As the annual AIPAC conference wraps up in Washington on Tuesday, historian Walter Hixson looked back on the Israel Lobby’s origins in this speech last Friday to the “Israel Lobby & American Policy Conference” at the National Press Club.
By Walter Hixson
This conference speaks truth to power. We gather here because we support truth and justice in Palestine. We also insist on a free and open discussion of the Israel lobby and its impact on American democracy and world politics.
All of you already know that the Israel lobby is extremely powerful—for the record, it constitutes easily the most powerful diaspora lobby representing the interests of a foreign nation in all of American history—but you may not know how deeply rooted it is. In fact, the extensive lobbying efforts of Zionists and their Jewish and Christian sympathizers in the United States predate the creation of Israel and flourished throughout the first generation of the Palestine conflict.
As good a date as any to fix the origins of the Israel lobby in the United States is the 1942 Biltmore Conference held in the heartland of American Zionism, New York City. Zionists quickly discovered that they could mobilize Jewish organizations as well as groups such as the American Christian Palestine Committee, to pressure Congress to back the cause. The nascent lobby efficiently lined up the two main political parties in support of creation of a Jewish commonwealth, admission of masses of refugees, and crucial US financial assistance to accommodate them. Military assistance would come later.
A well-organized and effective Zionist lobby thus pre-dated the creation of Israel. It was poised to ensure that Israel would receive the diplomatic, political, and military support that would enable it to undertake decades of aggressive expansion in direct violation of myriad UN resolutions, principles of human rights, and international law. From the beginning the purpose of the lobby was to insulate the Zionist state from widespread criticism, to deflect and distort the truth about its aggression, so that it could reap the benefits of security and massive financial assistance from the most powerful country in the world.
Louis Lipsky, an American Zionist from Rochester, declared that propaganda and persuasion would provide “the armor that Israel cannot live without.” The key figure in the first generation of the lobby, however, was a little-known Zionist from Cleveland, Isaiah Leo Kenen. Working hand in hand with the Israeli diplomat Abba Eban, Kenen became the workhorse of the Israel lobby. His personal papers, available at the Center for Jewish History in New York yet largely neglected by scholars, reveal the early history of the lobby. Those and myriad other papers, along with State Department records and an abundant secondary literature, provide the research foundation for the book that I have done.
The Palestinians and the Arab world had no comparable lobby in the United States, which had the largest Jewish population in the world and millions of modernist and fundamentalist Protestants ready to line up behind the Jewish refugees in Palestine. Full awareness of the horrors of the Nazi genocide, combined with ignorance of the impact of Zionist aggression in Palestine, underlay US public support.
Buoyed by the growing U.S. support, Israel expanded its borders, rejected international mediation, and turned a blind eye to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. When the UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden pressured Israel to compromise, a terrorist troika that included future Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir had him gunned down in his jeep at a Jerusalem roadblock in September 1948.
The Qibya Massacre
By that time, with a presidential election looming in November, the lobby exercised a powerful influence over the Truman administration. Zionists worked through David Niles, a White House adviser on Jewish affairs, which became an essential post in presidential administrations. Israeli patriarch Chaim Weizmann assiduously cultivated Truman with the help of the president’s former business partner, Eddie Jacobson, a Zionist from Kansas City.
Fully aware and frequently resentful of the pressure exerted on him by the Israel lobby, Truman nonetheless ultimately sided with it and against the advice of the State Department. The United States became the first nation to recognize Israel, supported a massive influx of Jewish migrants, and glossed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles presented a greater challenge for Israel and the lobby than had Truman. The Republican administration entered office in 1953 determined to rein in Israel and forge a Middle East peace that would protect oil supplies, allow Arab moderates to fend off extremists, and support the overarching foreign policy of containment of communism. Israel appeared vulnerable when Ariel Sharon manifested a lifelong zeal for indiscriminate slaughter of vulnerable Arab people, as he orchestrated a massacre in the West Bank village of Qibya in October 1953.
Deeply alarmed by the impact the massacre might have on American public opinion, Kenen mobilized the local councils to calm the waters in the wake of the indiscriminate killing of innocent villagers in their homes. Kenen soon realized that the political power of the lobby already was so well ensconced that representatives and senators of both political parties could be counted on to line up behind Israel in a crisis. This was an important moment, as Qibya showed thatIsrael could massacre people and rely on the lobby to effectively manage the political fallout.
Israel thus could continue to lash out violently across the already expanded borders, regularly carrying out assaults disproportionate to any provocation in Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. In 1957 Eisenhower did force Israel to pull back after it had invaded Egypt, but even then, Israeli aggression was rewarded with critical new navigation rights that would enable it to precipitate the pivotal June 1967 War.
JFK and Dimona
In the period between Suez and the 1967 war, John F. Kennedy won election backed by overwhelming Jewish political support. In 1962 JFK pronounced the existence of the “special relationship” and opened the military supply spigot by selling Israel Hawk surface to air missiles. The Israelis showed their appreciation to Kennedy by repeatedly lying to him about the nuclear research program in the desert at Dimona. They pledged not to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East when in fact they were committed to doing precisely that. Israel refused to sign the Nonproliferation Treaty. Iran, by contrast, like the overwhelming majority of nations in the world, is a signatory.
