Zionists as a group

Individual Zionists:

Alan M. Dershowitz
Rahm Emanuel
Bruce Kovner
Yitzhak Rabin
Steve Rosen
Dennis Ross
Gabriel Schoenfeld
George P. Shultz (some may question Schultz’s status as a Zionist)

Zionists as a group

Onward, Christian Zionists
Deep-rooted Christian tradition
has put its mark on British, US policies in Mideast

By James Carroll
Boston Globe, 2010-08-23

that assertion defines the diagnostic mantra of Middle East conflict.
The Jewish settlers’ “Bloc of the Faith” movement (Gush Emunim),
with the agenda of restoring biblical Israel,
is discussed as one instance of fundamentalism.
Religious jihadists, aiming to re-establish the lost Caliphate of Islam,
are discussed as another.
Wacky Christians are sometimes spoken of,
like the mentally unbalanced Australian
who set fire to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 1969.

But the word fundamentalism can obscure as much as it illuminates,
especially in the way it seems to lump the sources of trouble
on the extreme edge of belief.
What if a decidedly mainstream tradition,
rooted not in the Middle East but in Britain and America,
is a historic key
to the tangle that so far resists every effort at unknotting?
Not wacky Christians, but the ordinary faithful.
What if fundamentalism, in other words, is not the crime but the evidence —
evidence of a destructive, yet widespread religious attitude
that contributes to the political impasse
that continues to stymie Palestinian and Israeli peace negotiators?

Christian Zionism is shorthand for the idea that
the return of Jews to the Holy Land is a pre-requisite for
the return of Jesus the Messiah, and the final redemption of the world.
Believers who take this notion literally
(and are understood, in that sense, to be fundamentalist)
have been central players in the drama of Palestine for almost two centuries.
A particular biblical verse seized the imagination of such Christians.
(“O that the salvation Of Israel were come out of Zion!
When God bringeth back the captivity of his people,
Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad”

— Psalm 56:6.
St. Paul cited this verse in Romans 11:26,
and Christians took it from there.)

This idea of Jewish return to Zion as the climax of salvation history
has resonance dating to the Babylonian Captivity
nearly six centuries before Christ.
No surprise, perhaps, that
the enthused religious “awakenings” of 19th century evangelical Protestants
therefore jelled around
the literal restoration of Jews to their traditional homeland.
We saw in a previous column how
Catholicism regarded such return of Jews as anathema,
but the so-called “restorationist” Protestant concern for Jews
was not truly friendly.
Rather, the restored Jews were only to be instruments of
the final triumph of Christianity.
Jews again in Israel would be faced with
the choice of conversion or damnation.

This might seem like esoteric religious mumbo-jumbo,
but it centrally motivated two of the three most important elements
in the establishment and survival of the state of Israel —
British intervention in Palestine and
American support for the Jewish state
(the third element, of course, is Jewish resolve itself).
Yes, other factors always counted, like
imperial expansion, secular Zionism, oil reserves, and superpower politics.
But Christian religious fervor was igniting and sustaining.
when the British prime minister and onetime Baptist lay preacher Lloyd George dispatched Field Marshal Edmund Allenby to Palestine in 1917,
neither military nor political strategy was paramount.
George told Allenby to capture “Jerusalem before Christmas
as a Christmas present for the British people.”

[Was LG being literal or metaphorical here?]

The Holy Land was to be the place of
a dream rescue from the horror of the trenches.
That the dream was unreal, of course,
is why it did not include the Arabs who already lived in Palestine.
It was a 19th century British Christian restorationist
who coined the mistaken and still fateful phrase
“a land without a people for a people without a land.”

Christian Restorationism drove a large European arrival in Palestine.
The West Jerusalem area known as “the German Colony,” for example,
was settled by
millennial-minded German evangelicals who came to convert Jews.
So, too, “the American Colony,” the vestige of which remains in
the chic East Jerusalem hotel of that name.
Indeed, Christian Zionism grew even more powerful in the United States
than in Europe.
Between a third and a half of all mid-19th century Americans
were evangelical Christians, and this vision enlivened most of them.
What began as an obsession of the devout became general,
affecting even so religiously detached a figure as Abraham Lincoln.
“Restoring the Jews to their national home in Palestine,”
he wrote in 1863,
“is a noble dream and one shared by many Americans.”
Always, the imagined Jewish achievement was implicitly to be at the service
not of Jewish vindication,
but of an eschatological Christian triumph.

We noted in an earlier column that
the Vatican’s 1948 refusal to recognize the state of Israel
reflected that Catholic theology of Jewish dispersal.
In a similar, if opposite, way
the evangelical theology of Jewish restoration was part of what prompted
President Harry S. Truman’s recognition of Israel
within hours of its declaration of independence.
Yes, Truman had political (an upcoming election)
and moral (rescuing Hitler’s victims) reasons for the action,
but, his lifelong association with the Christian Zionist agenda,
as a Baptist and member of the American Christian Palestine Committee,
had already deeply prepared him.
[This topic has been extensively studied (e.g.),
and the fact is that he was extensively lobbied on this issue.
In fact, Truman later said:
“I do not think I ever had
as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House
as I had in this instance.
The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders —
actuated by a political motive and engaging in political threats —
disturbed and annoyed me.”

