Monday, March 12, 2012

423 Van Creveld: Israel should give up West Bank. Competing victimhoods - Jewish cf Palestinian

Van Creveld: Israel should give up West Bank. Competing victimhoods - Jewish cf Palestinian

(1) Martin Van Creveld: Israel should give up West Bank
(2) Competing victimhoods - Jewish cf Palestinian
(3) U.S. rabbi: Edict against renting to Arabs endangers Jews abroad
(4) Lobby gets Congress to tell Obama to veto Security Council resolutions for Palestinian state; but he may not comply - Alan Hart
(5) Rosen vs. AIPAC case is grinding its way through the courts - could destroy the Lobby
(6) AIPAC asks judge to quash Rosen's defamation suit; but he will table documents showing AIPAC handled classified information
(7) Weissman & Rosen refuse to be sacrificial lambs; Lawsuit threatens to rip AIPAC apart

(1) Martin Van Creveld: Israel should give up West Bank

From: Michael <> Date: 20.12.2010 01:42 AM

Israel Doesn't Need the West Bank To Be Secure

By Martin van Creveld

Published December 15, 2010, issue of December 24, 2010.

When everything is said and done, how important is the West Bank to Israel's defense?

To answer the question, our best starting point is the situation before the 1967 war. At that time, the Arab armed forces surrounding Israel outnumbered the Jewish state's army by a ratio of 3-to-1. Not only was the high ground in Judea and Samaria in Jordanian hands, but Israel's capital in West Jerusalem was bordered on three sides by hostile territory. Arab armies even stood within 14 miles of Tel Aviv. Still, nobody back then engaged in the sort of fretting we hear today about "defensible borders," let alone Abba Eban's famous formulation, "Auschwitz borders." When the time came, it took the Israel Defense Forces just six days to crush all its enemies combined.

Since then, of course, much has happened. Though relations with Egypt and Jordan may not always be rosy, both countries have left "the circle of enmity," as the Hebrew expression goes. Following two-and-a-half decades of astonishing growth, Israel's GDP is now larger than those of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt combined. As to military power, suffice it to say that Israel is the world's fifth-largest exporter of arms.

Syria, Israel's main remaining hostile neighbor, has never on its own been strong enough to seriously threaten Israel. While Damascus is getting some weapons from Iran, the latter is no substitute for the genuine superpower patron that Syria had in the old Soviet Union.

Overall, therefore, Israel's position is much stronger than it was at any time in the past. So how does the West Bank fit into this picture?

One of the main threats that Israel faces today is from ballistic missiles. Yet everybody knows that holding on to the West Bank won't help Israel defend itself against missiles coming from Syria or Iran. Even the most extreme hawk would concede this point.

As far as the threat of a land invasion, it is of course true that the distance between the former Green Line and the Mediterranean is very small — at its narrowest point, what is sometimes affectionately known as "Old" Israel is just nine miles wide. As was noted before, it is also true that the West Bank comprises the high ground and overlooks Israel's coastal plain.

On the other hand, since the West Bank itself is surrounded by Israel on three sides, anybody who tries to enter it from the east is sticking his head into a noose. To make things worse for a prospective invader, the ascent from the Jordan Valley into the heights of Judea and Samaria is topographically one of the most difficult on earth. Just four roads lead from east to west, all of which are easily blocked by air strikes or by means of precision-guided missiles. To put the icing on the cake, Israeli forces stationed in Jerusalem could quickly cut off the only road connecting the southern portion of the West Bank with its northern section in the event of an armed conflict.

The defense of the West Bank by Arab forces would be a truly suicidal enterprise. The late King Hussein understood these facts well. Until 1967 he was careful to keep most of his forces east of the Jordan River. When he momentarily forgot these realities in 1967, it took Israel just three days of fighting to remind him of them.

Therefore, just as Israel does not need the West Bank to defend itself against ballistic missiles, it does not need that territory to defend itself against conventional warfare. If it could retain a security presence in the Jordan Valley, keep the eventual Palestinian state demilitarized and maintain control of the relevant airspace, that would all be well and good. However, none of these conditions existed before 1967; in view of geography and the balance of forces, none is really essential today either.

