Israel lobby organizations such as the Zionist Organization of America ($2-5 million), Friends of the IDF ($2-5 million) and the Israeli American Council ($1-2 million) are grabbing huge 100% forgivable loans from the CARES Act PPP program.
According to SBA data released on Monday, Israeli’s Bank Leumi has doled out a quarter to a half billion dollars under the PPP program, despite being called out for operating in the occupied West Bank.
Tysons Corner, VA – The premise of ABC’s business reality television series “Shark Tank” is simple. Celebrity investor “sharks” hear proposals from contestants pitching new product ideas. Winning ideas receive funding. Pitches that fall short are ripped to bloody shreds to the delight of mass audiences. How will the concept work for Israeli military contractors now that the U.S. Air Force has its own shark tank? According to Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the US Air Force, small military contractors can immediately get a $100,000 credit card swipe after successfully making a quick pitch.
On February 3, Israeli military contractors hoping to win big US government contracts gathered at an event organized in Northern Virginia by the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). VIAB is an office of Virginia’s General Assembly. Though self-designated as an advisory board, VIAB functions more as an Israel export promotion council with a strange twist – it is funded entirely by Virginia – rather than Israeli – taxpayers. VIAB’s portfolio of projects – which often compete against homegrown US and Virginia companies – is powered by multitudes of grants and subsidized loans. Nevertheless VIAB has generated a string of failures due to its lack of market discipline, self-dealing and questionable activities conducted mostly in secret.
In 1953 the United States and United Kingdom overthrew the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The catalyst was the Iranian government’s decision to exert more sovereign control over the extraction, export and revenues from its domestic energy industry, which British Petroleum and the UK opposed.
The dictatorial rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi featured massive embezzlement, graft, corruption and repression. Brutal SAVAK crackdowns on popular dissent were aided and abetted by Israeli intelligence operatives that flooded into the regime. Yaakov Nimrodi, a longtime intelligence and military operative and arms merchant, was posted to Tehran in 1955 for 13 years. According to Nimrodi, “When one day we shall be permitted to talk about all that we have done in Iran, you will be horrified…It is beyond your imagination.”
The Israel Lobby Enters State Government chronicles the formation, rise and secret activities of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB). While other books have focused on the Israel lobby’s influence over the federal government and U.S. foreign policy, there has been little research on Israel lobbying at the state level. Using sensitive documents acquired under Virginia’s sunshine law, this book argues that in Virginia the Israel lobby is no longer on the outside, but has now entered state government. The Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) is presently the only state government entity in the U.S. focused entirely on bringing corporations in from a single foreign country. The book explores how millions in taxpayer and other state funds are quietly being diverted from multiple sources to establish profitable Israeli companies in Virginia. The corporations are involved in military contracting, food and beverage manufacturing, energy generation, waste management and aquaculture. The author analyzes how VIAB projects displace workers and put home-grown market leaders out of business. By unmasking Israeli businesses launching operations that VIAB protects under code-names and opaque shell companies to secretly transact business in Virginia, the book exposes the reason behind some of the secrecy – their extensive business dealings in territory illegally occupied by Israel.
On June 25-26, Jared Kushner orchestrated the “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop in Bahrain. Kushner is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and his senior adviser on negotiating a Middle East peace. The White House plan closely follows a strategy proposed by the late Israeli President Shimon Peres. Peres assumed integration of the Middle East through widescale economic development would induce all parties to successfully tackle more difficult final status issues of borders, territory and refugees at a later time.
Palestinian government officials have broken off contact with the Trump administration since its December 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They did not attend the conference, but some Palestinian businesspeople did.
While the “Peace to Prosperity” plan mentions the West Bank and Gaza, it makes no reference to Jerusalem. The financing for “Peace to Prosperity” is extremely speculative with no firm guarantees that any funding would materialize even if the Palestinians accepted.