Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Article excerpt

For decades, think tanks, politicians, professors, journalists and every publication-except the Washington Report-steered clear of one topic: the Israel lobby. For those who "dared to speak out," the subject has been a career breaker.

Once again this year-and two days before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its annual policy conference-the Washington Report and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) gathered daring expert panelists and keynote speakers to analyze the enormous impact Israel's influence has on Congress, federal government agencies, the mainstream media, academia and other major institutions. We devote this entire issue of the Washington Report to the proceedings from the March 18, 2016 "Israel's Influence: Good or Bad for America?" conference. (You can watch or listen to the event at .) In addition, the first round of pro\-Israel PAC contributions starts on p. 78 of this issue.

IRmep founder Grant Smith opens the conference with a riveting description of the 10 ways the Israel lobby "moves" America. He demolishes common false narratives, including the one that claims that Americans support massive foreign aid packages for Israel.

Dr. Roger Mattson's talk sounds like a real-life spy thriller, about the theftof U.S. weapons-grade uranium by Israel and its American supporters, as well as the infuriating inaction of those charged with safeguarding U.S. nuclear secrets. Prof. Kirk Beattie describes his interviews with more than 150 Hill staffers, Middle East policy lobbyists and activists, showing how AIPAC's influence is damaging to the U.S.

Keynote speaker and Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy invites staffers and members of Congress to visit Palestinian refugee camps, besieged Gaza, and apartheid Hebron as well as the nightclubs, beaches and cafés of Tel Aviv only an hour away. These destinations are never on the itinerary of official delegations sponsored by pro-Israel groups, but if American leaders took "Gideon's tour" they'd finally understand how the occupation jeopardizes the long-term well-being of both the U.S. and Israel-not to mention Palestinians.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson reminds listeners that when Israel was created in 1948, high-ranking U.S. diplomatic and military officials warned that unwavering American support for the new country would jeopardize the effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy. Nearly 70 years later, Colonel Wilkerson explains how these dire predictions have come to pass, and offers evidence to refute the much-repeated claim that Israel is a vital U. …

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