And how about terrorism? As experience in Gaza has shown, a fence (or preferably a wall) can stop suicide bombers from entering. As experience in Gaza has also shown, it cannot stop mortar rounds and rockets. Mortar and rocket fire from the West Bank could be very unpleasant. On the other hand, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran already have missiles capable of reaching every point in Israel, Tel Aviv included. Many of those missiles are large and powerful. Compared to the damage they can cause, anything the Palestinians are ever likely to do would amount to mere pinpricks.

Furthermore, in recent years Israel has shown it can deal with that kind of threat if it really wants to. Since 2006, when the Second Lebanon War killed perhaps 2,000 Lebanese, many of them civilians, and led to the destruction of an entire section of Beirut, the northern border has been absolutely quiet. Since Operation Cast Lead, which killed perhaps 1,200 Gazans, many of them civilians, and led to the destruction of much of the city of Gaza, not one Israeli has been killed by a mortar round or rocket coming from the Gaza Strip. Since mortar rounds and rockets continue to be fired from time to time, that is hardly accidental. Obviously Hamas, while reluctant to give up what it calls "resistance," is taking care not to provoke Israel too much.

Keeping all these facts in mind — and provided that Israel maintains its military strength and builds a wall to stop suicide bombers — it is crystal-clear that Israel can easily afford to give up the West Bank. Strategically speaking, the risk of doing so is negligible. What is not negligible is the demographic, social, cultural and political challenge that ruling over 2.5 million — nobody knows exactly how many — occupied Palestinians in the West Bank poses. Should Israeli rule over them continue, then the country will definitely turn into what it is already fast becoming: namely, an apartheid state that can only maintain its control by means of repressive secret police actions.

To save itself from such a fate, Israel should rid itself of the West Bank, most of Arab Jerusalem specifically included. If possible, it should do so by agreement with the Palestinian Authority; if not, then it should proceed unilaterally, as the — in my view, very successful — withdrawal from Gaza suggests. Or else I would strongly advise my children and grandson to seek some other, less purblind and less stiff-necked, country to live in.

Martin van Creveld is an Israeli military historian and the author of "The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel" (St. Martin's Press, 2010).

(2) Competing victimhoods - Jewish cf Palestinian

From: Sami Joseph <> Date: 21.12.2010 06:02 PM

Hamas in dispute with UN over school trips for Palestinian pupils

Group objects to Holocaust aspect of trips for Gaza students which it claims 'promotes solidarity with Jewish suffering'

Ana Carbajosa in Jerusalem

Sunday 19 December 2010

Hamas, the Islamist movement ruling the Gaza strip, has asked the United Nations to stop exposing Palestinian children to the Holocaust during trips organised for outstanding students from Gaza, and instead concentrate on Palestinian victims.

"The UNRWA [the agency for Palestinian refugees] has to stop the visits they do, where they teach the Holocaust and where they promote solidarity with Jewish suffering created by the Nazis," said a statement from the department for refugee issues.

Hamas also said that "the minds of the children are not big enough to understand the suffering of all the victims around the world", adding that "the Palestinian suffering caused by the Jewish occupiers is enough of an example". In the statement, Hamas suggested that instead of organising trips to the US, the UN should take the Gazan children to Vietnam, the US prison in Guantánamo Bay or Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq.
UNRWA refused today to comment on Hamas's statement.

Human rights are part of the curriculum at UNRWA schools, where there are about half a million pupils from Palestinian refugee families. The classes are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Students who obtain outstanding marks may travel to several countries to learn more about the subject. About 50 children have participated in past human rights trips. In one of the journeys, the pupils travelled to South Africa, where they met Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. In another, they attended the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in the Hague.

These trips are a rare opportunity for the Gazan children to travel. For the past four years, Israel has blocked people and goods from moving into and out of Gaza.

(3) U.S. rabbi: Edict against renting to Arabs endangers Jews abroad

From: Sami Joseph <> Date: 19.12.2010 11:30 PM

December 19, 2010

U.S.-based rabbi: Edict against renting to Arabs endangers Jews abroad

Influential U.S. Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto says letter signed by dozens of prominent religious leaders might increase racism against Jews, who 'won't be able to live in New York or anywhere else in the world.'

