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BEIRUT — Presidential candidate Barack Obama is being targeted by the US Israel lobby from A to Z, (Ackerman, Gary and Aipac to Zuckerman, Mort and the Zionist Organization of America) as no American President seeking re-election has been in the country’s 236 year history.
Israel’s dual loyalty agents, as well as more fair minded American Jewish voters, have historically intimidated and influenced US presidents seeking reelection, especially those in a tight race, with various financial and political threats and rewards. That’s part of the American political game and obviously plenty of other lobbies do it also.
And it pays off. From Truman’s recognition of Israel’s declaration of statehood during his tough reelection fight in 1948, when Chaim Weizmann and other Jewish leaders swarmed the Oval Office, to Carter’s Camp David sell-out of American humanitarian values during his Democratic party splitting 1980 re-election challenge from Ted Kennedy. For more than 60 years, the Zionist lobby has used cash, real and fake polls, and tactics ranging from threats of exposing sex-capers and corruption to withholding or delivering Jewish votes in key states like Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to achieve maximum obeisance to Israel’s goals. One might agree that all these tactics are part big leagues American politics.
According to long time Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban, President Truman would not have supported a Jewish state were it not for “a crucial $25,000 gift made by Jews to Truman’s vice presidential aspirations in 1944 and that in 1948 American Jews helped Truman again, this time to finance his campaign at a desperate time”. According to Eban, “No historian would question the judgment that without the support of, and political pressure from, American Jewry, Israel’s emergence could not have been conceived.” Eban concluded that the Zionist’s lobby’s “extraordinary solidarity and tactics” enlarged Israel’s power beyond the limited dimensions of its space and size.”
Concerned that Truman was too pro-Arab, Zionists enlisted Eddy Jacobson, a friend of Truman’s to sway the President to see Ezer Weizmann once again, despite Truman’s earlier ban on Zionists due to their “harassments.” Truman at first refused. He wrote on February 27, 1948, to Jacobson, just as nearly 800,000 Palestinians were being ethnically cleansing from their homes and lands in the early stages of the Nakba, that he would not learn anything new from Weizmann, and added: “The Jews are so emotional, and the Arabs are so difficult to talk with that it is almost impossible to get anything done.” Nonetheless, after considerable persuasion which Jacobson claimed involved large amounts of campaign donations, Truman wrote Jacobson, “You win, you baldheaded SOB. I will see him.”
Concerning Camp David, Jimmy Carter explained a couple of years ago during a question and answer period following a lecture at the American University of Beirut that “the Jewish lobby was relentless with pressure tactics of various sorts and Begin lied to me about Israel’s willingness to make peace with the Palestinians. I regret to have to admit to you that we caved to their political pressure.”
One could perhaps feel for Obama and his campaign staff given what they are reportedly experiencing today, especially since America’s most powerful lobby has become even stronger since the 1980’s. Their tactics are many and aimed at sapping Obama’s will to do what American national interests require. One is Bill Clinton’s reported deal, being talked about on Capitol Hill, with Israeli officials to assure that if Obama is defeated Hillary will make his/her move and lock up the 2016 Democratic primaries and the general election with plenty of attendant joy for Tel Aviv.
The power to make credible demands on Obama involve much more that Jewish votes since they make up a bit less than 2% of the American electorate. Yet, even the smallest group can make an electoral dent if they move in unison and that may happen regarding Obama among those Jewish voters and Christian Zionists who put Israel first. Obama’s fate, though, is more closely tied to the Jewish vote in states Florida and Pennsylvania where they made up 4% of the 2008 electorate in both of these states.
Statistics being used by the Zionist lobby to pressure the increasingly jittery Obama campaign include recent polls. The Republican Jewish Coalition claims that 30% of Jewish voters who support Romney, represents the “highest level of Jewish support for a Republican presidential candidate in 24 years.” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks recently stated that if the Jewish vote poll numbers hold in November, they will spell “a disaster” for Obama.
In the 2008 election, Jews supported Obama by a 57 percentage point margin of his popular vote margin. A recent Gallup poll has Jewish voters still in Obama’s camp, but only by barely 35 percentage points. That is the lowest percentage for a Democratic presidential candidate among the Jewish electorate since 1988. A recent Gallup polls reveals a 10-point drop in Jewish voter support (22% in New York) or five points worse than Obama’s shrinkage among all registered voters compared with 2008.
The Israel lobby knows, and they know that Obama’s campaign staff knows, that any diminution in his support from Jewish voters will have a major impact in a very tight election. They both realize that Obama needs to retain his 2008 Jewish vote levels and campaign cash—or risk defeat. In a close election, one point either way could make the difference as it did in Florida’s 2000 election.
So what price is being demanded of the Obama campaign for Zionist lobby support between now and November 6th?
They include, but are not limited to the following:
Obama’s election year groveling to Israel was perhaps symbolized by the June, 13 2012 White House spectacle of bestowal on Israel’s President Shimon Peres of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. The PMF recognizes those individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Peres, father of Israel’s colonial settlements, has committed myriad international crimes against the Lebanese people and Palestinian refugees, including the April 18, 1996 Qana Massacre that killed 106 Lebanese and Palestinians and wounded approximately 120 including four Fijian UNIFIL soldiers who were among the 800 civilians who had taken refuge in the compound. Peres sanctioned countless other attacks on civilians, killing more than 14,000 civil and wounding more than 25,000 as part of various Israel aggression during his time as Prime Minister, meaning that he belongs on trial at the International Criminal Court at the Hague not at a White House dinner event in an election year. Despite knowing this, Obama caved to AIPAC and Congressional campaign pressure and sullied the PMF, his office and claimed American valves.
In an email from one Congressional staffer, she explained that the lobby wanted Peres to receive this honor which disgusted many on Capitol Hill and internationally, hoping to deflect some of the increasing condemnations the Apartheid regime has been receiving including the recent British government’s Foreign Office in its report, Children in Military Custody has accused Israel of illegal mistreatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding, solitary confinement and the use of leg irons. It found that “undisputed facts” pointed to at least six violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child, to which Israel is a signatory.
The report claims that youngsters are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles. The children are held in conditions that amount to torture, such as solitary confinement and no access to their parents.
In a damning conclusion, the report points out repeated breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.
In addition, Israel is a party to the Geneva Conventions, and bound by its obligations, yet Articles 76 and 65 of the 4th Geneva Conventionwere also found to have been breached, according to the report.
Article 76 prohibits detainees from being transported to the country of the authority which has detained them. In this case, Palestinian children were found to have been transported from the West Bank into Israel.
Article 65 states that any penal laws applied to prisoners in an occupied land must be translated into their own language. The lawyers said the Israeli authorities failed to translate Military Order 1676 from Hebrew into Arabic.
To the extent Obama convinces the Israel lobby between now and Tuesday, November 6th may determine whether he is a one term President or returns for a second term with its uncertainties regarding traditional US Presidential support for Israel given that during his second term, as he has stated publicly thanks to a live media mike, he will have much more flexibility.
It is too early to know what boast Obama’s campaign might receive from the US Supreme Court’s June 29 decision upholding his truly historic achievement of reforming the American health system which will provide quality health care for more than 30 million uninsured Americans [Editor’s note: the law accomplishes this end by means of forcing Americans to purchase health insurance under threat of a tax penalty]. Widespread public approval of Obamacare may significantly weaken the Zionist lobby plans to control the White House as it has the Congress and how high President Obama needs to jump.