The Israel Exception to Free Speech

Israel’s stranglehold on American foreign policy must be identified and eliminated

Last Tuesday there took place a disgraceful display of visceral malignancy in the United States House of Representatives Chamber in the south wing of the Capitol building. The House, long characterized by its aversion to truth, justice and what was once the American way, has been corrupted by special interests who have effectively bought an overwhelming majority of legislators, to include the leadership of the two major political parties. In the area of foreign policy, as well as a spill-over into many domestic and constitutional issues, there is no more powerful lobby than that of the state of Israel, and its power was on full display on Tuesday afternoon when Representative Rashida Tlaib was censured for the crime of being of Palestinian ancestry and speaking up against the ongoing genocide of her people by the Jewish state. Nearly all Republicans voted to condemn her together with a considerable number of her fellow Democrats.

On the following day, the White House added its own condemnation of Tlaib, referring specifically to the phrase “from the river to the sea” used by her, a slogan conveniently regarded by some like the fanatical Zionist Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as an Arab rallying cry for the eradication of Israel. ADL’s ghastly director Jonathan Greenblatt inevitably equates use of the phrase with “antisemitism” and ADL insists that “’From the River to the Sea’ is a Hamas call to annihilate Israel” while also “claiming [that] it is a rally of coexistence [which] gives cover to terror.” Tlaib, for her part, was resurrecting a memory of the Palestine that once was, and she has asserted that the slogan is “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction or hate.” Pro-Palestinian protesters do also use the slogan as a plea for their long-delayed nationhood, but groups like ADL prefer to claim that the activity provides “material support for Hamas,” and, as Hamas is a US listed terrorist group, that equates to aiding terrorists. Tlaib had also particularly angered the White House through her recently posted online video that accused President Biden of supporting genocide in the Gaza Strip, a seemingly undisputable assertion.

One might argue that even Congressmen are protected by the First Amendment right to free speech, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Bill of Rights does not apply when Israel is concerned, either in the halls of Congress or on college campuses, where Palestinian groups are being harassed and banned. The Tlaib censure vote can be seen as part of the bipartisan effort to protect the state of Israel from any and all criticism. Rashida Tlaib broke no law, did not threaten anyone, nor did she call for the destruction of any nation, yet she was excoriated by a series of her comrade-speakers in the House for something akin to a crime against humanity due to her turning against what was repeatedly described as one of America’s closest allies, a best friend and the only democracy in the Middle East, all of which are lies. Israel is no ally, which would require a certain reciprocity, a word that apparently does not exist in Hebrew. And in the current crisis Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demonstrated that he will not be moved by US interests to mitigate the slaughter no matter how much Blinken-Biden suck up to him to make him budge. And as for the claim of democracy, Israel only grants citizenship with full rights to Jews, hardly a democratic measure. Apparently, cutting off the massive amounts of US aid, including the current $14.5 billion to pay for exterminating the Palestinians, is not even on the table. Israel will always get its pound of flesh and will call all the shots in its relationship with Washington.

Tlaib’s comments are in the context of a White House that believes it it is free to send bombs to Israel to slaughter Palestinian children—without even revealing how many plane loads of weapons have been delivered or are on their way. And then there are members of Congress like Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who are free to advocate a “total war” against what he calls “the most extremist population on Earth,” i.e. the Palestinians. But verbal criticism of what is clearly a genocide and a massive violation of international law that has the US government as an accessory in a war crime is impermissible and there are even concerns that the Tlaib censure could become the foundation for a criminalization of any criticism of Israel under the assumption that all critics are ipso facto antisemites and the comments themselves amount to a “hate crime.”

Consider for a moment the precedents to Tlaib’s disgrace who are still in office untouched by any procedural steps to define what are acceptable rights of legislators. Beyond Senator Lindsey Graham’s unchallenged invitation to a mass murder, there is Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey whose apparent tendency to accept bribes has been a particularly lurid tale in part because much of the loot consisted of $480,000 in cash stuffed into jacket pockets, closets and in a safe, along with 13 gold bars, two of them marked as 1 Kilogram in weight to the value of more than $100,000. Both men are still walking around free of censure!

Israel’s love of the United States is only skin deep, if it as much as that. Recall for a moment the comments by Israeli prime ministers on the nature of the relationship. Consider Ariel Sharon’s 2001 comment: “Every time we do something you tell me Americans will do this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it… I don’t care what the American people think, I own the congress!” Or Netanyahu’s famous quip also in 2001: “America is a thing you can move very easily!” So that is what “America’s best friend’s” leadership actually thinks about the United States and its people! It is a cash cow to be milked and otherwise exploited for political cover before being disposed of when its usefulness is gone.