US policy ever since has similarly reflected a mixture of
power politics, electoral considerations, and profound moral commitment.
Yet Americans are properly proud of what Truman did.
Most realize that, whatever the complexity of his motives,
supporting Israel was the right thing to do.
Alas, as was true of those 19th-century Christian restorationists,
this vision readily lost sight of
the actual existence and life-conditions of Arabs and Palestinians.
1948 was momentous for them, too,
and they still await a full recognition of their own.

Christian religious fervor, having become a mainly subliminal current,
broke into the open as an acknowledged pillar of US Middle East policy
with the arrival of the so-called Religious Right.
The avatar of that arrival was Reverend Jerry Falwell,
leader of the so-called Moral Majority.
With President Ronald Reagan,
who met with Falwell more often than with any other religious leader,
Falwell revitalized the Christian Zionist fantasy of
a restored Jewish nation as prelude to Christ’s return.

Together, Reagan and Falwell laid the groundwork
both for the reinvention of the Republican Party
as the vanguard of American Christian nationalism,
and for the rock-solid contemporary alliance between right-wing Christians, powerfully centered in the US Congress,
and the government of Israel.
The more recalcitrant that government, the more such Christians like it,
not only because they envision a “biblical” Israel throughout Palestine,
but also because, since 9/11,
they see Israel as a front in the anti-Islamic clash of civilizations.
Never mind that most Israelis see no such thing.
Most Americans, meanwhile, watch in befuddlement as
openly Christian notes of identity intrude ever more powerfully on
the public square,
threatening to make faith in Jesus a touchstone of full citizenship.

[I find that statement really counter-factual.
Christianity in the public square is relentless under attack.
And as to what Christians want,
I personally would like nothing more than
a return to prayer in the schools.]

The irony here is breathtaking.
Pursuing an ultimate form of realpolitik,
Israeli leaders happily collaborate with
a reactionary American religious movement which,
while having learned to downplay its Jew-denigrating End Time theology,
nevertheless aims in its very essence at the elimination of Jewish faith.
Israeli leaders, in their dependence on such Christians,
exchange short-term benefit for long-term jeopardy.
American Christian Zionism is
a particularly lethal form of contemporary fundamentalism.
Theologically uncritical and dangerously triumphalist,
it is bad for Israel, Palestine, America, and peace.

Alan M. Dershowitz

Here, between the horizontal rules, is an excerpt from pages 90–91 of
Why Terrorism Works by Alan M. Dershowitz;
emphasis is added.

The Palestinians ... were offered their own state by the United Nations in 1948,
when Israel declared statehood.
The Palestinians chose instead to join other Arab nations
in seeking to destroy Israel.
After Israel defeated the combined Arab armies—
at great cost to itself in casualties—
a truce was declared and
the vast majority of Palestinians lived under Jordanian and Egyptian occupation.
The Palestinians
made no realistic effort between 1948 and 1967 to achieve statehood
from their Jordanian occupiers on the West Bank
or the Egyptians in the Gaza Strip.
It was only after Israel occupied these territories in June 1967—
following its victory in a defensive war [sic]
that the Palestinians began to seek statehood in earnest.

[Are there some people that find that surprising?
Precisely how Arab lands should organize themselves
has never been clear to the Arabs, let alone to outsiders.
(See, for example, the discussions of Arab disagreements
in David Fromkin’s A Peace to End All Peace.)
But what is clear is that
they want that decision, imperfect as it admittedly may be,
to be made by Arabs, not by outsiders,
and most certainly not by a people who have already seized so much of their land.
Is there anything either surprising or wrong with that sentiment?]

Far from being a last resort,
the very first strategy the Palestinians employed was terrorism.
They never tried civil disobedience or other nonviolent means
of the kind used by Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.
[Compare–22, especially,
of Benny Morris’s Righteous Victims.]

[New York Times columnist Thomas L.] Friedman argues
[in his 2002-03-06 column “The Core of Muslim Rage”]
that such an approach would have worked:
“If Palestinians had said,
‘We are going to oppose the Israeli occupation, with nonviolent resistance,
as if we had no other options, and
we are going to build a Palestinian society, schools, and economy
as if we had no occupation’
[compare–16 and 12.1.20 of Benny Morris’s Righteous Victims]
they would have had a quality state a long time ago.
Instead they have let the occupation define their whole movement
and become Yasir Arafat’s excuse for not building jobs and democracy.”

The problem here is that Dershowitz and Friedman are both denying reality,
at least if Israeli historian Benny Morris can be assumed
to have presented anything close to reality in his book
Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001.
See, in particular, its–22, especially

A Failure of the Press
By William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2006-02-23

[Writing in response to the Danish Mohammed cartoons controversy,
Bennett and Dershowitz observe:]

The Boston Globe, speaking for many other outlets, editorialized:
“[N]ewspapers ought to refrain from publishing offensive caricatures of Mohammed
in the name of the ultimate Enlightenment value: tolerance.”

