Israel’s Illegal Settlements in America
By Grant Smith November 27, 2009
US Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell was highly enthusiastic about Israel’s partial, temporary illegal settlement freeze stating “it is more than any Israeli government has done before and can help move toward agreement between the parties.” In fact, Israel has done more. In 2005 Israel reversed settlement construction and its overt occupation of Gaza. Palestinians situation worsened under a strangulating economic blockade and total Israeli control of borders, airspace and maritime access. Ironically, those Americans seeking a permanent end to Israeli settlement activities face a predicament similar to the Palestinians. Peace in the Middle East depends on reversing a peculiar manifestation of illegal Israeli settlements right here at home. These US settlements were built not on stolen land, but the strategic territory of US governance through violations of the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Among Israel’s first international efforts as a state was establishing an “Israel Office of Information” (IOI) in the United States in the fall of 1948. The IOI registered as a foreign agent with the US Department of Justice which required it not only to file activity reports about its efforts on behalf of Israel every six months, but also place a stamp on pamphlets and other materials circulating in the US that their true origin was the Israeli government.
The IOI quickly ran into trouble. It was cited by the FARA section for failing to disclose the existence of a California office. The FBI noticed it wasn’t affixing disclosure stamps to the material it circulated. Isaiah Kenen, registered as a foreign agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, soon tired of such regulatory oversight and disclosures. He coordinated his IOI departure with the Israeli government from the IOI to lobby from a domestically chartered lobbying organization, the American Zionist Council (AZC). The DOJ ordered him to reregister, but he never did.
During a 1952 summit meeting, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proposed that leaders of major organizations centralize US lobbying and fundraising coordination under the American Zionist Council (AZC) rather than the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency. The AZC was a small umbrella organization that united the leadership of top organizations such as Hadassah and the Zionist Organization of America. But the AZC continued to rely heavily upon financial support from the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency in Jerusalem for public relations and lobbying until the 1960s. Between 1962-1963 a Senate and Justice Department investigation found the AZC and Kenen had received direction and the equivalent of $35 million from the Jewish Agency via its American Section in New York to lobby for US taxpayer-funded aid and arms. The Justice Department ordered the AZC to register as an Israeli foreign agent on November 21, 1962. This initiated a fierce DOJ/AZC battle that lasted until 1965, when the DOJ allowed the AZC to file a secret FARA declaration expecting it to shut down operations. The Jewish Agency was also forced shut down its American Section in New York after a rabbi and George Washington University legal scholar forced it to file its secret 1953 “covenant agreement” with the Israeli government which conferred governmental powers to the Jewish Agency.
The AZC quietly and quickly reorganized lobbying operations within its former division, internally referred to as the “Kenen Committee” (today called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC) which Isaiah Kenen led until 1975. The Jewish Agency also executed a shell company paper reshuffle, reemerging as the World Zionist Organization-American Section within the same building, with the same staff, management and publications.
Today, the most important nucleus of the Israeli government’s power in America lies far outside its Washington DC embassy, official consulates, or properly registered FARA entities. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations consists of only two key paid employees according to its 2008 charitable tax return (PDF). Like the AZC under Ben-Gurion’s mandate, the Conference of Presidents has only one true role: corralling American organizations into a US power base for the Israeli government. The Conference of President’s roster now includes such curiously named organizations as the American Friends of Likud and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs alongside old AZC mainstays such as the ZOA and Hadassah. As mandated by AIPAC’s bylaws (PDF), all Conference of Presidents member organizations are part of AIPAC’s executive committee, forming a combined grassroots lobbying might far more intimidating to the Justice Department than the old AZC.
Yet in reality, Israeli government’s newest lobbying venture is nothing more than a rebranded AZC — the stealth foreign agency relationships remain, some hidden, others not. One visible geographic linkage to the Israeli government is the Conference of Presidents offices which are located at the same 633 Third Avenue New York address as the World Zionist Organization’s American Section.
The World Zionist Organization-American Section, as the paper reincarnation of the Jewish Agency, is still compelled to register (PDF) as an Israeli foreign agent. In 2008 it spent $8,102,752, by far the largest expenditure of any registered foreign agent for Israel. Like its predecessor foreign agent, the Jewish Agency, the WZO American Section claims these large disbursements across America are mainly for “education” rather than political activity. Such claims are easily debunked.
The WZO was more accurately revealed by Israeli prosecutor Thalia Sasson in 2005 as being at the very center of illegal Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. Shimon Peres estimated that up to $50 billion was laundered into illegal settlement construction. Today WZO/Conference of Presidents “education” initiatives include organizing rabbis to effectively campaign for war on Iran, activities that are not accurately disclosed on the WZO’s disclosures to the Department of Justice.