By Yair Ettinger

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, the New York-based rabbi whose followers include many high society names, has condemned the letter prohibiting Jews to rent or sell property to Arabs, signed by 50 municipal rabbis.

"This letter has put the lives of Jews abroad in danger," he told his followers on Thursday. "It comes from stupidity."

Pinto, well-known for providing spiritual guidance to celebrities and businessmen in Israel and the United States, made the statement during a visit here following a recent operation. Participating in a welcoming party in his honor last week were Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz,Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Religious Services Minister Yaakov Marg, National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau, three Kadima MKs and Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush. Also present were the head of logistics in the IDF, Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, police officers, businessmen Ilan Ben-Dov and Jacky Be- Zaken, and journalist Shalom Yerushalmi.

Pinto's father, Rabbi Chaim Pinto, the rabbi of Ashdod, signed the letter but withdrew his signature shortly after its publication, saying he had signed it by mistake and was not aware of its true content.

Yoshiyahu Pinto told his followers on Thursday that since the letter was released, "New York Jews come to me frightened, saying the newspapers are full of stories on what is going on in Israel. This letter is founded in stupidity. There's great racism against Jews in America today. What does this letter mean? It means that Jews won't be able to live in New York or anywhere else in the world."

Pinto did not comment on the moral or religious aspects of the letter, saying only that "there are many who think we are at the beginning of salvation, but salvation still has not come."

The New York rabbi spent last night praying with thousands of his followers in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

(4) Lobby gets Congress to tell Obama to veto Security Council resolutions for Palestinian state; but he may not comply - Alan Hart
From: <> Date: 19.12.2010 11:37 AM

Zionist lobby's new orders for Obama

December 18, 2010

After his appointment as Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, California's representative Howard Berman told The Forward, "Even before I was a Democrat, I was a Zionist." This is the man, one of the Zionist lobby's most influential stooges in Congress, who introduced House Resolution 1734 which gives President Obama his new orders.

Thoroughly dising

  strongly and unequivocally opposes any attempt to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations or other international forums;

  calls upon the Administration to continue its opposition to the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state;

  calls upon the Administration to affirm that the United States would deny any recognition, legitimacy, or support of any kind to any unilaterally declared "Palestinian state" and would urge other responsible nations to follow suit, and to make clear that any such unilateral declaration would constitute a grievous violation of the principles underlying the Oslo Accords and the Middle East peace process;

  calls upon the Administration to affirm that the United States will oppose any attempt to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations or other international forums and will veto any resolution to that end by the United Nations Security Council (my emphasis added);

  calls upon the President and the Secretary of State to lead a high-level diplomatic effort to encourage the European Union and other responsible nations to strongly and unequivocally oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state or any attempt to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations or other international forums; and

  supports the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the achievement of a true and lasting peace through direct negotiations between the parties.

As M.J. Rosenberg predicted ( the Berman bill passed overwhelmingly, actually unanimously, "because that is how things work in a city where policy is driven by campaign contributions – and not just on this issue." He added: "The only difference between how AIPAC lobbyists dictate U.S. Middle East policy and pretty much every other major lobby is that AIPAC works to advance the interests of a foreign country. In other words, comparisons to the National Rifle Association would only be applicable if the gun owners that the NRA claims to represent lived in, say, Greece. Oh, and NRA-backed bills usually take longer than a day to get to the House floor." (My emphasis added).

What Rosenberg thinks and writes is particularly interesting because in the early 1980s he was editor of AIPAC's weekly newsletter Near East Report.

He noted that as is usual with Berman, "his resolution exclusively blames Palestinians for the collapse of peace talks; not a word of criticism of Israel appears."

He went on: "There is only one reason that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations collapsed. It is the power of the 'pro-Israel lobby', led by AIPAC, which prevents the United States from saying publicly what it says privately: that resolution of a conflict which is so damaging to U.S. interests is consistently being blocked by the intransigence of the Netanyahu government and its determination to maintain the occupation." (My emphasis added).