By the Kennedy years the lobby had reorganized several times and established its structural component, AIPAC, backed by influential supporters in both political parties. Kenen regularly stuffed congressional mailboxes with copies of the Near East Report, the well-edited and highly successful propaganda newsletter that he created. Inside the White House, the Jewish affairs adviser Myer “Mike” Feldman undermined efforts to rein in Israel.
The lobby ensured that the State Department and the few members of Congress who asked troublesome questions—notably Senator J. William Fulbright—were kept at bay. The lobby then targeted and in 1974 helped defeat Fulbright and drive him out of the Senate. Noting that the Kennedy administration was virtually powerless against Israel and the lobby, adviser Robert Komer, himself Jewish, asked in frustration, “What kind of relationship was this?” To Komer and the State Department diplomats it was obvious that Israel and the lobby were the tail that wagged the strategic dog of American Middle East policy.
LBJ and the ’67 War
In his blurb for my book, John Mearsheimer wrote that it is “especially good at showing how a select group of pro-Israel Americans profoundly influenced President Lyndon Johnson, who was like putty in their hands.” Johnson had been pro-Israel since his youth when his Aunt Jessie infused him with the biblical lore that God had chosen the Jews to inherit the holy land. Johnson also enjoyed the company of close Jewish friends and advisers—Eppie Evron, Abe Fortas, Arthur Goldberg, Arthur and Mathilde Krim, among others. Johnson apparently did not directly green light Israel’s initiation of the June 1967 War, but neither did he flash a red signal.
As several Israeli leaders subsequently openly acknowledged, Israel in 1967 as in 1956 launched the June war as a first rather than a last resort. The Israelis as well as the CIA knew that Israel was the more powerful force, could defeat all of its Arab rivals combined, and that is precisely what Israel did, initiating a blitzkrieg attack rather than seeking a negotiated settlement of maritime and territorial disputes.
After the war–which included the apparently deliberate attempt to sink an American spy ship, the USS Liberty, killing 34 and wounding 171 US sailors–Johnson reversed a generation of US policy upholding the 1949 borders. He acquiesced to the lobby in support of an occupation of Arab territories that extended in myriad directions far beyond the 1949 armistice lines. The lobby thus enabled Israel to exploit the sweeping military triumph by embarking on a messianic quest for the Greater Israel.
My study culminates with the pivotal decisions in 1967 initiating an illegal occupation and the emergence of a violently regressive apartheid state. Before most Americans even knew that it existed the lobby had played a pivotal role in enabling Israel to launch an aggressive war, to choose land over peace with the Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors, and to continue to thumb its nose at the UN and international law. The United States not only enabled the illegal occupation, it bolstered the IDF with advanced weaponry including tanks and F-4 Phantom jets despite Israel’s contempt for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
By 1967, Israel and the lobby had achieved a stranglehold over modern American political life. “The U.S. position is all that can be desired,” Kenen declared after the Six Day War. “The U.S. is working like never before.”
Lobby Becomes Known
The lobby achieved its success by circumventing the foreign policy bureaucracy and applying pressure directly on the president and the Congress through campaigns to secure financial assistance, armaments, and unstinting diplomatic support for Israel. By the 1970s the lobby and Kenen himself began to be identified and chronicled by the press. Asked in 1973 to explain the operations of the lobby, Kenen responded, “I put it very succinctly in one sentence, ‘We appeal to local leadership to write or telegraph or telephone their Congressmen and urge them to call upon the President to overrule the Department of State,’ and this has been going on, now for some 20 years.” At the time of the interview the Near East Report had achieved a circulation of nearly 30,000.
As Kenen suggested, and as my book shows, throughout the first generation of its existence, from the Truman through the Johnson years the lobby successfully fended off persistent State Department efforts to forge an “impartial” or “balanced” diplomacy between Israel and the Arabs. While Israel carried out cross-border attacks, stonewalled refugees, and rejected diplomacy, the lobby successfully undermined the advice of area experts who warned that the imbalanced, pro-Israeli policy would perpetuate instability and achieve security for no one, including Israel.
American professional diplomats, often wrongly dismissed as pro-Arab or even anti-Semitic, neither of which was true, warned about the consequences, including the rise of extremism in the Arab world. Their prophecy would come full circle in the twenty-first century.
Blaming the Victim
I turn now to a broader interpretive study I have undertaken on a history of the U.S.-Israeli special relationship. When I began intensive study of Israel-Palestine several years ago, I was susceptible to the familiar stereotypes: age-old religious conflict, ancient enmities, neither side will compromise, etc., etc. Now that I know better, I am of course charged with being one-sided, so let me say this: Palestinians and Arabs are human and have made many mistakes, to be sure. The historical record clearly shows, however, that the Palestine conflict is rooted in Zionist aggression. Accelerating settler colonization has both caused and perpetuated the conflict and moreover has foreclosed genuine opportunities for a peace settlement–in 1949, even more clearly in 1967, and in the 1990s as well.