But as for caricatures depicting
Jews in the most medievally horrific stereotypes,
or Christians as fanatics on any given issue,
the mainstream press seems to hold no such value.

[Dershowitz seems to have a thinly veiled streak of hysteria
permanently embedded in his personality.
Just where has the mainstream press
(by context, he is talking about the American press)
ever published a
“caricature depicting Jews in the most medievally horrific stereotypes”?]

Rahm Emanuel

Wikipedia, Google

The view from the top
by Hillel Kuttler
Jerusalem Post, 1997-07-01
(a bootleg version seems to be here; or use Google)

Election 2006: The Fix is Already In
How Rahm Emanuel Has Rigged a Pro-War Congress
CounterPunch, 2006-10-14/15

The Book of Rahm
Emanuel’s War Plan for Democrats
CounterPunch, 2006-10-24

Obama's Israeli adviser: Next White House chief of staff?
by Orly Azoulay
Ynet, 2008-11-02

U.S. Jews laud Obama pick of Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff
By Natasha Mozgovaya and Anshel Pfeffer
Haaretz, 2008-11-09

Emanuel Used Political Connections to Leverage Personal Wealth
by Timothy Carney
DCExaminer.com, 2008-11-14

AIPAC's Man in the Obama Camp
by Philip Giraldi
Antiwar.com, 2008-11-18

Goldman Sachs Will Be Sitting Pretty
With Emanuel in the Obama White House

by Timothy Carney
DCExaminer.com, 2008-11-21

In Banking, Emanuel Made Money and Connections
by Michael Luo
New York Times, 2008-12-04

Interview with Michael Oren
Envoy to DC praises Rahm Emanuel and improved US tone on Israel.
Jerusalem Post, 2010-06-22


Contrary to popular perceptions in Israel,
[Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Michael] Oren said emphatically that

Obama’s powerful chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel
was “not a problem,” and indeed
a “great asset.”

“He is a person who understands us deeply,” Oren said.
“He doesn’t agree with everything we say, but he understands us deeply
and has been someone I could talk to when I needed to.”

Oren said Emanuel, who the Daily Telegraph reported Monday
was going to step down in six to eight months time,
called him in tears last month
during his visit to Israel for his son’s bar mitzvah.

“He had an amazing visit here,” Oren said.

“He was overwhelmed that he went jogging on the beach with his wife
and everyone came up to him and wished him a mazel tov,
and that everyone was great to his kid.”

Bruce Kovner

George Soros’s Right-Wing Twin
by Philip Weiss
New York, 2005-07-24

Multibillionaire commodities king Bruce Kovner is
the patron saint of the neoconservatives,
the new Lincoln Center’s crucial Medici,
owner of a vast Fifth Avenue mansion—
and the most powerful New Yorker you’ve never heard of.

[An excerpt; paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.]

If no one knows anything about Bruce Kovner,
it is because he likes it that way.
Yet the unassuming manner is camouflage for
one of the most powerful people in the country,
culturally, financially, and politically.

Kovner, 60 years old [born 1945] and divorced,
manages the largest hedge fund in the world [Caxton]
and every year ratchets higher on the Forbes list of the richest Americans
(most recently, 106).
[2007: 91, with $3.5G.]
Wealth has granted him influence in the fields that he finds most interesting:
high culture and public policy.

[Kovner]’s a neoconservative godfather.
He is among the backers of the Manhattan Institute
and the fledgling right-wing daily the New York Sun.

Most important,
Kovner is chairman of the American Enterprise Institute.
The right-wing think tank
has supplied the government with the most powerful ideas in foreign policy
in a generation,
a vision of a supremely idealistic and militaristic American empire
that must carry democracy out from its shores by force
and begin by remaking the Middle East.
In a speech at AEI,
George W. Bush thanked the tank for supplying him more brains
than any other organization, nearly twenty, including
Dick Cheney, who is said to be close to Kovner, and
John Bolton, the fireman’s son
who wants to raise his voice in the corridors of the United Nations.
As well as many of the architects of America’s Iraq policy,
from Richard Perle
to David Frum
to Michael Rubin
to David Wurmser.
When these men (and at least one woman, Lynne Cheney)
have not worked for Bush,
they have found a prominent platform a few blocks away
in the sleek AEI building.
This is perhaps Bruce Kovner’s signal (and shared) achievement:
to underwrite what had been extreme ideas
and bring them into mainstream discourse.

“Bruce is not the kind of guy who is going to be up on the stage with anybody,”
says Floyd Flake, the minister and former congressman.
“He’s more likely to be in the background.”

As I discovered.
A few days after dropping a letter at the Park Avenue offices of his hedge fund saying that I was writing about him and wanted his help,
Kovner sent me a charming e-mail titled “There must be a better topic.”
The body of the note, which was all in lowercase,
contained a hint of flirtation.
He had been racking his brains to think of better articles for me.
“The 900th piece on The Donald
or something about vampy conservative commentators—
anyone, pls, but me!”