For now, Rosenberg says, the bottom line is money. "The U.S. government dances to Israel's tune because it is afraid to risk campaign contributions." But he also gives optimism a voice (as I sometimes do).

"It doesn't have to be that way. If the administration and Congress put U.S. interests (and Israel's too) over the craving for campaign contributions, the United States could tell the Israeli government that, from now on, our aid package comes with strings. Like an IMF loan (although aid to Israel is a gift, not a loan), we could say that in exchange for our billions, our UN vetoes of resolutions criticizing Israel, and our silence in the face of war crimes like Gaza, we want Israel to end the occupation within, say, 24 months. And Israel would have to comply because our military assistance is, as AIPAC likes to call it, 'Israel's lifeline.'"

I would like Rosenberg to be right about how Israel's leaders would respond to real American pressure, but I am very far from convinced that he is. As my regular readers know, I think there is a possibility, even a probability, that if real American push came to Zionist shove, the preference of Israel's deluded leaders would be to tell the American president of the moment (and the whole world) to go to hell. Whether or not they would actually do so would depend, I imagine, on the state of Israeli (Jewish) public opinion at the time. If most Israeli Jews were still as brainwashed by Zionist propaganda as they are today, they would probably back the mad men who lead them.

Question: Why do I think that Berman's resolution is an indication of AIPAC panic?

The answer, most of it, is in my last post which was headlined Obama's last card – Will he play it? My main point was that because he does not have to honour the promises made to Netanyahu to secure his delivery of a 90-day freeze on illegal settlement activity on the occupied West Bank, Obama is free to discontinue the presidential practise of vetoing Security Council resolutions which are critical of Israel.

My speculation is that AIPAC drafted House resolution 1734 and then got Berman to rush it through because it feared that Obama is thinking about instructing the US ambassador to the UN to the effect that there will be no further American veto on Security Council resolutions which are critical of Israel and/or call for the recognition of a Palestinian state inside 1967 (pre-war) borders.

So the question waiting for an answer is – Will Obama obey Zionism's latest orders?


Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 325 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine. In his account for AJPME of the hustled introduction and passage of Berman's resolution, he explains why he thinks what happened is an indication that AIPAC "is losing its grip". (Or as I put it, is beginning to panic).

(5) Rosen vs. AIPAC case is grinding its way through the courts - could destroy the Lobby

From: Charles Krafft <> Date: 21.11.2010 10:00 AM

AIPAC Fighting for Survival

AIPAC's Latest Scandal: Good News For Obama & Israel

November 19, 2010 4:24 pm ET — MJ Rosenberg

MJ Rosenberg

The latest AIPAC scandal has not found its way into the mainstream media, although the Jewish media has done a great job in highlighting this very explosive story. (LATE UPDATE: The Washington Post is now reporting on the story).

The good news is that it doesn't much matter whether the New York Times runs the story or not. The Rosen vs. AIPAC case is grinding its way through the courts and could well destroy the lobby without ever making its way on to the front page. AIPAC is under siege, and is spending millions to stay alive. But that won't be easy — even if Steve Rosen ultimately accepts a payoff from the organization and refrains from telling what he knows.

There is no need to recapitulate the story here. Nathan Guttman in the Forward explains it well. The bottom line is that Steve Rosen, AIPAC's former #2 guy, who was indicted under the Espionage Act and then fired, is now suing the organization for $20 million.

Ironically, the organization spent $4.5 million to save their former employee from imprisonment (and more money than that to save itself). In the end, the government dropped the case probably because it believed it would not prevail in court, especially with AIPAC's buddies in Congress breathing down the Justice Department's neck.

Nonetheless, Rosen, off the legal hook, was furious. How could AIPAC have fired him when, in the end, the government couldn't prove its case? His life was in tatters thanks to being terminated, in his opinion, without cause.

AIPAC argues it had cause. In fact, in a 2008 New York Times story, it stated that Rosen was fired because his behavior "did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees."

But Rosen maintains that everything he did, or was accused of doing, was standard operating procedure for AIPAC. It fired him not because he did anything of which AIPAC disapproved, but as a peace offering to the government: Take Rosen and leave us alone.

