By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2011, 5:26pm PT  

This is just shameful. As a Jew (if not a particularly practicing one), watching how the American-Israel lobby gives a horrible name to Israel (and Jews for that matter) becomes more embarrassing every day. And since Republicans have decided to make believe that Obama is "vulnerable on Israel" --- they will say anything for perceived political gain, no matter whether it's actually true or not --- I suspect this sort of thing is only going to get shamefully worse as the 2012 election nears.

Two recent examples, both detailed below, demonstrate the desperation and willingness of these folks to use the State of Israel as little more than a propaganda bludgeon for Republican political causes.

The first example includes blatantly misleading --- and easily debunked --- lies to claim "anti-Semitism" at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Who is behind the video ad smear? Top Republican neo-cons, naturally.

The second is revealing in that it actually puts the lie to the claim that the American-Israel Lobby gives a damn about the supposed Iranian Menace, since new documents reveal they have blatantly decided to give two particular businessmen a Get Out of Jail Free Card, despite recent revelations that the two have spent years profiting by illegally trading with Iran, Israeli's supposedly mortal enemy. Those two businessmen and traitor traders? Charles and David Koch, naturally...

Lying About Occupy Wall Street

Last week, the so-called "Emergency Committee for Israel" (see who they really are below), released a new 60-second ad purporting to show "Hate at Occupy Wall Street Protests!"

The ad claims to reveal the truth about the "anti-Semitism" driving the OWS movement, as supported, according to the ad, by both President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, among other Democrats. Quotes are used from both Obama and Pelosi, by the way, which happen to be almost identical to supportive quotes also offered by folks like Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor. For some reason, however, only the Democratic politicians are quoted as supporting the "hate" at the OWS protest in the deceptive ad.

The ad then goes on to show a number of anti-Semitic protest signs and comments from a supposed OWS protester in downtown Manhattan. Trouble is, neither of the protesters are actually part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the real Occupiers themselves both decried the anti-Semitism, and even held a huge Yom Kippur service in Zuccotti Park last week. Somehow, the "Emergency Committee for Israel" forgot to mention that in their smear video.

Watch The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur dismantle the con being put forth in this shameless and deceptively edited ad that only GOP con-men like James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart could be proud of. First Uygur plays the actual ad in full, then he details what the ad didn't bother to show you or tell you in their desperation to use Israel as a propaganda tool in an attempt to hurt Democratic politicians...

According to the "Emergency Committee for Israel" website, the organization is "committed to mounting an active defense of the US-Israel relationship by educating the public about the positions of political candidates on this important issue, and by keeping the public informed of the latest developments in both countries."

Apparently "educating the public" and "keeping the public informed" are now GOP code words for "lying to the public for attempted political gain." And the "positions of political candidates on this important issue" applies only to Democratic political candidates.

In truth, the "Emergency Committee for Israel" is little more than a Rightwing front group for the neo-con movement and the Republican Party. That fact is easily found on their website for the few who bother to actually drill down to find out who these liars are.

The website lists just three names associated with the group, comprising the entirety of their board, supposedly. And, surprise! All three are very well known Republican activists and propagandists!...

  • William Kristol (Fox "News" contributor, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard, perhaps most infamous for his advocacy of Sarah Palin as John McCain's 2008 running mate);
  • Gary Bauer (former Reagan administration official, one-time GOP Presidential candidate, and Christian political activist);
  • Rachel Abrams (Republican political writer and activist who writes for Kristol's Weekly Standard and Rupert Murdoch's New York Post and Wall Street Journal. She is also the wife of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administration official Elliot Abrams)

"Emergency Committee for Israel"? More like "Emergency Committee for Republican Candidates."

Giving the Kochs a Pass for Palling Around With Iran

Elsewhere on they "Emergency Committee for Israel" website, on its About page, they detail some of the "increasing threat[s] from terrorism supported by hostile regimes that refuse to accept the Jewish State."

One of those hostile regimes, naturally, is Iran which, we're informed, "continues its pursuit of a nuclear weapon and its support of terrorist groups."

Now those points may (or may not) be true. But let's presume they are. If so, why would the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest Israel Lobby in the U.S., be willing to give a pass to Americans who have shown tremendous support for the Iranian regime over the last decade, through millions of dollars in secret profiteering, despite a trade ban with the nation identified by the U.S. as a terrorist state since 1995?

Why? Because those Iranian-loving Americans are David and Charles Koch, co-owners of the oil and chemical conglomerate Koch Industries, the second largest private corporation in the nation, and two of the top funders of the Republican Party.

That leftist, anti-Semitic, anti-free trade news outlet, Bloomberg News revealed the Kochs' long-term and highly lucrative trading with Iran in an article earlier this month headlined "Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales."

And yet, despite Bloomberg's remarkable 7200-word exposé (in which it is also revealed that Koch allegedly made improper payoffs --- otherwise known as bribes --- to at least six different foreign countries), AIPAC appears to have no problem at all with the Kochs palling around with Iran.

In a memo obtained and published by Politico's Ben Smith last Friday, AIPAC sent a series of "suggested questions" to Congressional legislators who were grilling top State and Treasury officials on Iran and Syria in House and Senate hearings on Friday.

Here's the "suggested question" on "subsidiaries of American companies," in which the Koch brothers are given a pass by AIPAC, despite years of secret trading with the Islamic Republic and enemy of Israel...

Last week, the Bloomberg Markets Magazine ran a story titled, “Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales.” The article alleges that a foreign subsidiary of the U.S.company, Koch Industries Inc., sold petrochemical equipment to Iran. My concern today is not with the Koch Brothers. That company did the right thing in 2007 and voluntarily ended all of its subsidiary’s business in Iran. However, I am concerned that other American companies continue to use foreign subsidiaries to profit from sales to Iran, and it is completely legal....
...
Do you know which American companies have foreign subsidiaries conducting business with Iran that would be illegal for their parent companies to do? Do you do anything to discourage this practice?

As Alex Seitz-Wald of ThinkProgress noted in his report on the hypocritical AIPAC memo, "the powerful pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC — which has for years been one of the most vocal proponents of tougher sanctions on Iran — has given the conservative mega-corporation a pass for dealing with" Iran.

Of course they have. AIPAC is interested in supporting Republicans, not Israel --- unless supporting Israel is a boon for Republicans.

Seitz-Wald goes on to quote from Bloomberg's report...

Every single chance they had to do business with Iran, or anyone else, they did,” said George Bentu, a former employee of Koch-Glitsch, a German Koch subsidiary which did much of the company’s business with Iran. The company “took elaborate steps” to sidestep the sanctions, Bloomberg reported.

But apparently to AIPAC, Koch is off the hook because they stopped trading with terror-sponsor Iran in 2007. This seems a little disingenuous, since U.S. companies have been banned from trading with Iran since 1995. One would think AIPAC would condemn any company that did business with Iran, especially after elements of the country’s government have been tied to a potential assassination plot against Israeli and Saudi officials, instead of going out of their way to defend them.

Right. The Kochs are off the AIPAC hook because they both share the top goal of the Republicans: Removing Barack Obama from office. That is the bottom, and only, line for these folks. Democrats who throw in with any part of this crew --- there are many Dems also foolishly associated with AIPAC --- are doing little more than both hurting the Democratic Party as well as hurting Israel to boot.