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THE POWERFUL ISRAELI/JEWISH LOBBY
"...Every American citizen is better off because
we have a loyal and committed friend in the Middle
East that votes with us in the United Nations more
often than any other country on the face of this earth."
"Our admiration for Israel has never been greater;
our commitment to Israel has never been stronger;
our friendship with Israel has never been deeper;
America stands by Israel now and forever."
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 7/12/00:
It's Camp David II, the latest in a long line of conferences going back
throughout the century to "resolve" the Arab-Israeli conflict.
But the year 2000 is somewhat different. Israel's power has never been stronger. The Arabs have never been more divided. The Palestinians have never been more co-opted.
And there is one other very major difference as well in Washington these days which in fact explains why Camp David II is taking place as it is and why in fact Bill Clinton is there to host it on behalf of the Israelis.
There is no "Arab lobby" in Washington. There is just a bunch of client personalities who control weak and impotent client organizations that are used by the client Arab regimes for their own purposes.
There is however a very confident "Israeli/Jewish lobby" with immense political power and a large assortment of powerful and well-placed personalities.
Both of the major political parties in the U.S. are not only ever-conscious
of this major force in American politics but always careful to court it
carefully. True, "the lobby" has a hold on the Democratic Party and
Bill Clinton as no other. But the Republican Party as well, and indeed
most of the media in the U.S., are very well aware that there is big trouble
if they come up against the Israeli/Jewish lobby;
and little to worry about from the bumbling and stumbling Arabs.
As Camp David II proceeds, it's instructive indeed to see just how far the pandering to "the lobby" has gone.
Recently on the 18th of May Vice President Al Gore delivered a speech at the 39th Annual Policy Conference of the most important of the organizations that make up the Israeli/Jewish lobby, AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In a break with usual procedures, Gore's office refused to make copies of his speech easily available. However, a audio copy of that speech has been obtained from which the following transcript has been prepared (in some cases the spellings are phonetic and may not be fully accurage).
Note: Be prepared. This speech by Al Gore is pandering and
fund-raising at it's most crass as well as sophisticated level. But
even so, this is the reality of Middle East affairs in the American capital
at a time when the Israeli/Jewish lobby is all powerful and the Arab lobby,
contrary to how it attempts to portray itself, is
practically non-existent (with what little there is carefully controlled by the client Arab regimes with close under-the-table coordination with the Israeli/Jewish lobby itself).
VICE-PRESIDENT AL GORE SPEAKING IN
WASHINGTON TO THE ISRAELI/JEWISH LOBBY
I can't tell you how glad I am see so many warm friends . . .To my friend,
Chairman Steve Grossman ... I was going to acknowledge Jim Nicholson also
... Mel Solberg (ph), chairman of the conference of presidents of major
Jewish organizations ... To Minister Natan Sharansky, my warm friend.
Where are you, Natan? To my colleagues in the administration who are
present, Jack Lew, director of OMB; Martin Indyk of the State Department;
and John Holum of the State Department; in the White House, Leon Fuerth
and Marie Echaveste and Ann Lewis; and so many other distinguished
guests.. . I overlooked, in protocol order, the past presidents who are
with us here. . . Bubba Mitchell (ph). .. Ed Levy (ph),. .. and Larry
Wineberg (ph), my good friend.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am truly delighted and honored to be here
tonight. I want to salute you for your love of Israel, for your energetic
and enduring support of the U.S-Israel relationship and partnership, and
also for coming here every year to advocate for one of the most important
cornerstones of American national security, and that is a strong and
stable state of Israel. We appreciate your efforts. Every so often, in the
course of this historic friendship, it's good to revisit core principles.
And I'd like to do that this evening.
To begin with, every American citizen is better off because we have a
loyal and committed friend in the Middle East that votes with us in the
United Nations more often than any other country on the face of this
earth. That is a partner. That is a fellow democracy that values what we
value, a strategic ally and friend that we must support with the highest
level of loyalty, and we will. The committed involvement of the students
here tonight really and truly represents an inspiring rebuke to the view
that today's young people in America have a dwindling interest in politics
and public life. You reject apathy. You reject selfishness and inwardness
and indifference. So thank you for your enthusiasm and your commitment
Keep it up. Remain involved. We need your voices.