I doubt there is a single person who knows Rosen and/or AIPAC who does not believe Rosen is telling the truth about simply doing his job. I know Rosen and I know AIPAC. And if there is any daylight between the two, I have never seen it.

Unfortunately for AIPAC, Rosen has 180 documents which could prove that Howard Kohr, AIPAC's executive director, and probably the AIPAC board as well, knew exactly what Rosen was doing. Worse, Rosen is now in court demanding that AIPAC pay him $20 million or he will release everything he has.

The ugliest aspect of the case so far is that AIPAC has decided to win by destroying Rosen personally. I have no use for the guy and consider him to have been, in his time, instrumental in helping to destroy Israel's chances at achieving peace with the Palestinians. Rosen was so effective as a peace-wrecker that in 1992 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin himself told AIPAC to fire Rosen. He didn't want Rosen to be in a position to thwart Israel's efforts to make peace with its neighbors. In the years since, he has been a key advocate of war with Iraq and, even now despite his disgrace, is an agitator for war with Iran. He is also an extreme Islamophobe, now teamed with Daniel Pipes at his anti-Muslim hate organization.

Nonetheless, I think AIPAC's game here is pretty despicable. Desperate that its true modus operandi not be revealed, AIPAC has set out to silence Rosen by exposing his sexual activities. (Rosen notes, in response, that Howard Kohr is no choir boy either.) This is causing great merriment throughout Washington, but the merriment should not just be over the "dirty parts."

There is great cause for celebration in AIPAC's fight to stave off extinction because a bleeding, flailing AIPAC is far less dangerous than an AIPAC riding high (which is where it usually rides).

Here is what AIPAC would like to be devoting its energies and financial resources to right now. One, making sure that President Obama is unable to pressure Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to freeze settlements and move to final status negotiations. And, two, boxing the president in so that he has no choice but to either strike Iran's nuclear facilities or, more likely, let Israel do it. In fact, it is already planning its huge spring "policy conference," slated to be devoted to warmongering over Iran followed by congressional passage of AIPAC-drafted Iran-must-be-stopped resolutions.

These are immense undertakings and they take lots of money and lots of time.

But, thanks to Rosen, AIPAC is spending $10 million of its donors' money on legal fees. Its top people are working with lawyers virtually nonstop. And the whole place is in the grips of fear — fear that one former employee who has the goods on AIPAC will bring the whole house down.

Fighting for its life was not what AIPAC expected to be doing in 2011. But that is precisely what it will be doing, taking precious time away from its regular agenda.

At long last, AIPAC, in its own way, is giving peace a chance. Congress may just have to start figuring out the Middle East on its own.

(6) AIPAC asks judge to quash Rosen's defamation suit; but he will table documents showing AIPAC handled classified information

From: Stanley Young <> Date: 21.11.2010 06:03 PM

AIPAC Bares All to Quash Lawsuit

Sex, spies, and videotape

by Grant Smith, November 15, 2010

On Nov. 8, 2010, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) filed a massive 260-page motion [.pdf] in the District of Columbia Superior Court. It asks Judge Erik Christian to dismiss former AIPAC employee Steven J. Rosen's $20 million defamation suit. In October the court dismissed all counts of the March 2009 lawsuit except for Rosen's claim of harm over AIPAC statements to the press that he did not uphold its standards of conduct. Rosen and AIPAC have – until now – abstained from filing damaging information about the internal workings of AIPAC in court. AIPAC's willingness to publicly air some extremely sordid and revealing content to get the remaining count thrown out before an alternative dispute resolution hearing begins in December is a sign that AIPAC is now fighting for its life, or – as one former AIPAC attorney put it – "reason for being." If Rosen proves in court that AIPAC has long handled classified information while lobbying for Israel, the worn public pretense that AIPAC is anything but a stealth extension of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs – from which it emerged in 1951 – will end forever.