In everyday life we learn that it is inappropriate to blame the victim. The same is true in diplomatic history; no one blames Poland for being invaded in 1939. Accordingly, the focus in what follows is where it belongs, on the aggressors and their apologists. Today Israel and its American backers have become increasingly transparent in their regressive policies, claiming Jerusalem as the “eternal capital,” savagely cutting off Gaza as well as aid to the Palestinian refugees, engaging in targeted killings and collective punishment, and now the United States has signed off on another illegitimate annexation, this of the Syrian Golan Heights. All of these actions are in direct violation of international law. We may not be able to stop these actions at this moment in time, but what we can do as scholars and activists is call to account Israel and the United States for their crimes against humanity. Specifically, we must gain a clearer understanding of Israel’s core identity, and the ways in which the lobby acts to cover up Israel’s crimes.
Application of the framework of settler colonialism to explain Israeli history has been a step in the right direction, but what does this label really mean? Here is a brief overview: Animated bynationalist and religious discourses, settler states such as Israel, the United States, Australia and South Africa, among others, are congenitally aggressive. They strive to cleanse the land of its indigenous residents in the name of providential destiny, modernity, and racial hierarchy. Settler colonial states work relentlessly to establish facts on the ground. They embrace violent solutions including regular resort to massacre. They reject legal restraints and they abhor external authority.
The drive to lay claim to the biblical holy land meant that Israel would not agree to a negotiated settlement of the Palestine conflict. The “peace process” became a sham, providing cover for the establishment of ever more facts on the ground. Fueled by aggressive instincts and mythical destiny, Israel became a reactionary and a rogue state, building illegal settlements in contempt of the UN, and repressing Palestinians in contempt of human rights. Knowing that the lobby had its back, Israel ignored the State Department and rebuffed American presidents, thereby affirming Moshe Dayan’s famous quip, “Our American friends offer us money, arms, and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice.” The Israeli patriarch Ben-Gurion liked to say, “It is not important what the Gentiles say, what matters is what the Jews do.”
The Israeli political system has empowered a series of bigoted, bellicose leaders who showed utter contempt for Arabs and a determination violently to dispossess them. The early Zionist leaders bore the psychic scars and traumas of the bloodlands of east-central Europe from which they came. They carried the terrible burden of the Nazi genocide that took the lives of their family members and some six million Jews.
As a result, they were quick to brand Arab leaders like Nasser as the next Hitler; diplomacy became a reprise of Munich; any effort at compromise was dismissed as appeasement. This time, they vowed, the Jews would be the aggressors. The Israeli leaders thus inherited, internalized, and perpetuated an intolerant, Hobbesian worldview that was inimical to peacemaking.
For most of its existence Israel has been led by men who should be held accountable for war crimes. I do not make such an accusation lightly; abundant evidence exists under international law to make the case against, at a minimum, Ben-Gurion, Dayan, Begin, Sharon, Shamir, and Netanyahu. They must be held to account in the dock of history if nowhere else.
Millions of decent, caring people live in Israel. Some of them bear a heavy burden of regret and frustration over their country’s actions, as do many of us with respect to American policies both at home and abroad. The crucial point, however, is that neither peace-minded Israeli citizens nor liberal American Jews have thus far been unable to break through the iron wall of Israel’s militant chauvinism or to unhinge the right-wing vice grip on political power. The conclusion seems inescapable: the militant and messianic settler state selects like-minded leaders.
It is essential to come to grips with the militancy at the core of Israel’s identity in order to understand the role of the Israel lobby. The lobby provides cover for Israel’s congenital aggression, its pursuit of land over peace, its flaunting of international law. While Israel carries out violent and criminal acts, the lobby functions to insulate it from criticism, to distort history and reality, in sum to provide what Lipsky described, the armor that Israel cannot live without.
Such is the hubris of imperial settler states like Israel and the United States that even as they engage in violent repression, they simultaneously insist on being loved, honored, and accredited as model democracies. Historical denial and policing of dissent are thus among the primary characteristics of the militant settler state. Efforts to unpack Israeli or for that matter American mythology and to expose the aggression that inheres within, are invariably attacked as subversive.
For Israel, like the Soviet Union of old, glasnost could become a deadly virus. For these reasons Israel and the lobby smear and condemn their critics unmercifully. Which brings us to the recent remarkable, deeply disturbing, and yet highly revealing case of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Rep. Omar may have been guilty of hitting the send button on some loosely worded tweets—clearly as rare and heinous a crime as there is in America today. Israel’s apologists attacked Rep. Omar for linking “Benjamins” with the Israel lobby; that is for having the temerity to suggest that a politicallobbyin a capitalist society might raise and use moneyin an effort to shape public opinion and the resultant national security policy. This, of course, is precisely what the Israel lobby doesdo.
