Could Israel drag the United States into war with Iran, starting with escalating the attacks on Iranian positions in Syria? Speakers at the March 2 conference, the Israel Lobby and American Policy 2018, convened by the Institute for Research on Middle East Policy (IRMEP) and Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) argued that that is exactly what Netanyahu wants, and that Dr. Strangelove is alive and well in the Prime Minister's inner security cabinet. Just a couple of weeks ago, at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Bibi was seen clownishly holding up a fragment of an alleged Iranian drone in a call for international action against Israel’s existential enemy Iran. (Recall Bibi's Iran Bomb cartoon at the UN General Assembly).
But on March 2, the day of the IRMEP/WRMEA conference that exposed Israel’s crimes – true crimes, if you accept international law, which as law professor Noura Erakat pointed out, Israel doesn't—there was warmonger Netanyahu over in Israel being grilled for hours by Israeli police. Not a good day for the Prime Minister's march to war, nor for the Israel Lobby, and its crown jewel, AIPAC, whose annual powwow convenes in Washington on March 4th.
The folks at the IRMEP/WRMEA confab expressed determination to counter Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the brutal, "sadistic" occupation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and to build momentum for the Boycott, Disinvest, and Sanction (BDS) campaign, which Haaretz's Gideon Levy, expressing his deep-seated anti-Zionism, underscored as "the only game in town" that could counter Israel's occupation "addiction." Even in its infancy, Levy noted, the BDS provoked hysterical overkill both in Israel and the US. And if AIPAC and its allies in Congress like Maryland's Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin have their way, it will be a federal crime to refuse to buy Israeli products because of its criminal brutality in the Occupied Palestinian territories. You can boycott Palestinian products, or the goods from African countries, or from China, or from whomever you want, but never boycott Israel, reported several speakers, citing the Israel Lobby, the Israeli government, and a US based "amen" chorus. Some of Netanyahu's most ardent supporters are not Jewish at all, they're the Christian Evangelicals.
Dr. Barry Trachtenberg's speech, Challenging the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, was a wake-up call. Not only is Sen. Ben Cardin, with AIPAC and other Israel Lobby support, pushing this bill to outlaw the same non-violent, peaceful protest boycott economic action that helped to end apartheid in South Africa, but the U.S. State Department — since 2009 (thank you Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) — adopted the definition of anti-Semitism as criticism of the State of Israel. Really? (Shut up, Jewish Dissidents in the USA).
The success of the WRMEA/IRMEP conference, which filled the ballroom at the National Press Club, was undoubtedly not welcome news for AIPAC. Maybe March 2nd just wasn't AIPAC's day. Or maybe it wasn't even AIPAC's week. Earlier, last week, Bibi's boychik in the White House, Jared Kushner had his security clearance downgraded. Now we're seeing reports that buzzards were circling around Kushner, whose business interests were, or are, in desperate need of money. One of the countries eyeing Kushner was Israel. No surprise. The rich Gulf Arabs are also reported to have been hoping to win a piece of Kushner.
Which brings me back to the conference where journalist Ali Abunimah (who's not from Washington) pointed out that "Russiagate" that dominates every radio, TV, and print MSM 24/7 should really be called "Israelgate." Great observation. How does that work: well, incoming National Security advisor Michael Flynn called the Russians to request a favor at the United Nations — veto the resolution on Israeli settlements because the United States was going to abstain from this resolution that Israel and the Israel Lobby opposed. Who asked him to make that call? Boychik Jared Kushner. On whose behalf? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So, who was interfering in US foreign policy? Not Russia. Not the hapless Flynn. It was Bibi Netanyahu through Kushner. So, why is it called "Russiagate"?
However, for some reason, none of the speakers took time to explain what is involved in the possible indictment of Netanyahu and his Missus. Cases 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000. Even though, one of the sugar-daddies for the Netanyahu household was an Israeli spy against the United States. Gideon Levy dismissed the possible ouster of the "longest-serving PM" hopeful, Netanyahu, because, after all, a left Zionist and a right-wing Zionist, is … a Zionist. Levy mercilessly ridiculed the "left" Zionists for their self-satisfaction that they are so much "better" than the right wing. But, still the "left" Zionists ignore the killings, beatings, jailings of children, and sadistic mistreatment of the Palestinians, in and outside the 1967 border.
Anyway, with AIPAC coming to town, expect a week of high-octane propaganda. Stay tuned.
–Decameron Field Report