Kovner entered Harvard College in 1962,
and former classmates describe him as introverted and thoughtful,
but also as a “regular guy” with a good sense of humor,
someone who didn’t stand out.
It was still the fifties culturally.
“We wore coats and ties to all meals.
Some guys had clip-on ties.
We married our girlfriends,”
says Dr. Gary Chase.
“Bruce stuck with the same girl for most of college.”
Kovner’s girl was a Radcliffe classmate, Mary Wissler,
a quietly sharp blonde with softly pretty features
who was a reporter for the school paper.
She ended up marrying Donald Graham,
now chairman of the Washington Post Company.

[What an interesting story.]

Behind a shimmering façade of marble a few blocks from the White House,
the American Enterprise Institute in late June [2005]
hosted a forum on the Middle East with a very specific aim:
to put forward a new claim
for Israel’s right to hold territory in the West Bank.
Two right-wing Israelis made the presentation.
They were supported in their view
by two former members of the Bush administration
now lodged at Bruce Kovner’s D.C. hostelry,
Richard Perle and Michael Rubin.

It was a typical affair at the conservative think tank.
Rubin kicked off the panel
by congratulating the Bush administration on its “success” in Iraq.
Perle harked back to his neoconservative father figure,
Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson of Washington State,
in laying Israel’s claim to “Judea and Samaria,” as Perle put it,
using biblical terms for the West Bank.
Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador, loudly denounced the idea
that the September 11 attacks were in any way motivated
by anger over American policy in the occupied territories.
“It’s a myth out there that somehow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
is related to the rage of radical Islam toward the West.”

[Actually, Ambassador Gold made two statements:
  1. “[I]t has to do with, I think, an incorrect mythology.
    That somehow by somehow creating the Palestinian state
    you will be able to address
    one of the chief grievances of radical Islam towards America and the West.”,

  2. “[T]here is a myth out there, that I touched on before,
    that somehow the Israel-Palestinian conflict is connected to
    the rage of militant Islam against the West.”.


Kovner, over two decades, has underwritten the infrastructure
the neocons have used to achieve their current prominence.
On the fifth floor of the AEI building,
the Project for the New American Century
helped lay the ground for the Iraq war by regular statements
describing Saddam Hussein as the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East.
The Sun ran an editorial asserting that
people protesting the Iraq war were committing treason,
while AEI’s Perle and David Frum published An End to Evil,
in which they argued that extreme Islam wants to dominate the world,
and the U.S. faces “victory or holocaust.”
The U.S. should show as little compunction about “destroying regimes”
as a police sniper feels icing a hostage-taker.
When George Bush was elected in 2000,
Dick Cheney swept in a raft of neoconservative thinkers, many from AEI.

“Neoconservatism is a career,”
says Scott McConnell, editor of American Conservative.
“One thing neocons have
that both other factions of conservatives and liberals don’t have
is they can employ a lot of people.
AEI provides a seat
for the kind of mid-level intellectuals who can produce op-ed pieces.
It’s 50 to 100 people with decent prose styles, or Ph.D.’s,
and they form a critical mass.
They help create the reality of being the dominant strain of conservatism.”

Kovner’s relationship to AEI
is the same as his relationship to all his causes: lordly.
He plays visionary and psychiatrist to the AEI board.
“He’s brilliant,” says Perle.
“He’s intellectually rigorous, balanced, and thoughtful.”


Try to pin down Kovner’s pals on any brilliant idea that Kovner has had,
and they squirt away.
Though, yes, one told me that
his positions on public policy were “fairly extreme.”

Kovner would never speak in the “victory or holocaust” manner
that the drones in his idea factory have perfected.
He has never liked the hurly-burly of politics,
and money has allowed him to rise above that mess.
Yet there can be no question that
he supports the militarist neoconservative agenda.
Last October [2004], when George Bush’s chestnuts were in the fire,
Kovner helped to pull them out.
He wrote checks for $110,000 to a 527 called Softer Voices
that was aimed at “security moms” in swing states.
Softer Voices is led by, among others,
the writer Midge Decter, the wife of Norman Podhoretz, and
Nina Rosenwald, a force in the pro-Israel lobby.
Kovner was its largest financial backer.

For all his reserved sagacity,
Bruce Kovner has always been comfortable with radical ideas.
Understanding the Kovner communists of the forties and fifties and their scene
[the earlier generation in his family]
is a key to understanding the neocons and their scene.
As there is today,
there was talk then of cabals and fellow travelers.

Both causes were heavily Jewish.
The ideas of both the neoconservatives and the communists
were Utopian and revolutionary.
Neocons would carry the torch of democratic revolution out into the world,
with scant attention paid
to the disparate natures of the affected societies.

Communists had a similarly inflexible global revolutionary ideology.

Chairman Kovner has always had empowering visions—
able to imagine configurations of the world different from today.
And under the fuzzy rabbi he’s a cold number.
Daddy darkness, huddled in his safe room.


The secrecy with the girlfriends,
the refusal to talk to the press,
the tragic family history,
the neocon vision of the world,
the awkward back-and-forth with me,
the lead-lined room—
I got the sense that Kovner was, like all geniuses, a nutty one.
His nuttiness was paranoia.