Nonetheless, Rep. Omar apologized for the tweet, showing a degree of states-woman-ship that you may never see nor hear from the Israel lobby. Think about all of the people that CAMERA and other Zionist attack groups have smeared over the years? Have you ever known themto apologize?
Israel’s vocal partisans in Congress, backed by the lobby, stepped up the Orwellian assault on Rep. Omar when she stated another rather obvious truth, namely that the lobby demands political allegiance to the state of Israel. So, we have a situation in which a lobby was created for the express purposeof promoting uncritical bipartisan support for Israel, yet when a member of Congress dares to point this out, she is viciously attacked and inundated with death threats.
Derrida and Foucault would no doubt be gratified that the Israel lobby has mastered the concept of tropes, as well as the ability to use them to manipulate an all too easily confused, Internet-addled mass society. Tropes, as the French theorists taught us, are deployed for the purpose of exercising power. While Rep. Omar herself never used the term “dual loyalty,” her critics unleashed this particular trope as if she had. She was then promptly saddled with the scarlet letter of anti-Semitism.
Unreflective journalists including the so-called liberal news media jumped on the bandwagon, affirming and spreading the word to the point that a canard effectively became the “truth,” namely that Omar had trafficked in anti-Semitic discourse. What she had done in actuality was attempt to criticize Israel and illuminate the role of the lobby. These are the reasons that she had to be smeared and silenced.
Smears and distortion undermine free speech and dissent in a supposedly democratic society, but even worse in this case they cheapen and detract from the chilling reality of actualanti-Semitism, the hate-filled stereotypes and violent attacks such as Charlottesville and especially the massacre at the Pittsburgh synagogue in October of last year.
Let’s consider another trope: “Islamic terrorism.” In the United States, in Israel, and other countries you are free to use this trope at will. It is perfectly acceptable to link the world’s second largest religious tradition, with millions of adherents in scores of countries all over the globe, with terrorism. If you say “Islamic terrorism,” there will be no lobby, no trope police to step in with smears and vilification. You are thus free to inspire people to take action, like the mass murders last week in the New Zealand mosque. If you apply “Axis of evil” or “evil-doers” to Islamic countries, that is well and good. However, if you are a non-white, Islamic-congresswoman who wears a headscarf, and you condemn as “evil” Israeli war crimes killing innocent civilians in the Gaza strip, you are branded an anti-Semite.
Watch Hixson’s full speech:
The smearing of Omar calls to mind the remark Netanyahu once made, unaware that he was being recorded, about how easy it was to manipulate discourse and to move public opinion in the United States. It also lays bare the cynical tactics of the Israel lobby. From Qibya to the killing fields of Gaza, Israel and the lobby have discovered that a tenacious and relentless propaganda campaign can cover up almost any crime, justify almost any calumny, overcome almost any political challenge. Israel and the lobby have learned to mobilize fast, to attack without restraint, to eliminate perceived threats, and ultimately to turn them to their own advantage. Israeli propaganda thus mirrors Israeli military power: both deploy campaigns of shock and awe, allowing the bodies fall where they may, ever willing to make truth the first casualty.
Then Nothing is Wrong
As I bring this talk to a close, bear with me while I engage in a final bit of historical reflection. We live in dangerous times. The distortions and deep divisions within this country sometimes remind me of the antebellum years of American history. Ominously, it was a time when the political system collapsed.
In the year 1858, the nation confronted irreconcilable national divisions as a result of its long embrace of crimes against humanity. At that moment a little known former one-term congressman from the Midwest seized the national spotlight by declaring, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” A nation, he declaimed, could “not endure, permanently, half slave and half free.”
It was true of the United States in 1858 and it is true of Israel/Palestine today. Something, somewhere, somehow, sometime is going to have to give. In 1861 Abraham Lincoln went on to become president. He famously wore a top hot, which reposes in the Smithsonian just a few blocks from where I stand today. Encircling Lincoln’s top hat is a black silk mourning band through which he honored the memory of his son Willie, who died prematurely at age 11.
I think back to Lincoln and his top hat and then to the president we have today, a flag-hugging, certifiable narcissist demagogue who sports a red MAGA ball cap. The juxtaposition of Lincoln and Trump reminds me of the famous quotation from The Education of Henry Adams. The acerbic historian and scion of the vintage American political family wrote, “The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.”
I hate to think what Henry Adams might say today.
Amid the horrific civil war over which he agonized on a daily basis, Lincoln repeatedly demonstrated his astonishing ability to say so much in so few words, including the breathtaking poignancy of his remarks at Gettysburg in November 1863. Months later in April 1864, Lincoln again revealed the epic purity of his prose in a letter to a Kentucky newspaper editor, when he declared, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”
Let me conclude in the same spirit. Let us declare here today that if demanding the right to exist while denying it to your neighbor is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
If driving people from their land and demolishing their homes is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
If asserting absolute authority over a historic city, rightful home to people of all faiths, is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
If slaughtering children for throwing stones at their oppressors is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
If the terror and deprivation that are inflicted every day upon the imprisoned people of Gaza is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
If supplying more than $125 billion to finance a regime that commits such crimes against humanity is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
If converting the Congress of the United States into a lapdog for Israeli policies is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
Let us also emphasize once again that if anti-Semitism is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
Cynical deployment of baseless charges of anti-Semitism, however, in order to legislate against free speech; stifle criticism of a foreign nation; or insist on the right to boycott an apartheid state–if these things are not wrong, nothing is wrong.