The question of whether such Israeli-conceived plans are worth American blood and treasure are vitally important, as is rule of law. Under FARA, Americans have a clear right to full disclosure about AIPAC and the Conference of President’s political activities, public relations and transfer of things of value on behalf of their foreign principal(s). As foreign lobbying organizations emerging directly from the American Zionist Council, these leaders of the Israel lobby carry an expanding information debt to American taxpayers expected to fund their many initiatives. Yet in spite of the 1961 order by the attorney general, since March of 1965, neither has filed a single public declaration at the FARA office. This means that AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents now owe Americans 88 semiannual FARA declaration filings. For its part, the WZO must begin to accurately disclose its heavy involvement in illegal West Bank settlements, which are opposed by the Obama administration.
Given the Israel lobby’s past penchant for nondisclosure, such filings will no doubt garner a great deal of public scrutiny. Explanations for why so much classified US government information is passing between AIPAC it and its foreign principals in 1984 and 2005 have been a long time coming. These will be particularly timely and enlightening as Israel’s drumbeat for US attacks on Iran grows louder. Until they again begin to register under FARA, Israel’s principal colonization entities, the World Zionist Organization, political muscle (Conference of Presidents), and enforcer in Congress (AIPAC) are themselves illegal Israeli settlers in America.
Had to write this quote down heard earlier on NPR: “in their strongest language yet, the State Department has said they were – ‘dismayed’.” [responding to this]
Obama: “Stop settlements.”
Israel: “Fuck you.”
Obama: “Please? Maybe slow them down a little? A scooch?”
Israel: “Fuck you. We’re building 900 more. Give us our welfare check, bitch.”
State Department, back of hand to forehead, eyes fluttering, about to wilt: “Well, I do declare! I am dismayed!” [Hands over billion dollar check to Israel.]
Obama has done a lot of little things very well: he has the knack of the small, gracious detail. Opening up the return of dead soldiers back to the press per family’s OK was a good move. He appears in front of all the necessary functions as our country’s emissary and is the perfect diplomat: very elegant and debonair. He offers Lieberman a flower when Lieberman was a former frenemy douche.
But what seems to be missing from Obama so far are some big things. Enforcing your demand that Israel stop their illegal settlements at the point of your welfare gun is something even conservatives like Andrew Sullivan are encouraging, so maybe you could take a stand on this and make this one of your big things? Obama?
We know the truth. Michael Werbowski, in “America: After the Fall“, tells us …
20 years after the fall of communism, American-style capitalism has also fallen. But the downfall was silent, without any visible walls toppling or crumbling. The 9/11-like collapse of the financial firms of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers left no piles of rubble or slabs of fractured concrete on the ground, just lots of laid off traders and deal makers. But the brokerage and investment banks’ end signaled the death knell of market capitalism as we knew it; another misbegotten ideology born out of the musings of Adam Smith, Ricardo and Milton Friedman was laid to rest unceremoniously. The troika which presumed that man’s most bestial instincts can be curbed in the pursuit of profit and happiness were wrong …
The president’s inverted version of “perestroika” (that is, the restructuring or retooling of the economy) has been fine tuned to meet the need of the oligarchs and corporate barons who support him and prompt him behind the curtains. Obama and his czar–commissars (and his adoring minions of PR spin operatives) have deftly in a brilliant slight of hand in one swift jest, effectively expropriated the entire financial and industrial sectors in America by means of massive taxpayer funded “bail outs”. These ploys have turned the essence of capitalism upside down, by rewarding cronyism and criminal behavior to the point where “crime pays” very handsomely indeed, and enables billionaires, fraudsters and financiers to obtain great gain almost without almost any pain or punishment. These perverse policies are likely to fail. In the end, Gorbachev’s policies, although ostensibly well meaning, actually hastened the demise of the Soviet state. This later led to its fragmentation and disintegration of the communist superpower and its Eastern Empire. America’s current plight may lead to a similar outcome.
[more at P! ...]
This is a really interesting video from a Spanish nun and MD on the swine flu. It has been translated into English subtitles. I highly recommend it. She starts of with talking about the BAxter live virus in Czech., and goes on from there. She is educated, literate, and quite compelling. There are six parts to the vid. I post the first one here.
by all means, ‘Think for yourself schmuck!’ But I suggest to watch at least the first two vids, it may be vital and of utmost importance.
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
… advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific
genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”
From ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’ the leading policy “white paper” of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC)
While our voyeristic xenophobia society is caught up in the trance of whether Maj. Haasan shouted the Takbir as a last battle cry, or of the SAVIOR Dems championing some crumbs from the Elite Banquet & Catering hall, aka Private Insurance Carte bailout, fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter. As long as you see what your suppose to see.