We meet tonight, of course, in the jubilee year of our great friend,
Israel. And I must tell you on a personal note for my wife Tipper and me,
three weeks ago, the celebration of that jubilee was among the most moving
moments of our lives. To sit with Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu and
his wife Sara, with President [Ezer] Weizman. . . to see the house of
Israel gathered. . . in Jerusalem; to have the honor and the challenge of
putting into words to the people of Israel the bottomless reservoir of
love and respect felt for them by the people of the United States of
America and then to hear that love roared back, believe me, that was a
joyous mission. It was a great honor to represent our country on that
At that celebration, we were not merely celebrating that evening. We were
not simply honoring the passage of 50 years. We were honoring what has
been achieved in those 50 years. Israel has opened its doors to millions
from the farthest reaches of the globe and gathered them into a great
nation. The Jewish love of justice has built a powerful democracy. The
Jewish love of courage has built a powerful military and the Jewish love
of knowledge and respect for learning has turned an infant nation state
into a high-tech economic power house. On this latest trip to Israel, I
visited the world renowned Weizmann Institute where Boeing and two Israeli
companies are working together on a tremendous solar energy project that
could substantially reduce the world's use of fossil fuels. Israel is now
second in the world in the number of annual high-tech startups.
One century ago, Israel was a dream. Half a century ago, Israel became a
reality. Today, Israel is a miracle. We in America believed in Israel and
loved Israel from the beginning. We are intensely proud that 11 minutes
after David Ben-Gurion declared the new state of Israel, the United
States, under the wise leadership of President Harry S Truman, became the
first nation in the world to recognize Israel. And on that auspicious day
was born not only one of the most enduring nations in history but also the
most enduring friendship between nations in history.
Our admiration for Israel has never been greater; our commitment to Israel
has never been stronger; our friendship with Israel has never been deeper;
America stands by Israel now and forever. Our special relationship with
Israel is unshakable; it is ironclad, eternal and absolute. It does not
depend on the peace process; it transcends the peace process. Our
differences are momentary, not permanent. They are about means and not
ends. And let me say to my fellow citizens here in the United States, to
our friends in Israel and let me say especially to the citizens of any
nation who may wish Israel ill, don't you even think for one minute that
any differences about this or that between the governments of the United
States and Israel belie even the slightest weakening in our underlying
unity of purpose or will shake our relationship in any way, shape or form.
Our commitment to the security of Israel is unconditional and this
administration is acting decisively to meet that commitment. We provide
more than $1 billion in annual economic assistance. We support billions of
dollars in joint economic ventures that have helped to make Israel into a
second Silicon Valley. We support the binational industrial and
agricultural research funds that have led to billions of dollars in
product sales. We are Israel's largest trading partner, exceeding $12.5
billion per year. We pushed for the end of the Arab boycott of Israel that
opened markets, expanded Israel's exports, and multiplied Israel's foreign
Of course, we are not only committed to Israel's economic security, we are
resolutely committed to Israel's military security. We provide $1.8
billion annually in direct military assistance, including advanced
aircraft like the F-15 and the F-16, to help maintain Israel's qualitative
edge in military capacity. In the face of growing threats, we have worked
to provide additional military assistance as needed. And we intend to
increase our direct military assistance in the years to come.
To combat terrorism, we organized at Sharm el-Sheikh the first
counterterrorism conference to bring together Israeli and Arab leaders.
Together our researchers are developing new anti-terrorist technologies.
We rushed Israel $100 million in emergency aid to respond to new threats
when they emerged. We imposed sanctions on terrorist sponsors, like Iran,
Libya, Sudan and others. During the recent Gulf crisis, we immediately
deployed a joint task force headed by a team of senior officers to
coordinate U.S. military assistance to Israel to help meet a potential
threat from Iraq. And as we deployed additional U.S. troops to the Gulf,
we were prepared to commit additional Patriot missiles to bolster Israel's
air defenses had it become necessary.
To meet the continuing threat of Katyusha rockets, we funded and developed
the tactical, high-energy laser program to provide Israel with a laser
defense. To meet the growing threat of ballistic missiles, we upgraded the
U.S.-Israel weapons research and development partnership to build the
Arrow anti-tactical ballistic missile system. And most recently, we have
worked with Congress to provide an additional $45 million to help Israel
begin to build a third Arrow battery. But that's far from the full story.