On a weekend six weeks after 9/11,
a dark blanket of security fell over eastern Dutchess County,
and the Taconic Parkway was shut down
so that Dick Cheney, a friend and colleague of Kovner’s from AEI’s board,
could visit the neighborhood of Kovner’s estate.
Rumor had it he was skeet-shooting.
The vice-president’s office repeatedly declined to answer my question:
Was he visiting Kovner?

It is always the same story with him:
lordly, vast, abstract, and ringed by fear.

[End of Weiss’s article.]

Yitzhak Rabin

Yitzhak Rabin was, of course, an Israeli prime minister
who tried to make peace with the Palestinians,
as a consequence of which he was assassinated by an Orthodox Jew.
The background behind that assassination
seems to have been bowdlerized at Wikipedia,
and perhaps at other places on the net.
To provide an accurate account,
here is the description found on pages 370–71
of Jewish Power by J.J. Goldberg.

[Yitzhak] Rabin was killed on Saturday, November 4, 1995,
while leaving a peace rally in Tel Aviv.
His killer, apprehended on the scene, was Yigal Amir,
a popular, successful law student at Orthodox-sponsored Bar Ilan University.
Amir said that he had shot Rabin
in order to stop his policy of giving away peaces of the land of Israel.
He claimed that it was a religious imperative.

The leaders of Israel’s religious right
moved quickly to disassociate themselves from Amir.
But news reports quickly revealed that his act
had had theoretical grounding in the religious zealotry of the settler movement.
Rabbis for months had been discussing
the crime of giving away God’s promised land,
debating just how serious a crime it would be.
An informant named three rabbis (one of them American-born)
with close links to the settler movement,
who reputedly judged the crime to be a capital offense.
The three were called in for police questioning,
to determine whether they might have influenced Amir.
Others were called in as well, including some settler leaders.

While police began investigating
whether the overheated rhetoric of the opposition right
had helped create an atmosphere ripe for political violence,
another probe focused on Rabin’s own bodyguard detail.
It found that the feared General Security Service,
sometimes known by its Hebrew initials Shin Bet,
had been overly concerned with threats from Arab terrorists,
and had paid too little attention to Jewish extremists.

At the end of December, the Israeli left
was calling for a crack down on the “ayatollahs” of the religious right,
while rabbis, settler leaders, and opposition politicians
were complaining of a witch-hunt.

Page 260 of Jewish Power adds the following:

In 1995,
[Rabbi Abraham Hecht,
spiritual leader of Brooklyn’s reclusive Syrian Jewish community]
would win notoriety for giving religious sanction
to the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

For more on Hecht and Rabin, click here.
For a statement by Abraham Foxman, click here.

Steve Rosen

Wikipedia, Google

Steve Rosen is on a roll
by Philip Weiss
MondoWeiss, 2009-03-11

Dennis Ross

Wikipedia, Google,
Google: Dennis Ross Chairman JPPPI,
Philip Weiss on Ross: “The Zelig of the Peace Process Should Go”,
Ross’s letter as chairman of JPPPI (undated, but on Web as of 2008-11-12)

Am I the only American who feels that
anyone who is the chairman of the board
of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute
has absolutely no business being anywhere near
the formulation of U.S. policy towards the Middle East?
His chairmanship of that organization gives him a
prima facie conflict of interest.
(See its mission statement here.)
Isn’t that obvious?
What if one of the chief U.S. negotiators on Israeli/Palestinian matters
were chairman of the board of a (hypothetical)
“Muslim People Policy Planning Institute”?
How long would that last
before Jewish groups forced the politicians to rescind that?

Finally, to add insult to injury, practically all of our news organizations,
certainly the AP, NYT, and WP,
have the gall to talk about the “alleged” pro-Israel tilt of the U.S.
Alleged my ass!

-- KHarbaugh, 2008-11-12

Dennis Ross and the "Jewish People Policy Planning Institute"
by Patrick Lang
Sic Semper Tyrannis, 2009-01-24

Dennis Ross Back at State?
Has He Been Vetted for Conflicts of Interest?

by Robert Naiman
Huffington Post, 2009-02-03

Clinton, Ross and the Muslims
by Patrick Lang
Sic Semper Tyrannis, 2009-03-03

[An excerpt.]

Hillary Cinton has made a big mistake
in giving Dennis Ross a role as her advisor for the Gulf and “Southwest Asia.”

The man is chairman of a foundation that is an arm of the Jewish Agency,
the organizational mainspring of the world Zionist movement.
The Jewish Agency and the Israeli government are so closely connected
that it is hard to say where one ends and the other begins.
The foundation that Ross heads is devoted to
advancing the interests of the Jewish People worldwide.
That is the foundation’s exclusive purpose.
the Jewish Agency and it subsidiaries overseas and in the United States
have every right to exist and to foster whatever interests that they choose,
but should someone so closely associated with
a group devoted to other than the interests of the United States as a whole
have a key role in American foreign policy?
Why would anyone who is not a Jew
think that Ross represents his or her interests?
Is it difficult to “connect the dots” in his case?
Does this man have a US security clearance?
In what sense is he not an agent or representative of the Jewish Agency?
Why is he not registered under the “Foreign Agent Registration Act?” (FARA).
Just about everyone in the Islamic world
believes that Ross is an Israeli agent.
Someone should sue over
this man’s employment at the heart of US foreign policy.


