The Passionate Attachment

America's unrequited love for Israel

Archive for October 2012

Jeffrey Gedmin: The democracy-promoting, Iraq War-supporting, pro-Israel neocon who influenced Merkel’s EU austerity program

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
October 29, 2012

In his latest New Europe column entitled “Merkel’s real agenda: mugging the poor,” David Cronin asks why the German Chancellor has cast herself as Europe’s “empress of austerity.” The answer, he believes, is to be found by looking at those who have shaped the German leader’s worldview. Having traced the influence of think tanks such as Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) on Chancellor Merkel’s harsh economic thinking, Cronin adds:

Merkel has also been reported to have obtained informal advice from Jeffrey Gedmin. A former big-wig of the American Enterprise Institute, Gedmin has spent much time trying to convince Europe to become more like the US. In a 2005 opinion piece for The Financial Times, he wrote about the “employed and unemployed alike happily indulging themselves” by sipping “over-priced café lattes”. He mused about whether a changing economic situation might give “people the swift kick they apparently need”.

While Jeffrey Gedmin may appear to want Europeans to be more like Americans, he has in fact helped to make the U.S. more like Israel — to the great detriment of the former.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

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The Israel Lobby’s War on America’s Middle East Oil Dependence

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
October 26, 2012

A couple of days ago, I wrote about an article in The National Interest magazine by a visiting fellow at a pro-Israel think tank that argued that the United Arab Emirates may be violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act by its funding of ostensibly environmental anti-drilling films. As might be expected, Susan Schmidt’s piece entitled “Lobbying through the Silver Screen” appears to be part of a broader campaign by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to end America’s energy dependence on Israel’s recalcitrant neighbors.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 26, 2012 at 10:56 am

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Green Party’s Jill Stein decries ‘slave-like mentality towards Israel’

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

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Israel lobbyist outraged at foreign lobbying through Hollywood

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
October 24, 2012

Writing in The National Interest yesterday, Susan Schmidt alerts American readers to an apparently egregious instance of foreign lobbying through the silver screen. Observes Schmidt:

Hollywood movies, the bête noire of conservative Muslim culture, are an unusual investment for Middle Eastern oil magnates. But the United Arab Emirates, the fourth-largest energy producer in the world, has committed $1 billion to bankroll films, some of which conveniently advance its economic interests.

Noting the ostensibly anti-drilling environmental message of films such as “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour” and “Promised Land” being funded by the UAE, Schmidt avers:

The politics of these filmmakers are no secret, but the source of some of the funding may be surprising. Image Nation is owned by a government that stands to benefit by ensuring that the United States remains dependent on Middle Eastern oil for decades.

“Is this a new form of foreign lobbying?” she asks, pointing out that there are laws against this sort of thing.

Unlike American companies, foreign entities are generally required to disclose to the Justice Department not only lobbying but also efforts to influence public opinion in the United States.

The Justice Department’s national-security division, which administers the Foreign Agent Registration Act, faces a host of new challenges in keeping up with public-relations campaigns given the proliferation of social media and television programming, some of it news, sponsored by foreign entities.

So who is this Susan Schmidt that appears to be so concerned about undue foreign influence in the United States?

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm

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Ehud Barak’s Cousin (Mis)Directs America’s Christian Zionists

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
October 22, 2012

In an attempt to direct attention away from their influence over U.S. Middle East policy, the predominantly Jewish pro-Israel lobby sometimes points to the passionate support of many Christian evangelicals — usually referred to as Christian Zionists — for the Jewish state. The largest of these Christian Zionist groups, with over one million members, is Christians United for Israel (CUFI); thereby, also making it the largest U.S.-based pro-Israel organization. Most people familiar with the hardline pro-Israel group associate it with John Hagee, the theatrical San Antonio-based Christian Zionist pastor who heads CUFI. Less well known, however, is CUFI’s executive director.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Fox News Geography Newsflash: Bangladesh is in the Middle East!

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 18, 2012 at 9:40 am

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Humanitarian Buffer Zones in Syria — How misinformation obscures the Israel lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
October 15, 2012

A recent Russia Today report offers an insight into how misinformation on the internet helps to obscure the influence of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy. In an October 11 report on the widening Syria conflict, the Russian television channel’s website cited an interview with an independent journalist regarding news of the establishment of so-called humanitarian buffer zones on Syrian territory. According to the RT report, citing Nile Bowie, the idea originated with “US hawks”:

“The US think-tank – the Brookings Institute – in March 2012 published a report entitled ‘Assessing Regime Change Options in Syria,’ where they specifically cite the creation of a buffer zone or a humanitarian corridor as a means to base certain rebel groups in the region [and] to project force towards the Syrian government in an attempt to topple it. So that appears to be what is playing out at the moment.”

The facts above are basically correct. There is, however, a crucial omission. The report in question — actually entitled “Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” — was the work of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. The Saban Center was established in 2002 when Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban pledged nearly $13 million to the Brookings Institution. As Saban told an Israeli conference in 2010, establishing think tanks — along with making donations to political parties and controlling media outlets — is one of “three ways to be influential in American politics.” The billionaire’s sole motivation for wanting to influence policy in Washington is no secret. “I’m a one-issue guy,” Saban famously told the New York Times, “and my issue is Israel.”

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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