Let me expand for a moment on the threat of ballistic missiles. President
Clinton and I consider this a matter of the utmost gravity. As many of you
know... I was the author and principal sponsor of the legislation which
now restricts the proliferation of ballistic missile technology. And as a
member of the executive branch, I have become even more deeply involved in
I've been particularly active over the last two years as Iran has tried to
develop weapons of mass destruction and longer-range ballistic missile
systems capable of threatening the entire region, including Israel.
Let me assure you, the United States government at every level, from
President Clinton on down, has been working diligently to block this
process, cut off its oxygen and suffocate it and end it. We are working on
every front to upgrade the coordination of measures to prevent the spread
of dual-use technologies to countries like Iran and to counter terrorism.
And I believe we are making progress in enhancing multilateral cooperation
with the EU [European Union], Russia and Japan toward accomplishing our
shared objective in inhibiting Iran's ability to develop weapons of mass
destruction and support terrorist activity. As part of this effort, we
have also intensively engaged the Russians on proliferation issues and on
their plans for enforcing their own anti-proliferation policies, including
when President Clinton met with President [Boris] Yeltsin at the just
completed Summit of the Eight in Birmingham, England. This battle against
proliferation is, of course, a very high stakes battle.
Let me say to the men and women of AIPAC who have worked so hard to make
sure that Israel will never be threatened, I pledge to you here this
evening that this administration will continue to use all of our resources
and all our ingenuity to win this battle, and ensure the safety of Israel,
and protect U.S. national interests. Just today, just today, I had the
latest in a series of meetings with Minister Sharansky. And I cannot
discuss the substance of our conversations, but I can tell you this: Prime
Minister Netanyahu and President Clinton have authorized the two of us to
carry on the most intensive, high-level discussion and close coordination
possible on this subject. I can tell you that we are making progress. I
can tell you that we have more work to do. I can tell you that there is no
disagreement between the two of us on any of the details. There is
constant consultation back and forth. And I can tell you that we are
determined to prevail. We are going to take every step necessary in order
Now, all of these efforts I have described reflect our ironclad commitment
in the administration and in the United States to make sure that Israel is
safe. And yet, they represent just one pillar of our effort in Israel's
defense. The second pillar is the search for lasting peace with security.
We embraced this search in the very first year of the Clinton-Gore
administration, and our involvement has deepened over time. Remember, for
example, our nation's help in bringing about the peace treaty between
Israel and Jordan. I could cite many other examples over the last 5-1/2
years. This involvement deepened when Prime Minister Netanyahu invited us
to help in the negotiations over the Hebron agreement when they reached an
impasse. Then, after months of continuing stalemate, it deepened further
when Prime Minister Netanyahu concluded that the step-by-step approach was
not working fast enough and that what was needed was an accelerated
approach to permanent status negotiations. Because our lines of
communication are open in some places where Israel's are closed, Prime
Minister Netanyahu asked the United States to use our good offices to
assist Israel's search for peace with security. As the parties found it
gradually harder to respond to one another, we offered ideas we hoped
would continue the forward movement of the peace process. Over the past 15
months, that has been our goal.
I personally have met for many, many hours one on one with Prime Minister
Netanyahu in Israel, here in the United States, in other countries, on the
margins of international meetings that he and I both were attending. He is
a man carrying the weight of the history of the Jewish people on his
shoulders. He knows as well as anyone that an error at this time could
profoundly affect the future well-being of Israel. In our conversations, I
have always found the prime minister deeply concerned, not only about the
security dimensions of a peace agreement, but also about the true
intentions of his neighbors. Peace on paper is not the same as peace in
The prime minister wants to know that his neighbors are truly seeking
peace, and not just a strategic foothold. The United States shares these
concerns, particularly when Chairman [Yasir] Arafat makes public
statements that seem to undercut his signed commitments to peace. He
cannot say one thing to the world and another thing to his own people. He
must speak to his people ... He must speak to his people in consistent and
unambiguous terms about the permanent nature of the peace he is trying to
reach and declare a clear and unequivocal acceptance of the state of
Israel. The United States believes there is one authentic way for Israel's
neighbors to prove their commitment to peace: fight terrorism. And that is
why, in our approach to Chairman Arafat, we have been insisting
strenuously that he owes this process a 100 percent attack on terrorism,
100 percent of the time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a
year and not one second less. It is essential. There is some cause for
encouragement in the fact that over the past two months Chairman Arafat
has taken steps to uproot the Hamas terrorist network and its terrorist
infrastructure. Clearly these actions against terrorists are long overdue,
but still they are positive developments, and we will keep urging him on
in what he has begun. Ultimately, the prospects for peace rests on the
answer to one question: Will Arab nations and peoples finally accept
Israel as a neighbor? In my conversations with Chairman Arafat, with Crown
Prince Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, and with President [Hosni] Mubarak in
Egypt, and with others during previous visits, we discussed this issue.