Rosen filed his civil suit after adverse judicial rulings made his (and coworker Keith Weissman's) prosecution under the Espionage Act unlikely. Col. Lawrence Franklin pled guilty to passing classified national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it while Rosen and Weissman were indicted in 2005 for their role in the espionage affair. Although prosecutors reluctantly dropped [.pdf] their indictment in May 2009 – as AIPAC carefully notes in its filing – Rosen was never acquitted. Outstanding questions in the defamation suit about classified-information trafficking have now placed AIPAC in a bind. If AIPAC financially settles with Rosen, it will signal to the American people and attentive law enforcement officials that it is honoring a previous compensation deal to pay Rosen off after the spy flap subsided. On May 11, 2010, Rosen revealed an e-mail to Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein asserting that AIPAC promised "when this is over we will do right by Steve." But it's now far from clear whether AIPAC has the financial wherewithal or donors willing to honor such a – possibly illegal – commitment.

AIPAC's massive filing is mostly derived from transcribed videotaped depositions taken during a lengthy discovery process. AIPAC's confrontational lead counsel, Thomas L. McCally, forced Rosen to admit that after AIPAC fired him, he tapped some of its biggest donors for cash. Through conduits, bundlers, and payments carefully structured below the gift tax limits, Daniel Abraham, Haim Saban, Newton Becker, Larry Hochberg, Fred Schwartz, Walter Stern, and other angels ponied up almost $1 million to Rosen between the moment AIPAC fired him and the day he joined the Middle East Forum as a visiting fellow. Rosen's solicitations may have permanently broken such donor ties to AIPAC. Between 2007 and 2008 AIPAC's revenue plunged 14 percent from $71 million to $61 million during a period the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported record donations to internationally oriented nonprofits. In 2008, AIPAC had to tap some of its $50 million in reserves to cover a $2.8 million budget shortfall.

AIPAC is firing its best shot now because it needs to get the case thrown out before Rosen can unleash a return salvo of "about 180" internal AIPAC documents showing that it routinely gathered "inside" (Rosen's preferred euphemism for classified) information from U.S. government officials. Rosen can now immediately file his own sliced and diced depositions and even some of his stash of documents to prove his contention that AIPAC slandered him by claiming he was unique and thereby keep the case moving forward.

Rosen's sense of persecution over the aborted criminal case is palpable. In one deposition Rosen compares himself to Capt. Alfred Dreyfus bound for Devil's Island on secret and contrived evidence. In another, he explains to AIPAC's legal team his motivation for filing a defamation lawsuit. ...

Shapiro and Rosen are clearly building a very interesting box of incrimination around Kohr. While it is now established fact that a copy of the 300-page "Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment for U.S. Imports from Israel, Investigation No. 332-180" was probably still in AIPAC's possession in 1987 and circulating among its employees, the report was only classified as "confidential" by the U.S. government. If Rosen intends to reveal Kohr received that particular classified information through such depositions, he will have to coach his legal team on the details of how AIPAC (in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs) obtained such classified U.S. industrial secrets.

The AIPAC filing reveals the organization's devotion to planting stories at the New York Times and Washington Post has not diminished since the days of its founder, Isaiah L. Kenen. David Shapiro deposed AIPAC's head outside legal counsel Nathan Lewin in order to emphasize that Rosen and Weissman's efforts to push a classified-information-laden story to Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler was simply business as usual.

Shapiro: "Right. Isn't that why people talk to reporters?

Lewin: "No. I think you talk to reporters because you may have some information that the reporter might be interested because the reporter asks you questions. This was in the context – a conversation in which they were trying to get the reporter to write the story."

Shapiro: "Isn't that part of what AIPAC does, is get information out so that there's a pressure that builds in favor of Israel?"

Lewin: "In favor of Israel. Correct."

According to another Rosen deposition, the key to the government's quashed espionage case against him was the story he embellished and pushed to Glenn Kessler. The FBI wiretapped a three-way conversation of Kessler, Rosen, and Weissman that confirmed AIPAC employees knew they were relaying classified information.

Rosen: "So we were warning Kessler that we had been warned that the Iranians were stirring up what could be called an insurgency. I referred to it colorfully as total war against the United States. That they were recruiting oil field workers for sabotage, that they were putting their agents – I'm afraid at this moment I don't remember all of the details. But there was a list of details about what the Iranians were doing to get ready for active opposition to the U.S. armed forces in Iraq…."