As we continue to struggle, no matter what the odds and the monies arrayed against us, let us derive inspiration from another antebellum American freedom fighter. “I am earnest,” William Lloyd Garrison declared in 1831 as he launched publication of the first issue of his anti-slavery newspaper The Liberator. “I will not equivocate . . . I will not retreat a single inch . . . AND I WILL BE HEARD.”
Speech on March 22, 2019, at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Walter Hixson is distinguished professor of history at the University of Akron. He is author of the just-released Israel’s Armor: The Israel Lobby and the First Generation of the Palestine Conflict (Cambridge University Press). He gave this talk at the “Israel Lobby & American Policy Conference” on March 22, 2019.
Already at the time of the Balfour Declaration, Weizmann himself was promising that in a decade or so hence, Zionist Jews would start expropriating Palestinian land.
The image of Netanyahu on the floor of the House or the Senate being treated like a rock star sticks in my mind. It occurs to me: what do Jewish leaders and the Israeli Jews really think of those people who behave like poodles. And the Christian Zionists, who support Israel unconditionally yet their belief is at some future time Jews who don’t convert to Christianity are going to hell. Surely that brings out a chuckle or two from the Israelis. Moshe Dayan’s remark that Israelis take everything from us but our advice hits the nail squarely on the head.
In short, the problem is not theirs but ours because of those Americans who sacrifice our principles and our interests to remain in elected office or in critical government positions. They, of course, benefit but the rest of America and the world does not.
Again, a plug for the Jewish Voice for Peace who gets it.
USS Liberty AGTR-5 Johnson McNamara = TREASON!!
The people who are promoting this latest experiment in intimidation are pretty open about what they’re doing, and why. “We’re the pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community,” exults neo-con godfather William Kristol. So here’s the crazy part—we’re not supposed to acknowledge that there’s an Israel Lobby, even though its main players talk openly about their activities! No, as Abraham Foxman pointed out in his book “The Deadliest Lies,” the existence of an Israel Lobby is a scurrilous falsehood made up by anti-Semites.
Got that? There’s no Lobby, but you’d better do what the Lobby says.
To help readers with this Orwellian dilemma, I offer these “12 Commandments of the Israel Lobby,” to be memorized if possible in a venue featuring the theme song of “The Twilight Zone” in the background.
The Israel Lobby does not exist. In those cases where it does exist, its conclusions cannot be questioned.
All criticisms of Israel are false. They are invented by anti-Semites, self-hating Jews, and terrorists. Also by crypto-Nazis, apostates and liars.
All critics of Israel must be punished by extracting a public apology. Some offenders may be required to apologize more than once, if they do not grovel sufficiently the first time around.
Those who criticize Israel and do not publicly apologize must be endlessly harassed, and fired from their jobs if possible. In academia they must be denied tenure.
Any Arab or Muslim that criticizes Israel is a terrorist, and deserves to die.
To praise anybody who ever criticized Israel is the same thing as criticizing Israel. Just as all things Israeli are good, anybody that criticizes Israel is bad.
In any conflict involving Israelis and Palestinians, the Israelis are always the victims. If an Israeli hurts a Palestinian, the Israeli is still the victim because the Palestinian is trying to make the Israeli feel bad.
Israel/Palestine is never debated. That implies another side to the issue, and there is only one side. Therefore debate is suppressed or disrupted.
The United Nations, the World Court, the various UN agencies, every human rights organization and non-governmental organization in the world that isn’t approved by the NGO Monitor [an Israeli screening operation] is anti-Semitic. That is because these organizations are likely to criticize Israel’s human rights record—and as any fool knows, that means they’re anti-Semitic.
The interests of the US are exactly the same as the interests of Israel. If they aren’t, the interests of Israel take precedence.
Any war that the US is likely to be involved in must be evaluated from the point of view of its helpfulness to the current government of Israel.
Anybody who threatens to make sense while criticizing Israel must be immediately shouted down. If shouting doesn’t work, screaming and crying are recommended. As a last resort, one must declare that criticisms of Israel are making one feel “unsafe.”
These rules, reflect a reality that is petty, tiresome and essentially undemocratic. Therefore let us answer them by answering the call from Palestinian civil society for international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli apartheid. The purpose is to end the longest and most brutal military occupation of our time, and in so doing resolve the one issue most likely to cause religious war. But there is another reason to support BDS. The Israel Lobby operates as a thought police, spending millions of dollars to stop anybody in public life who would have a candid discussion of American interests in the Middle East. For this reason, we must counter the intimidation of the Israel Lobby in order to restore free speech and freedom of association to American discourse.
Thank you for publishing my comments. This is unusual . This entire problem is caused by financial power .i call it “The Lobby “ because there are some fine people in Israel who are appalled by this. There is one last favor Americans can do for them – antisemitism , their oxygen.