One can never dismiss the effect of decades of organized national hatred
directed against Israel. But neither should we dismiss out of hand, the
possibility that another attitude may have begun to take root. An attitude
that favors ending this conflict in order to get on with the tasks of the
future. I have sensed this attitude in my discussions with King Hussein
and others in Jordan. And there is evidence of its existence elsewhere. If
this new attitude does really exist, it needs encouragement. Otherwise, it
That, my friends, is what accounts for our efforts to urge the parties in
these talks to work hard for success. This is an important matter. We are
offering the best counsel we can to help find a breakthrough and help
bring the parties to final talks. But through all of this there is one
constant: The United States has an absolute, uncompromising commitment to
Israel's security and an absolute conviction that Israel alone must decide
the steps necessary to ensure that security. That is Israel's prerogative.
We accept that. We endorse that. Whatever Israel decides cannot, will not,
will never, not ever alter our fundamental commitment to her security.
In addition, I know many of you have expressed concern about the
establishment of a Palestinian state. Let me make clear our position,
which has not changed. First, the question of the status of the West Bank
Gaza is an extremely complex issue which Israel and the Palestinians have
agreed should be discussed and resolved by direct negotiations. Second,
this issue, like the other issues reserved for permanent status talks, can
only be settled through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Finally, it is our view that unilateral actions and statements by the
parties concerning these issues are not helpful to the environment
necessary for making peace.
Now, I began these remarks speaking of our country's affection for Israel.
Let me now say a words about my own personal feelings about Israel. I was
born in 1948, and when I was growing up watching world events, I saw in
Israel a democracy surrounded by enemies, threatened with extinction,
fighting for existence, sharing our values and my Bible. I identified
closely with the struggle of the Israelis as one naturally identifies with
people of courage, intelligence and determination who are committed to
stand up to injustice, but have so many times been cut down by injustice.
It is difficult for anyone who does not live in Israel and who has not
directly experienced the suffering to understand what it means to a people
who have formed a nation in the wake of the horrific events of World War
II to then see innocents become victims of terrorism. We know from whence
comes this commitment to justice, grounded in an appreciation of the
divine. This is the sacred principle that brings us here and binds us
together. The bond I feel with this group and with the American Jewish
community springs from this. It is tsedek, tsedek that we pursue together.
And because we are committed to justice, we believe it is just that Israel
exists and flourishes.
Earlier I talked about first principles, our friendship with Israel; our
common values; the fact that Israel is a democracy; an ally, loyal and
faithful in the United Nations votes and elsewhere. But there is another
principle involved. I believe, and the people of the United States of
America believe, that when a people endure over 40 centuries suffering,
enslavement by the pharaohs, wanderings in Canaan, destruction in Judah,
captivity in Babylon, oppression by the Romans, expulsion again,
persecutions and sufferings and pogroms, culminating in the unspeakably
horrific frenzy of evil at the hands of the Nazis, justice demands for
them a home, demands for them a state . . . demands for them security,
peace with security, enduring.
The people of Israel deserve a future that is as bright as their own
brilliance, a land secure and impenetrable, the right to feel secure in
their own nation, the right to be safe on their own streets, the right to
live in peace with security. In closing, I pledge to you tonight with my
whole heart that the United States of America will stand with Israel
forever, to make real the dream of justice, peace and security for its
sons and its daughters. May God bless, Medinat Yisrael [Greater Israel.
Ed.], may God bless the friends of Israel, may God bless the peacemakers.
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