Aside from such snippets of Rosen's drive to get the U.S. into a war with Iran, the AIPAC civil-suit defense team was particularly interested in why (before he was indicted) Rosen immediately met with a representative of the Israeli embassy – instead of AIPAC's inside legal counsel – after the FBI brusquely warned him to "get lawyer by 10 a.m." Rosen was conscious that his own rushed meeting at a restaurant with an Israeli official was eerily similar to Anne Pollard's (Jonathan Pollard's former wife) rushed clandestine meeting with Avi Sella two decades earlier. Like the Rosen warning, it allowed Israeli officials to flee the United States to avoid arrest and prosecution. AIPAC's counsel also appeared to want details about the FBI accusing Rosen of lying to them, as Rosen detailed his doorstep confrontation with the FBI followed by rushed consultations with the Israelis. ...

(7) Weissman & Rosen refuse to be sacrificial lambs; Lawsuit threatens to rip AIPAC apart

Al Jazeera English / By Clayton Swisher

Sordid Lawsuit Scandal Threatens to Rip Neocon Infested AIPAC Apart

The lawsuit hinges around a former AIPAC lobbyist who was indicted for revealing state secrets.

November 17, 2010 |

America's top Israel lobby is going through a process of discovery -- quite literally in the legal sense -- and has laid itself bare in this 260-page motion in the District of Columbia's Superior Court. Kudos to's Grant Smith for flagging it.

From the outset, AIPAC's former top employees Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen made clear they were not going to go down on charges of spying for Israel without a fight. AIPAC initially backed Rosen and Weissman when the FBI raided its offices in August 2004. But to the shock of many, AIPAC dropped the two llike a bad habit just seven months later, alleging the pair had not lived up to AIPAC's professional standards. Federal indictments followed.

And according to this tell-all deposition with Steve Rosen, AIPAC standards might have included viewing pornography at work with the consent of senior managers while also, as Rosen admits, using his work computer to solicit male sex partners from Craigslist.

Having spent several years in DC's Middle East policy circuit, I had several run-ins with Rosen who, I have to say, always struck me as more than your typical partisan hack. More Israeli than the Israelis comes to mind.

Keith Weissman was different. We both covered U.S.-Iran policy at the same time (2004); Keith for AIPAC, myself for Arab clients. I had met Keith prior to his arrest and have since wondered if we had dined next to a table of FBI surveillance agents. If you want to know what's happening in U.S.-Iran relations, who better to ask than AIPAC? They had way better access to senior policymakers than most. And Keith was introduced to me by a colleague as "someone from the Lobby who you could stomach dealing with."

Rosen has a far different reputation. I think his own testimony speaks volumes. Seems among the first places he ran upon learning of the FBI's case against him was to an Israeli Embassy official in DC (Rosen: "There was probably some reference to [convicted US spy Jonathan] Pollard, because that's the first thing that comes to mind in such a controversy." No doubt, Steve.)

Rosen says he met with Rafi Barak, the Israeli deputy chief of mission, at a local Bread and Chocolate, but upon hearing Rosen's straightened situation, all Barak wanted was the bill and to get the hell away.

After reading the exhaustive autopsy of AIPAC's darkest internal matters, it's hard to imagine how they got anything at all done. It appears their donations have sharply declined in recent years. Despite that they've managed to advocate for a U.S. war with Iran, promoted policies to foster an internal Palestinian war, spearheaded the narrative that collective punishment against the 1.6 million people of Gaza is humane -- all the while, it seems, they were engaged in their own bloody, civil war within the cubicles.

No wonder Josh Block, the AIPAC spokesman, emailed me a few weeks back to say he was quitting the Lobby to open his own private shop. From this side of the keyboard, there was no love lost.

It was AIPAC's Block, after all, who threw me out of their annual shindig in 2008 for daring to ask if AIPAC had gone too far with Rosen and Weissman. Seems I really did happen upon a touchy subject.

Though I wish I could claim otherwise, I had no way of knowing just how sensitive, and scandalous, it all really was.

Clayton Swisher, based in Doha, covers stories across the Middle East and further afield

No comments:

Post a Comment