I am an Australian who has lived in the Middle East for 30 years ( one of the poorer parts .)Great article, but too late I think . The lobby has moved elsewhere , this discussion would not happen if they still needed anything.
If justice is served, one day there will be a very high price to pay for these actions. Zionism is smearing Judaism.
Let’s hope all Jews don’t suffer, antisemitism is needed to keep those funds rolling in.
Please Review History. Before there were Zionists Jews expelled from 109 countries. Would this not indicate the the ‘chosen’ have had problems living with others throughout human history. Could it be about their assumed superiority above all others and above all law?
U.S. Grant and Jews . . .
 On December 17, 1862, General Ulysses Grant wrote to the Assistant Adjutant General of the US Army:
“I have long since believed that in spite of all the vigilance that can be infused into post commanders, the specie regulations of the Treasury Department have been violated, and that mostly by the Jews and other unprincipled traders. So well satisfied have I been of this that I instructed the commanding officer at Columbus to refuse all permits to Jews to come South, and I have frequently had them expelled from the department. But they come in with their carpet-sacks in spite of all that can be done to prevent it. The Jews seem to be a privileged class that can travel anywhere. They will land at any woodyard on the river and make their way through the country. If not permitted to buy cotton themselves, they will act as agents for someone else, who will be at a military post with a Treasury permit to receive cotton and pay for it in Treasury notes which the Jew will buy at an agreed rate, paying gold.”
Also, on December 17, 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Orders No. 11. This order banished all Jews from Tennessee’s western military.
General Orders No. 11 declared:
“1. The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, are hereby expelled from the Department.
“2. Within 24 hours from the receipt of this order by Post Commanders, they will see that all of this class of people are furnished with passes required to leave, and anyone returning after such notification, will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permits from these headquarters.
“3. No permits will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.
“By order of Major Gen. Grant.
“Jno. A. Rawlings,
Assistant Adjutant General”
109 Nations Jews jave been expelled from . . .
Xera STP drinking the Ko$her Kool Aid.
Regading the easy suceptability of the American public to propaganda:
This may well be the key to the rise of various successful efforts through the history of the United States (on the part of European elites) to raise support for wars of aggression in the “Old World.”
These efforts, or funded propaganda projects, rely on simultaneous efforts to “dumb down,” or negatively manipulate public (mass) education and the content of mainstream (mass) media.
We are only beginning to see the legacy of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to use the most recent example where the victims, by which I mean where the student cohort now entering adult life, is beginning to take power. It’s for them to take our destiny (a dangerous concept) into their hands.
The question is: Have they and their children been deliberately deprived of being the stewards of the historical ideals Of Western Civilazation due to the manipulations of trendy, and, it seems, cynical, educational initiatives (NCLB, STEM, Common Core, etc., etc.)?
I give away my own Baby Boomer STEM focus. Somehow spelling just wasn’t a priority, which may explain why I’m writing comments on some website, and not raking in a six-figure salary in a neo-con think tank. :/
Let us be grateful that the powers to be in this, our, settler continent have not yet made impossible to read this cathartic speech by William Hixon on the Internet. Neither the NY Times nor the Washington Post felt provoked to write a comment on his speech. No surprise. Those of us who escaped the decades of indoctrination by the US mainstream media know very well that there is very little chance that factual history can re-interpreted. I am disappointed that Haaretz, a paper with a much more diverse take on the Israeli/Jewish/Palestinian conflict did no better.
I apologize for the mis-spelling of the author’s name: Hixson, not Hixon. No other apologies needed.
Well, there is that part about calling him “William” instead of “Walter”….
Hard to see how the destructive Israeli influence in the US can be reversed at this point. You will know final victory has been achieved when it will be illegal to criticize Israel … there have been attempts already and that day may be coming.
One could go further back in time as Alison Weir did in her book “Against Our Better Judgement The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel” Weir documents founder, Horace M. Kallen, organizing an elite secret society, “Parushim”. She cites Israeli professor Dr. Sarah Schmidt who wrote, “The image that emerges of the Perushim is that of a secret underground guerrilla force determined to influence events in a quiet, anonymous way.” Through Louis Brandeis’ acolyte, Felix Frankfurter, together, historian Bruce Allen Murphy, notes in his book: “The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices”,”Working together over a period of twenty five years, they placed a network of disciples in positions of influence, and labored diligently for the enactment of their desired programs.”
Thanks to all commentators. I also frequent counterpunch, information clearing house and sometimes Global Research. No forum, that I know, matches what can be learned here, and for the ease of participating.
Eye popping news to me that helps clear the mystery of Israel’s success and ability to deflect scorn for its behavior.
Excellent, thoughtful, speech by Walter Hixon.
Thanks so much for posting it here!
sorry….. WALTER HIXSON
This is a powerful description of the workings of the Israel Lobby and like minded factions in American and Israel Society. What is missing is the work of patriots like Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, the New Israel Fund who worked in Israel to bring to light what was and is going on with humane , just Israelis themselves and to outside supporters of whom I was and am one. These people need our support.