Paraphrasing or paraplagiarizing a comment I read elsewhere, (I forget where), “Whatever the truth is, the narrative will be Muslim sleeper cells. Too many people stand to profit from it being otherwise. If you want escalation in ___istan here is your talikng point. If you are al-CIAda here is your chance to pretend to be a global network. Cue a new bin (Los Alamos National Laboratory) laden video on this post haste, as being the next phase of the
religious Jihadist Stunde Null …” Meanwhile all this the intellectual simulation aka psyops, keeps us distracted from the real story…
Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) — Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer John Varley stood at the wooden lectern in St. Martin-in-the- Fields on London’s Trafalgar Square last night and told the packed pews of the church that “profit is not satanic.”
The 53-year-old head of Britain’s second-biggest bank said banks are the “backbone” of the economy. Rewarding high- performing bankers with more pay doesn’t conflict with Christian values, he said. Varley was paid 1.08 million pounds ($1.77 million) and no bonus in 2008.
“Is Christianity and banking compatible? Yes,” he said in an interview after the speech in the 283-year-old church. “And is Christianity and fair reward compatible? Yes.”
Public must learn to ‘tolerate the inequality’ of bonuses, says Goldman Sachs vice-chairman …says Goldman Sachs vice-chairman.. praise Allah!
President Barack Obama instructed Justice Department attorneys to argue last week in San Francisco before Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker, that he must toss out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Shubert v. Bush lawsuit challenging the secret state’s driftnet surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications.
This latest move by the administration follows a pattern replicated countless times by Obama since assuming the presidency in January: denounce the lawless behavior of his Oval Office predecessor while continuing, even expanding, the reach of unaccountable security agencies that subvert constitutional guarantees barring “unreasonable searches and seizures.” EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston wrote:
In a Court filing late Friday night, the Obama Administration attempted to dress up in new clothes its embrace of one of the worst Bush Administration positions–that courts cannot be allowed to review the National Security Agency’s massive, well-documented program of warrantless surveillance. In doing so it demonstrated that it will not willingly set limits on its own power and reinforced the need for Congress to step in and reform the so-called ‘state secrets’ privilege. (Kevin Bankston, “As Congress Considers State Secrets Reform, Obama Admin Tries to Shut Down Yet Another Warrantless Wiretapping Lawsuit,” Electronic Frontier Foundation, November 2, 2009)
I and many others think, after Bush’s 8 years – the Republican Party deserves to die. Its popularity is at an all-time low as NPR reports that now less than 25 percent of the country identify themselves as Republicans, which is good news except . . . the Republicans are DESTINED for a comeback. Sure it may not be this midterm, and Obama will most likely serve two terms, but they are DESTINED to come back eventually . . . no matter how badly they lie and rape this country up the ass . . . why?
Simply because there is no other choice! Of course!
Now, even though the number of Americans who know how goddawful Republicans are is at an all-time high, the entire country lives in the shadow of their inevitable return. And it IS inevitable.
Let’s say for argument’s sake Obama stops moving at a snail’s pace begging for Republican assent at every goddamn step of the way (I can see him in an old folk’s home decades after his last term has ended, ‘I’m THIS close to bipartisanship!’), and accomplishes at least a handful of great things . . . eventually the same old script is going to call for ‘change’ and the voters will turn the levers for ‘change’ and what will come back up will be the only other option: the GOP. The GOP then will not tarry for Democratic assent on anything they do, and will once again set world records for raping and pillaging and murdering brown people overseas before plundering their assets, stealing from the poor, eating babies and snapping old people’s bones to use as toothpicks. [Republicans work on coke. They will look at Bush's record with a head full of Bolivian marching powder and say, 'How can I top that?'] All of Obama’s potentially good work could be thrown out in nanoseconds. So what is the long-range plan?
How does progressive America get out from the shadow of the inevitable Republican return?
And a related, but separate question: how does progressive America keep the Democrats as a whole from not turning into Lieberman-like douches? How do we convince those Democrats who believe in the ‘left-right spectrum’ and try to stay in the ‘middle’ of that idiotic faux-metric to instead ignore that b.s. and do the RIGHT thing and what the MAJORITY OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN, and take a stand for healthcare for all, clean air and clean water, social justice and all that general
flower child actual humanist hullabaloo? [Do not be afraid of the label 'from the left side of the Democratic party' or the 'radical side of the Democratic party' when what you will be doing with healthcare for example, is saving lives. You have corporate profits on one side and American lives on the other - it's that fucking simple. As always the public forum has been gassed with mass corporate b.s. and the conversation flounders.]
Why don’t we stop using this odd direction-based analogy in describing what kind of society man wants to live in? Ditch ‘left’ and ‘right’ and start talking about doing the right thing. Saving lives at the expense of corporate profits is doing the right thing. That’s not an opinion. That is a fact tinged with just the smallest scintilla of human compassion.