Sharon also famously said “I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian, I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him.” It squares the circle on why the Gazans erupted in rage on October 7th. Palestine was one nation from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea when Israel was founded in 1948. Since that time, Israel has been ethnically cleansing the Palestinians for three quarters of a century, has stolen and plundered their land, has replaced or eradicated hundreds of villages, has besieged Gaza for nearly 2 decades, and has engaged in mass starvation and now in genocidal mass killing. In the fighting preceding Israel’s independence, three quarters of a million Palestinians were driven from their homes and sent into refugee camps by Israeli militias, together with tens of thousands who were killed outright. Now the refugee camps in Gaza are being bombed together with churches, hospitals, schools and apartment blocks and we have only just learned that some Israeli officials are considering using one of their nuclear bombs to completely wipe out Gaza. It is surprising that the Palestinians have shown as much restraint as they have.

Given the damage that a corrupting Israel has done to America’s political system, it is important to ask what good the relationship with Israel has done for the average American whose tax dollars support the Zionist enterprise together with its plan to remove the Palestinians. The answer is that nothing good has come out of the so-called alliance, which has cost the US $260 billion in direct aid adjusted for inflation since 1946. Plus there is the large sum of $14.5 billion more recently approved and pending currently as some kind of war fund to enable Netanyahu to crush the Palestinians. Israel regularly gets $3.8 billion yearly in direct aid from the US Treasury, a gift from Barack Obama, that is more than what goes to all other countries combined. And there is also more-or-less “off the books” considerable additional money from special and joint military projects, dubious charities and state level development boards that bring the total up to roughly $10 billion per year, which does not include the billions in financial aid that are in reality bribes paid to Egypt and Jordan to maintain peace with the Jewish state. The handout from Uncle Sam helps make Israel a very wealthy country which can afford to give its Jewish citizens free health care and college education as well as subsidized housing.

And being joined at the hip to the Jewish state has a considerable downside, requiring the use of the US United Nations veto at regular intervals to protect the client state as well as involvement in unneeded wars in places like Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Libya with Iran coming up next. Nor has Israel hesitated to kill Americans when it felt that the US was not fully supportive of its interests and the White House is so constrained by its “alliance” that it has essentially covered up the crimes against its own citizens. Last year’s sniper killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, which produced only a whimper from the Jewish dominated State Department, plus acceptance of Israeli lies about the incident, is a prime example. And then there is the killing of 34 sailors and the injuring of 172 more on the USS Liberty in international waters on June 8th 1967. The US Navy largely unarmed intelligence ship was monitoring the ongoing fighting with Egypt when it was attacked by Israeli planes and torpedo boats. Efforts to send US aircraft carrier warplanes to assist the ship were called back by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who also orchestrated a cover-up exonerating Israel from blame. One hopes he and his Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara are now burning in hell.

The US government is so averse to challenging Israel that many believe that there are other unrevealed influences at play, possibly to include the Jeffrey Epstein/Mossad pedophile sex trafficking caper. It has long been true that candidates for high office in the US are approached by agents of the Zionist lobby and coerced into signing a pledge to support Israel. In return, the candidates who accept receive substantial political contributions and positive media. If they say “no” they are frequently targeted fjor defeat and go the way of Cynthia McKinney, Charles Percy, William Fulbright, Pete McCloskey and Paul Findley.

Congressman James Traficant of Ohio was perhaps the most aggressive voice in Congress in the 1980s and 1990s in expressing a critique of Israel’s power. He was inevitably controversial and was eventually imprisoned for seven years on a corruption charge that many subsequently considered to be a government set up. He had argued, among other things, that “Israel has a powerful stranglehold on the American government” explaining how Israel was “controlling much of our foreign policy” and “influencing much of our domestic policy.” He claimed quite plausibly that former Pentagon official Paul Wolfowitz, working for Israel, had “manipulated” President George W. Bush into the disastrous invasion of Iraq.

Traficant maintained in the 1990s that “We’re conducting the expansionist policy of Israel and everybody’s afraid to say it. They control much of the media, they control much of the commerce of the country, and they control powerfully both bodies of the Congress. They own the Congress.” If Traficant were still with us, he would be astonished to see how Jewish influence has actually increased, with 35 states having some rules or legislation punishing advocates of boycotts of Israel and bills currently before congress authorizing automatic war against Iran and even the expulsion of Palestinians from the US. The State Department has an ambassador who monitors so-called antisemitism and the White House has recently declared a war against what it describes as “surging antisemitism.”

Currently, everyone opposing the US engagement with Israel in its extermination of the Arab population in the area it controls is being labeled an anti-semite and speaking up for the Palestinians is becoming a good way to get kicked out of university and unemployed. Israel’s friends are busy compiling lists of students who support the Palestinians and are working on schemes to circulate their names to deny them jobs once they graduate. Rashida Tlaib is only the latest affront to the dignity and common sense of the US Constitution but she is certainly not going to be the last victim of the Jewish lobby, which must be labeled for what it is, made to register as the agent of the Israeli apartheid state, and excluded from unilaterally making the policies that all of us Americans have to pay the price for in the Middle East.

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