Those of us in the West should support those in Israel who are working for a more just society. Not only do we not hear about the awful treatment of the Palestinians we also do not hear what Israelis are doing to combat that. Why does the West not fund these groups ?
First we have to hear about them and we have to hear honest reporting of the barbaric way Palestinians are treated by those in government and the army.
There is also the work of the WCC World Council of Churches who show solidarity with the Palestinians as they face abuse at border crossings. All in all there is not enough information coming from Israel and for that we have to blame the Western New Media.
Zionism is to Judaism as Evangelical Christianity is to real Christianity. Israel should be a global pariah.
Discrimination against Jews is bad, but discrimination against Muslims is perfectly OK. What’s wrong with this picture?
The solution is simple: we have no business picking sides and intervening with money, weapons, UN political rigging in regions whose problems we have little interest in or knowledge of.
The US should simply become neutral and uninvolved in the middle east, Europe, Korea, South China sea.
Use the money saved for infrastructure and universal Medicare, etc.
ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE IN WHICH ITS NONE JEWISH CITIZENS HAVE A SECOND CLASS STATUS AND ARE LOOKED DOWN ON AS “ARABS” BY ALMOST ALL JEWS IN ISRAEL AND ARE TOLD THE STATE DOES NOT BELONG TO THEM AS CITIZENS, ONLY TO THE JEWS. ISRAELI JEWS HAVE NO CONCERN FOR THE FACT THAT THEY SUBJUGATE THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE IN GAZA AND THE WEST BANK. IT IS REAL APARTHEID AND NOT PETTY APARTHEID LIKE HAVING DIFFERENT WATER FOUNTAINS ETC. ISRAEL IS A DANGER TO THE MIDDLE EAST, TO THE PALESTINIANS, TO JEWS AROUND THE WORLD AND ULTIMATELY TO ITS OWN JEWS.
AIPAC is a popular scapegoat. However, I look forward to your investigative report on the Arab oil lobbies, which have extraordinary influence over US politics and policies. AIPAC has zero influence in comparison. Israel, after all, is not one of the oil-producing states.
It’s not just about the oil, it’s the petro-dollar. The Petro-dollar locks the U.S.dollar as world reserve currency. The banksters are deathly afraid of losing control of the creation of money. This is also one of the reasons they fight against green energy, to the point of being the primary culprit in incinerating the earth. There is no better example to prove the interlocked corporations are run by sociopaths.
This type of polar comment matches those by you I see elsewhere, that fit the m.o. of a troll.
To stoop to commenting to you like this feels silly in light of the astonishingly revelatory information conveyed here. I have looked for a long time for this type of history, and appreciate it as much I hope many others, aside from yourself, do, too
Under innocent phone calls and flyers in the mailbox presentaion, nobody says anything about how bribes and “incentives” are filling the corrupt people pockets/accounts.
When one become “adviser” or “counsellor” or just is talking nonsenses in sort of “arranged” meetings/conferences they are paid for the services done, not for something they then created or some work to really have any value of wasted time – see Clintons, Obamas, …
Family members invited in “Boards” – to be well paid for doing what they are asked to do, not for being really responsible or aware of anything….
Family members offered useless, “top-ranking” position in multi-billion corporations for doing nothing in fact…
Laws for military purposes and already assigned contractors – see Nulands…
Businesses “associated” to a money source, just to have a share of doing nothing, ….
…. countless methods to hide from immediate sighting and “legal”, because the lobyy is offering the draft and their puppets are voting.
So, you think people meeting – part of such organization and going home to “support” the ideas do not have anything to do with money pooring to the politicians?
Was nice to see in the article such cases – old if actual is too fearful to talk about.
Kososvo and Madeleine Albright – fake Christian?
Afghanistan and Wesley Clark?
The University of Akron and the University of Colorado; two places I know well. Welcome, Professor Hixon, to Consortium News.
First, congratulations to Consortium News for having the courage to publish articles that expose the evils of militant Zionism. More and more intellectuals and laymen alike are able to distinguish between Zionists and Jews and are not afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic.
So if AIPAC Zionists are reading this be advised, your devious attempts to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-radical-Zionism is not working with thinking people and is backfiring with the white supremacist rednecks. The biggest victims of this induced bigotry are the decent Jews. Therefore, it’s is in the best interest for progressive Jews, liberal Jews, American Jews to make a collective voice against Israel-first lobbying by Americans, Jewish or not. It won’t be long before tax-weary working class Americans will decide we don’t need to send Israel billions of dollars every year and don’t need to fight Israel’s wars of aggression for them. It won’t be long after that Zionists will be purged from dominating our media and finally will lose their greatest weapon over all nations, and that is the control of the creation and distribution of each countries’ money.
Kennedy approved the Hawks sale, he did not deliver them. And its an open question if he would have.
