Virginians Oppose Taxpayer Subsidies for Israeli Business Projects

A plurality of Virginians (38.1%) favor ending taxpayer funding for Israeli business ventures in the commonwealth according to a Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) poll fielded by Google Surveys.

32.7% of Virginians were neutral about discontinuing subsidies, while 29.2% disagreed. The representative September 22 to October 4 poll of 2,110 Virginians is available online from Google.

VCHR, a coalition of 16 organizations representing over 8,000 Virginians, is concerned unconditional funding for Israeli business projects fails to consider Israel’s worsening human rights record and disengagement from peace efforts. In 2018 Israeli forces have shot, wounded and killed hundreds of mostly unarmed Palestinian protesters.

State Israel advocacy organizations lobbied to create and staff a taxpayer-funded state government office to exclusively promote Israeli business projects called the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) in 1996.

VCHR has reviewed and publicly posted disturbing VIAB internal files released by the Governor’s office.

VIAB code-named an Israeli aquaculture bid "Project Jonah" to obtain $1 million from Tazewell County, while Virginia Tech was asked to secure another $500,000 from local and federal sources in 2015. VIAB worked unsuccessfully to bring El Al Israel Airlines into Dulles. A VIAB board member sought to promote an Israeli energy company she ran. Successful or not, Virginia taxpayers cover the cost of VIAB operations and reimbursement of its officials. Internal governor’s office email characterized VIAB success stories as "…inflated without merit."

Some Virginians may oppose subsidizing Israeli business ventures because, as stated in the poll "Virginia had a $500 million trade deficit with Israel in 2017." The overall 2017 U.S. trade deficit with Israel was $9.3 billion.

In 1984 the Israeli government lobbied the Reagan administration for preferential export access to the US to boost Israel’s struggling economy. A lengthy FBI investigation revealed the Israeli Minister of Economics surreptitiously obtained a classified International Trade Commission report detailing proprietary business information of US industry groups which were overwhelmingly opposed to any trade agreement with Israel. Israel ‘s US lobby AIPAC used and circulated the report to overcome opposition. No charges were ever filed. The US-Israel trade deal passed in 1985 and is America’s worst performing bilateral trade deal with an inflation-adjusted 2017 cumulative deficit of $170.72 billion.

Other states also carry large trade deficits with Israel under the 1985 trade preferences, but only Virginia has a taxpayer-funded Israel business promotion office.

Contact: James Metz, jdjmetz@yahoo.com

SOURCE Virginia Coalition for Human Rights

48 thoughts on “Virginians Oppose Taxpayer Subsidies for Israeli Business Projects”

      1. Becausent it’s “suit generis” the Supreme Court ruled. The court never stipulated why “Being one of a kind” exempted AIPAC from a law which was legally enacted. I wonder what would happen if the their case was reheard, say in the DC district court?

        1. F#k€n spell check…!!! The court ruled AIPAC was sui generis, meaning one of a kind, special.. So the legally enacted law requiring groups with foreign “agency” must register as foreign agents, but AIPAC was exempt because it”s Sui Generis, one of a kind (special)… So they can finagle hundreds of billions of American”s tax dollars to put to their own use, buying luxury cars or bribing Americans to give them our nuclear secrets, like Pollard who Obama let out of jail. They have bought our elected politicians just as Ray Gordon says!

    1. AIPAC was told to register several decades ago. It didn’t and the order was not enforced. Even way back then there was a double standard for Israel.

      1. Thanks. I didn’t know that. But I’m not surprised. Selective enforcement is a clear sign of corruption.

  1. Great news, hopefully more and more of the citizenry is wising up the vile Zionist menace occupying and destroying Palestine. Throw these sick zealots under the bus along with terrorist enabler Sheldon Adelson.

  2. Israel has a lot of rich business men that will fund anything they think will make money . Even the Israeli government has money to invest . Virginia and the United States needs to pay back what they have already invested in losing schemes .. Let the money men do the investing and tax them when they make money . Let new money men take their place when they loose their money. This is the only way a country can keep going forward . All other ideas such as write downs, forgiveness , grants and special tax incentives , O percent interest usually turn out to be just stealing from other people .

  3. I have noticed Anti war is a very anti semitic web site . I think a awful lot of commentators are confused with international bankers that are trying to create a world government .and wish to rule the world with the little independent Jewish democracy called Israel . They are not together or do they collude like some people think Trump colludes with Russia .

      1. Unless the definition of anti-semetism is allowed to include criticism of actions the State of Israel like the shooting of children in Gaza because they walked too close to the fence which encages them, or support the boycott of their products until they treat all their citizens equally regardless of religion under the law. It is bad enough they continue to receive billions in U.S. aid as they defy U.S. law and thereby make Americans accomplices of their supremicist policies and their lethal results.

    1. Israel has chosen to become an apartheid state. And it has chosen to become a nuclear bomb state and continue to receive billions in aid from the U.S. in spite of a law barring aid to non-signatory states to the NPT. But if you as a taxpayer would go to court and file for an exemption from paying for aid to Israel, the case would not be heard because the court would rule you have no standing. Such is the state of democracy within the court system.

        1. True, at least some of them do. The Middle East is full of ethno-religious garrison states. Israel just happens to draw its ruling class from a different ethno-religious group than the others.

          1. I think nearly the entire mid east is full of bad actors. I dint know if what Israel is an apartheid state or not. ( I think it is relative) but to single out Israel while implying its enemies dont do the same or worse . Is disinformation or worse.

            I also would add that tbe Idea behind Israel is not that jews are better than others but rather jews need to be away from others because others are going to persecute them.

            I dont agree with it but i can understand why many would think in such a way.

            https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/257183/indonesians-hate-the-chinese-because-they-are-jewish

          2. “to single out Israel while implying its enemies dont do the same or worse . Is disinformation or worse.”

            True. But I’m not sure what you mean by “singling out.”

            Different people support and oppose different regimes. I’ve seen a number of commenters here on Antiwar.com who could be fairly described as “anti-Israel” but also as “anti-Saudi-Arabia.” I’m personally opposed to all states although I do admit that I used to be more well-disposed toward Israel than to some of the others in the region (see here, for example). But the Israeli state eventually overdrew its moral credit account even with me.

          3. Than some others, perhaps.

            I’m certainly opposed to US government aid to the Israeli state (or any other state, including Egypt, et al.).

            I’m also opposed to US laws that attempt to forbid boycott of goods and services from Israel (or anywhere else), or that attempt to give Israeli (or any other goods) special exemptions from laws against fraudulent advertising (e.g. falsely labeling goods made in non-Israel Palestine as “made in Israel”).

            I’d like to see the Palestinian Arabs and the Palestinian Jews (aka “Israelis”) work out their differences. I don’t see that having the US put its very heavy finger on one side of that scale is either helpful in achieving that outcome or fair to the Americans who are robbed/extorted to finance the project.

          4. I am against giving money to Israel too. Cant afford it.

            The rest of US policy is sort of okay.

            You ought to read what Norman Finkelstein has said on BDS. See youtube.

    2. Little thermonuclear bombs armed rogue nuclear state and America”s premere & No.1 Welfare Client… Over 100 Billion U.S. taxpayer’s dollars given to them in aid. Why….?????????

  4. The USA voter is so very foolish. This entire situation is absurd. USA politicians are almost 100% Israel first, USA second.

  5. When the conflict in this country is viewed as class war

    When you drop the idea that those with wealth and power have any interest in you. It is all about the wealthy grabbing as much as they can.

    It all makes so much sense.

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