Ross Is Clearly a Major Player
by Jim Lobe
Antiwar.com Blog, 2009-03-03

Is Dennis Ross Poisoning the Well?
by Kelley B. Vlahos
Antiwar.com, 2009-05-28

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

Ross’ name is already being associated with
the administration’s ill-defined strategy for containing a nuclear Iran.
But consider this:
how far will Obama’s commitment to diplomacy with Iran go
if he is indeed engaging Ross,

whose ties to
hawkish pro-Israel groups here in the U.S. and to Israel itself
are so obvious that
many in the foreign policy community are incredulous
that he would even be considered an honest broker
in these delicate negotiations?

Just last week, in response to a “long-standing request” by USA Today,
the U.S. State Department released Ross’ personal financial disclosure records,
revealing that
the former Clinton-era Middle East envoy,
former chair of the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute
(a nonprofit created by the Israeli government-funded Jewish Agency),
and co-founder of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,
had received $421,775 in speaking fees in 2008.

Nearly $220,000 of that money came from
Israeli and Jewish political and religious organizations,
including $40,000 from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
for five appearances throughout the year.

Craig Holman, who heads the lobbying watchdog division at Public Interest,
says these hefty sums suggest a “personal conflict of interest”
and threaten the integrity of the work Ross is doing
on behalf of the new administration.

What is more important in Ross’ case
is not so much the tens of thousands of dollars he has pocketed,
his numerous hawkish public statements on Iran and
his long-standing participation in
pro-Israel think-tanks and foreign policy study groups
advocating stiff sanctions and even military force against Iran.

In a damning complaint in the New York Times on May 23,
former Bush administration National Security Council staffers and Iranian experts Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett asked
Have We Already Lost Iran?
and blamed in part the inclusion of Ross
and hard-line parroting from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
for crippling U.S-Iran diplomacy before it begins in earnest.

The Leveretts openly admit to having voted for Obama.
They advocate a “grand bargain” of diplomacy with Iran
over the harsh sanctions and the threat of force
pushed by Israel, Washington neoconservatives, and other hawks.
They say Obama “has made several policy and personnel decisions that
have undermined the promise of his encouraging rhetoric about Iran.”

Flatly put,
his Iran policy has “in all likelihood, already failed,”
thanks in large part to
“Obama’s willingness to have Dennis Ross become the point person
for Iran policy at the State Department.”

Man Behind Iran Policy Faces Big Task
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post, 2009-06-10

Gabriel Schoenfeld

Here are some excerpts from Norman Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah
concerning Gabriel Schoenfeld.
All emphasis is from the original except as explicitly noted.

[Phyllis] Chesler
[in her book
The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It]

is a picture of sobriety,
next to Commentary editor Gabriel Schoenfeld.

According to him
[in his book
The Return of Anti-Semitism]
we are past Kristallnacht in America
[Chesler, page 89:
“It’s as if Hitler’s Brown Shirts have returned from the dead, in greater numbers,
and are doing their dirty Kristallnacht work everyday, everywhere.”]
and well into the Final Solution.
“The plain fact,” he reports,
“is that something unprecedented is taking place:
Jews in the United States are being targeted for murder.”
His Black Book of anti-Semites doesn’t just include
the familiar
“environmentalists, pacifists, anarchists, antiglobalists and socialists”;
the “mainstream British and European press” (Le Monde, The Economist)
as well as
“French television news” and the BBC;
“liberal-to-Left organizations
like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International”;
New York Times columnist Maureen Down and Hardball host Chris Matthews;
and so on.

He also counts as anti-Semites
those using “the term ‘neoconservative,’ ”
because it is a “thinly veiled synonym for ‘Jew.’ ”
[Out of curiosity on this point,
one may Google “neoonservatism Jews” or “neoconservative Jew”.]

Leaving aside the dubious assumption
that use of this term carries the alleged imputation,
leaving aside that the founders of the neoconservative movement
were overwhelmingly Jewish (proudly so),
if the appellation neoconservative is anti-Semitic,
what does that make
the Jewish neoconservatives clustered around Commentary
who appropriated it and who typically use it to distinguish themselves?

But what puts Schoenfeld’s account in a special class
is the extraordinary spectrum of Jews he tabulates as anti-Semitic.
Indeed, according to Schoenfeld,
the new anti-Semitism emanates mainly from the political left,
and it is Jews who dominate this anti-Semitic left.
In other words,
the juggernaut of the new anti-Semitism is “largely a Jewish contingent”;
and again,
“left-wing Jews” are “in the vanguard” of the new anti-Semitism.

However absurd, it is all the same unsurprising
to see Noam Chomsky classified as an anti-Semite in Schoenfeld’s book;
Chomsky became the bête noire of Israel’s apologists
after proving to be
the most principled and effective Jewish critic of Israeli policy.

[If I may digress:
Chomsky was born in 1928,
Finkelstein in 1953.
In the natural scheme of things,
Finkelstein would have been Chomsky’s successor as
“the most principled and effective Jewish critic of Israeli policy.”
What the tragic affair of denying Finkelstein tenure was all about
was to deny Finkelstein the prestige
that would have made his criticism effective.]

