MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Story of Israel’s influence shadows the Russian influence story – Mondoweiss

Posted by Martin C. Fox on February 16, 2018

http://mondoweiss.net/2018/02/israels-influence-shadows/

Whatever you think of Russia’s actual influence over the 2016 election (I’m dubious), the running sideshow to the story has been Israel’s presence in our politics. As the Russia caper unfolds breathlessly, there have also been revelations about Israel’s interference in policymaking. But of course that interference is not a scandal worthy of investigation; that interference never draws the wrath of the liberal press.

Here are three recent incidents that no one is investigating.

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First, as we surmised a couple weeks back, it appears that Al Jazeera has put the brakes on an investigative documentary of the operations of the Israel lobby in the U.S. because Qatar is cultivating better relations with the U.S. establishment, or, in a word, with the Israel lobby itself. We’d all been hoping for bombshells from the documentary ala the bombshells from Al Jazeera’s undercover probe of the lobby in the U.K. But even the New York Times is now reporting on pressures to can the documentary, as Qatar and the rival Saudis each host delegations of “prominent American Jewish leaders” in an effort to win favor in U.S. policy circles…

2, In the fallout over the lately-declassified Nunes memo on the origins of the Russia investigation, Democrats insist that the investigation had an honest impetus: In May 2016, Trump aide George Papadopoulos revealed to an Australian diplomat in London that the Russians had dirt on the Clinton campaign– a trove of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. The New York Times:

The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.

So once again the revelations from those emails, including the DNC’s alignment with the Clinton campaign and efforts against the Sanders campaign, count for nothing in our discourse.

Many of those emails document the Clinton campaign’s deference in foreign policy positioning to Israel and its advocates. Clinton took a stand against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to satisfy donors, and as a counter to her support for the Iran deal…

3. Finally, there’s this item. The Department of Justice has dropped its case for corruption against New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez following a hung jury in Menendez’s trial last year. Menendez is expected to resume his place in the Senate as the top Democrat on Foreign Relations. And Menendez is right back to being a mouthpiece for Israel.

Eli Clifton suggests that maybe the fix was in between Justice and Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson: perhaps a “quid pro quo was reached between Adelson, Trump, and Menendez in which Menendez would back Adelson’s hawkish foreign policy positions in the Senate.”

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam each contributed the maximum allowable amount, $10,000 each, to Menendez’s legal defense fund. That’s a bit surprising considering that Sheldon and Miriam Adelson are the biggest source of funding to groups supporting Trump’s candidacy. They reportedly gave about $35 million to the Future 45 Super PAC that support Trump’s general election bid and contributed more than $80 million to help elect Republicans in 2016.

Sheldon Adelson has been clear about what he expects for his money. He pushed Trump to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, lobbying Trump inside the White House and in the pages of the Las Vegas Review Journalwhich the Adelsons own.

Adelson says he wishes he’d served in the Israeli army, and he’s a major player in rightwing Israeli politics. His gifts on both sides of the aisle in the U.S. remind us that there’s only one game in town on Israel policy, the pro-Israel game. Chuck Schumer leapt to his feet to cheer Trump’s Jerusalem lines in the state of the union speech. My progressive congressman says he’ll never stop supporting Israel; and BDS is anti-Semitic. While Sen. Dianne Feinstein‘s criticism of Israel is a dissenting murmur…

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