Because in the spring of 1963 JFK was involved in a head to head dispute with Ben Gurion over the Dimona reactor. He was getting more and more reports that Eban, Ben Gurion and Meir were lying to him about its nuclear capability. Finally, he threatened to pull American support for Israel unless he was allowed biannual visits with full access. He made this threat to Ben Gurion twice. Ben Gurion did not reply in any substantive way. After the second threat, Ben Gurion resigned his office. To my knowledge this is unprecedented. Before or since.
Secondly, Kennedy was also doing everything he could to mend the relationship with Nasser. This was after Eisenhower pulled funding for Aswan and Foster Dulles asked him to join the Baghdad Pact, which Nasser declined. Kennedy did this since Nasser was a secularist, progressive and socialist. Which King Saud, Dulles’ man, was not in Saudi Arabia.Ben Gurion tried to demonize Nasser to Kennedy. Kennedy would not accept that characterization. Kennedy stuck with Nasser to the end as his lifeline to secularize the Middle East against Islamic fundamentalism.
Third, Kennedy pushed the Johnston Plan on Ben Gurion. This was the UN attempt to allow Palestinians a choice of repatriation. That is, they could stay where they were, return to Palestine, or go elsewhere, and the UN–really the USA- would pay for it. This was another area of dispute between JFK, Meir and Ben Gurion.
All good points. JFK’s approval of the Hawk missiles was, as I understand it, to assure Ben Gurion that they would be sufficient to defend Israel but that was not good enough for B-G. His support for repatriation of at least 100,000 Palestinians was something that B-G and his party would not tolerate but the biggest problem for Israel, at least in retrospect, was his demand that the American Zionist Councils, from whose bowels AIPAC emerged, register as a foreign agent.
Had hat occurred, we never would have seen events like AIPAC’s annual conventions, attended by half of Congress and addressed by its leaders, all of whom swear fealty to Israel; we would never have seen the proliferation of tax-exempt Jewish organizations whose only raison d’etre is supporting and protecting Israel and the map of the Middle East might look very different.
That’s why JFK had to be done away with and in James Angleton, head of CIA’s counter intelligence they had their man: a fervent Zionist and fervent anti-Communist. JFK had done enough to antagonize the CIA which need not be detailed here, to give it reasons to eliminate JFK and his secret back channel messages to Khruschev to end the Cuban missile crisis short of a nuclear war, without informing the CIA, was, no doubt, considered in the atmosphere of the day, an act of treason.
That might explain why in Israel not only was a plaque created honoring Angleton at his death but also a forest planted in his name. What else had he done for Israel?
P.S. One of the great mysteries I have encountered is that no one I have ever met, including veteran journalists, is aware that before Nixon, JFK taped every word spoken in the Oval Office and the transcripts are in the JFK library in Massachusetts and can be heard on line. They reveal that JFK was the ONLY person in the upper levels of the government, including RFK and “the best and the brightest” plus the generals who did not at any time, support an attack on Cuba. (RFK lied about his position in his book).
It was not known until years later that the missile launchers in Cuba were loaded with atomic missiles which would have been fired at the US if Washington launched a war. In other words, none of us would be alive today were it not for the actions of JFK who, doing his brief term in office I was a constant critic.
Thank you, Jim DiEugenio. Can you point us to fairly compact and comprehensive well-sourced references, perhaps from yourself?
To answer your question, I have an article coming out on this subject in the paper magazine called garrison. It should be out at the end of the month.
A lot of this material is from recently declassified memoranda at the JFK Library. A friend of mine went there and then sent it to me.
If anyone is interested, Michael Collins Piper wrote a book called Final Judgement about the role of Mossad in the assassination of JFK because he was opposed to Israel building nuclear weapons.
My hat is off to everyone who has the balls to go against this bullshit “Pay to Play”
Right now this is what you have ;
Israeli Jews have the money….
Politicians have enormous debt…..
A marriage made in the darkness of deceit in hell.
But, the citizens continually ROLL OVER and do nothing…..
Absolutely stunning. Will our government actually listen,
Who is our government? If you are referring to the old guard Democrats and Republicans who make up 85% of our Congress and our President who is a devout Zionist, the answer is obviously a resounding NO!
“Kennedy […] sought to have the American Zionist Council register as foreign agents with the Department of Justice. Justice and AZC battled for years over this demand. In 1962 the AZC lost, and was required to register – and the AZC vanished, and AIPAC took its place! So the Kennedy administration was questioning the lobby’s allegiance, something Ilhan Omar would be slammed for more than 50 years on.”
Don’t accept the rules for how to criticize the Israel lobby
By Philip Weiss
The AZC never registered. Its lawyers were able to delay doing so until JFK was assassinated. AZC became AIPAC following two sessions of hearings by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under JW Fulbright (who would be its first political victim) which revealed the extent of Israeli penetration of US society and the goal of the AZC to infiltrate every sector of US society on Israel’s behalf. Had Grant Smith of IRmep not written about those hearings in his book, Foreign Agents, the hearings would have been forgotten despite the efforts of Noam Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis and Stephen Zunes, known for their dismissal of the lobby’s power, to bury them.
Honest and powerful.