It begins to raise eyebrows, however,
when the likes of Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun magazine
and Daniel Boyarin,
“a leading academic figure in Jewish studies in the United States”
(Schoenfeld’s description),
get the same treatment.

But one truly begins to worry about Schoenfeld’s mental poise
when he questions the bona fides of Leon Wieseltier,
the fanatically “pro”-Israel literary editor
of the fanatically “pro”-Israel New Republic.
Doubting the imminence of another Final Solution,
Wieseltier has committed the sin of being,
if not an outright anti-Semitism denier,
at any rate an anti-Semitism minimizer.

[I do not have Schoenfeld’s book at hand,
but it seems likely the article to which he refers is
Hitler Is Dead” by Leon Wieseltier in the 2002-05-27 New Republic.
Note in particular this.]

It seems the revolution is devouring its children.

[Footnote 15 of Chapter 2 is referenced here,
which begins:]

Schoenfeld, The Return of Anti-Semitism,
pp. 130–39 (“largely” at 130, “leading” at 137,
“left-wing” and “vanguard” at 139),
148–49 (Wieseltier).
Among those classified as an anti-Semite,
as well as a self-hating Jew and
“[e]ntering the terrain of outright Holocaust denial,”
is this writer [Finkelstein].
Schoenfeld reports, for example, that
“Finkelstein echoes the revisionist historians
who claim that Holocaust reparations are a ‘racket’
used by avaricious Jews to enrich themselves”
(pp. 132, 134).
Schoenfeld seems to have forgotten what he himself wrote on the subject.
In a lead September 2000 Commentary article entitled
Holocaust Reparations—A Growing Scandal,”
Schoenfeld chastised Holocaust profiteers in incendiary prose for having
“unrestrainedly availed themselves of any method,
however unseemly or even disreputable.”

[The full sentence, on page 29 of the article (emphasis is added):
“And yet,
some inside and outside the organized Jewish community have
unrestrainedly availed themselves of any method,
however unseemly or even disreputable,

to go after every last franc, lira, guilder, and mark,
owed or not owed.”

The letters this generated in Commentary are here.]


“Iranian anti-Semitic propagandists make a point,”
according to [Gabriel] Schoenfeld,
“of erasing all distinctions among Israel, Zionism, and the Jews.”
Yet in an article for Commentary magazine, which Schoenfeld edits,
Hillel Halkin asserted:
“Israel is the state of the Jews.
Zionism is the belief that the Jews should have a state.
To defame Israel is to defame the Jews.”
(“The Return of Anti-Semitism,” Commentary, 2002-02).
So are Halkin and Commentary’s editor also anti-Semitic?

Here is an excerpt from Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry
concerning Gabriel Schoenfeld.

[F1.4, pages xvii-xviii]
In September 2000,
Commentary senior editor Gabriel Schoenfeld
published a blistering attack entitled
Holocaust Reparations—A Growing Scandal.”
Retracing the ground covered in the third chapter of this book,
Schoenfeld chastised Holocaust profiteers inter alia for
“unrestrainedly availing themselves of any method,
however unseemly or even disreputable,”
“wrapping themselves in the rhetoric of a sacred cause,” and
“stroking the fires of anti-Semitism.”
Although his bill of indictment precisely echoed The Holocaust Industry,
Schoenfeld denigrated the book and its author [Finkelstein]
in this and a companion Commentary piece as
“extremist,” “lunatic,” “crackpot” and “bizarre.”
A subsequent op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal, by Schoenfeld again,
blasted “The New Holocaust Profiteers” (2001-04-14),
concluding that
“one of the most serious assaults on memory these days
comes not from Holocaust deniers ...
but from literary and legal ambulance chasers.”
This charge also precisely echoed The Holocaust Industry.
In generous acknowledgment,
Schoenfeld lumped me with Holocaust deniers as an “obvious crackpot.”

[The full sentence from Schoenfeld’s WSJ article:]
It is rapidly becoming clear that
one of the most serious assaults on memory these days
comes not from Holocaust deniers
and the likes of David Irving and Norman Finkelstein--
obvious crackpots to whom
the very quest for Holocaust reparations
is part of a Zionist plot--
but from literary and legal ambulance chasers,
individuals who profit handsomely
by casting blame for the murder of millions
away from where it is due.
[End of quotation from Schoenfeld’s article.
By the way, of course
“the very quest for Holocaust reparations is part of a Zionist plot”.]

George P. Shultz

From Jewish Power by J.J. Goldberg.
Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added;
the full subsection is available here.

[page 219]

In April 1987, [Israeli foreign minister] Shimon Peres ...
met with [Jordan’s] King Hussein in a London hotel
to wrap up their long, secret negotiation over a peace deal.
Israel would return most of the West Bank to Hussein,
and Jordan would sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Because Hussein would not get back everything he had lost in 1967,
he insisted that
the deal take place under the cover of an international peace conference,
so that he did not have to face the rest of the Arabs alone.
Peres agreed, on condition that
the conference could not make decisions and impose them on Israel.

