Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Jewish Voice for Peace, will describe Jewish Zionism as a failing ideology for many younger American Jews who reject Israel’s oppressive occupation policies and bellicose actions toward Iran, as well as the relationship between U.S. and Israeli militarism. But how will this impact their future as activists in electoral politics? Will they remain mostly captive to the Democratic Party, voicing opposition while accepting candidates captured and mentored by AIPAC?
Allan C. Brownfeld, American Council for Judaism, discusses the growing disillusionment of American Jews, and some Israelis, with the Jewish state and Zionism. Young American Jews who champion civil rights at home, including the right to vote, freedom of movement, due process and equality, realize that Israel is denying those same basic rights to Palestinians. Peter Beinart, Seth Rogen, Marc Maron, and other Jewish Americans who are urging Israel to dismantle its apartheid policies face bitter attacks from the Israel lobby and Jewish Establishment organizations, charging they’ve “crossed a line.” Brownfeld will offer some suggestions about how progressive Jewish voters can influence both the Democratic and Republican parties.
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.