        I don’t plan to educate any pigs, tho it’d be nice. More useful to compile swine deterents and bacon nullification techniques.

        This is all typed out of order for some reason. I am surprised at what people understand and retain, If we can get ourselves to relive and understand our childhood traumas as a nation, then we can see the manifestations repeating and go to work on the root causes?

        • One thing is certain: freedom won’t come out of some government committee, grant, or some slavish automaton spewing official lies. It’ll only come about as free men and women “behave” and act freely. There is an infinite amount of possibility within us and THAT is my hope.

          • Agreed.

            Basically Israel = “Brawndo, It’s what Holy God told Moses on Mt Sinai that plants crave.”

            Whereas Arab = “God likes to be called Allah now, and Jews are giving plants the Brawndo that they crave in an incorrect manner, ergo burn everything and kill them all and their friends QED.”

            America is trying to pick the winner of these two Hobson’s delusions. Its gotten so bad, even the FSA has a superior message, to this incarceration nation building chain gang of Idiocracies.

            Some people want to use Kosher wiper fluid. Some will only use Blue Genie brand made by Dow Chem. Others demand its made in their home state, or using Sierra club approved safeguards. Or they want a bureaucracy to mandate all vehicles be checked for its presence before driving on public roads.

            Me, I would want to know that in my region its always 10% methanol and water. That its also sold as home window cleaner at 4 times the price.

            I’m only interested in necessary properties, and producers of value. As you say, politics, religion, branding, tort lawyers, consumer bureaucrats, and the like are all dead weight, and not something worth spending any more time on than necessary to debunk and learn to tune out as irrelevant.

          • Just one more comment: It turns out that mixing vodka with the blue stuff works just as well, but it’s four times more expensive than rubbing alcohol. You might just as well use Windex.

          • On the upside, if you use water, some blue food coloring and vodka, you can always drink the stuff while you wait for a tow truck. This is a *big* advantage if you spend much time crossing Nevada on I80.

      • A decade? I remember in the early 90s on BBS discussing why crack cocaine laws had such harsh penalties. I couldn’t get those people to remember the mid-late 1980s crack paranoia that brought about those penalties.

        I think the average american can remember about three years back tops when it comes to important subjects. They’ll remember the players and stats of their favorite sports team going back decades though.


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