Peres sent an aide to meet with [American] Secretary of State George Shultz
and ask him to adopt the plan as his own,
as a way of coaxing a reluctant Shamir on board.
Shultz refused to play along,
saying that Peres should convince his own prime minister.

Peres brought the plan to Shamir, who flatly rejected it.

[Why on earth
would an American secretary of state refuse to take action
to encourage an Israeli prime minister to accept such a peace plan,
whose fairness to all parties seems self-evident?
Look at all the subsequent tragedy that has occurred since that date in 1987
(for example, the first intifada did not start until after this rejection).
One suspects the answer is:
he knew that American Jews would have a fit
at any attempt by the American government to pressure Israel.

In any case, this episode proves how unwilling Shultz was
to apply pressure to Israel.]

From They Dare to Speak Out by Paul Findley.
Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.

[page 33]

In February 1983 Secretary of State George Shultz
named a “blue ribbon” panel of prominent citizens
to recommend changes in the foreign aid program.
Of the forty-two on the commission,
twenty-seven were Senate or House members
with primary responsibility for handling foreign aid legislation.
The others had been prominent in administering foreign aid in years past.

Only one full-time lobbyist was named to the panel:
AIPAC’s executive director, Thomas A. Dine.
To my knowledge,
it was the first time a lobbyist
had been selected for such a prestigious government assignment
, and
Dine’s selection was particularly surprising because
it put him in a close working relationship
with the handful of people who formulate and carry out policy
on the very matter AIPAC was set up to influence—
aid to Israel.

A more enviable position for a lobbyist could hardly be imagined.
Former Senator James Abourezk,
head of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, commented:
It would make as much sense
to let the president of Lockheed Corporation
serve on a Defense Department board
which decides what planes our air force will buy.

[page 180]

[After the arrest in November 1985 of Jonathan Pollard
on charges of spying for Israel],
embarrassed Israeli officials apologized for the spying.
They denounced it as an unauthorized “rogue” operation
unknown by anyone at cabinet level,
and offered full cooperation in a U.S. investigation.
They pledged that “those responsible will be brought to account.”

Secretary of State George Shultz warmly accepted the apology,
and the State Department quickly attempted a cover-up.
Shultz sent a team headed by legal adviser Abraham Sofaer,
an ardent Zionist who maintained a home in Israel,
on a brief investigation there.
Returning, Sofaer falsely reported that
Israel had provided “full access” to all persons with knowledge of the facts.
Within a month of the arrest, the department announced that
Israel had returned all stolen documents and that
the United States had resumed sharing intelligence with Israel “in all fields.”
The matter, for the State Department, was now closed.

[Regarding the role and actions of Sofaer,
the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs provides the following:]

Sofaer had demonstrated ... awesome damage-control skills ...
after Pollard’s arrest.
After the original “factual proffer,” dated June 3, 1986,
detailing the charges to which Pollard was pleading guilty,
reached Sofaer’s office,
a dozen charges were simply crossed out by hand
and the document was retyped and redated June 4.

Facts deleted in Sofaer’s office included information that
Pollard had passed “satellite photographs” to the Israelis
and confirmation that
Pollard had passed to Israel detailed U.S. data on
“scientific and technical developments
in Soviet/Warsaw Pact weapons and weapons systems.”
Such material would have been invaluable
to Soviet counter-intelligence specialists
in devising ways to protect their secrets from U.S. detection.

Sofaer’s office also requested that references in the document to
“representatives of the government of Israel”
be changed to less damaging references to Pollard’s “handlers.”
This helped lend public credence to Israel’s claims
that Pollard’s espionage had not been sanctioned at top government levels.

It also was Sofaer who led a U.S. team to Israel to determine why,
after Israel promised to make the officials involved in Pollard’s espionage
available for questioning in the U.S.,
it smuggled them back to Israel.
The Sofaer team also was charged with determining
what documents Pollard had stolen.

Although the Israeli officials were offered for interview in Israel only,
and his team returned with only 163 documents of the thousands of pages stolen,
Sofaer did not object publicly.
Later, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joseph diGenova,
who accompanied Sofaer on the December 1985 trip to Israel,
said Sofaer pressured him
not to search for Pollard’s Israeli and American collaborators.

[Now back to Findley’s They Dare to Speak Out.]

Elsewhere, the matter was far from closed.
At the Justice Department,
U.S. Attorney Joseph E. DiGenova pressed the prosecution vigorously,
and the case remained in the headlines for more than three years,
giving the American people frequent reason to question
Israel’s cooperation and reliability,
especially since the Pollard spy ring—
far from being a “rogue” operation—
had reported to the highest levels of the Israeli government,
including the Defense Ministry.

In addition, the “return” of stolen documents was a mockery.
Of the thousands copied by the Pollards,
Israel had bothered to return only 163 and,
given its appetite for top secrets,
surely retained extra copies of these as well.

Instead of cooperating, Israel stonewalled
attempts by the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the spy ring,
refusing to permit key officials to be interviewed
in either the United States or Israel.
One U.S. official, reflecting on the Sofaer mission, said,
“The question is whether we got the truth.
Quite frankly, we didn’t.”