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A Strange Kind of Freedom

The most astonishing -- and least covered -- story is in fact the alliance of Israeli lobbyists and Christian Zionist fundamentalists, a coalition that began in 1978 with the publication of a Likud plan to encourage fundamentalist churches to give their support to Israel. By 1980, there was an "International Christian Embassy" in Jerusalem; and in 1985, a Christian Zionist lobby emerged at a "National Prayer Breakfast for Israel" whose principal speaker was Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to become Israeli prime minister. "A sense of history, poetry and morality imbued the Christian Zionists who, more than a century ago, began to write, plan and organise for Israel's restoration," Netanyahu told his audience. The so-called National Unity Coalition for Israel became a lobbying arm of Christian Zionism with contacts in Congress and neo-conservative think-tanks in Washington.

. . . In May [2002], the Israeli embassy in Washington, no less, arranged a prayer breakfast for Christian Zionists. Present were Alonzo Short, a member of the board of "Promise Keepers", and Michael Little who is president of the "Christian Broadcasting Network". Event hosts were listed as including those dour old Christian conservatives Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who once financed a rogue television station in southern Lebanon which threatened Muslim villagers and broadcast tirades by Major Saad Haddad, Israel's stooge militia leader in Lebanon. In Tennessee, Jewish officials invited hundreds of Christians to join Jewish crowds at a pro-Israel solidarity rally in Memphis.
A Strange Kind of Freedom

The biggest threat to liberty in the US may come from other kinds of fundamentalism: Jewish and Christian

by Robert Fisk

 http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=313235

 http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0710-07.htm

Inside the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, the Californian audience had been struck silent. Dennis Bernstein, the Jewish host of KPFA Radio's Flashpoint current affairs program, was reading some recent e-mails that he had received from Israel's supporters in America. Each one left the people in the church - Muslims, Jews, Christians - in a state of shock. "You mother-fucking-asshole-self-hating Jewish piece of shit. Hitler killed the wrong Jews. He should have killed your parents, so a piece of Jewish shit like you would not have been born. God willing, Arab terrorists will cut you to pieces Daniel Pearl-style, AMEN!!!"

Bernstein's sin was to have covered the story of Israel's invasion of Jenin in April and to have interviewed journalists who investigated the killings that took place there - including Phil Reeves and Justin Huggler of The Independent - for his Flashpoint program Bernstein's grandfather was a revered Orthodox Rabbi of international prominence but neither his family history nor his origins spared him. "Read this and weep, you mother-fucker self-hating Jew boy!!!" another e-mail told Bernstein. "God willing a Palestinian will murder you, rape your wife and slash your kids' throats." Yet another: "I hope that you, Barbara Lubin and all other Jewish Marxist Communist traitors anti-American cop haters will die a violent and cruel death just like the victims of suicide bombers in Israel." Lubin is also Jewish, the executive director of the Middle East Children's Alliance, a one-time committed Zionist but now one of Israel's fiercest critics. Her e-mails are even worse.

Indeed, you have to come to America to realize just how brave this small but vocal Jewish community is. Bernstein is the first to acknowledge that a combination of Israeli lobbyists and conservative Christian fundamentalists have in effect censored all free discussion of Israel and the Middle East out of the public domain in the US. "Everyone else is terrified," Bernstein says. "The only ones who begin to open their mouths are the Jews in this country. You know, as a kid, I sent money to plant trees in Israel. But now we are horrified by a government representing a country that we grew up loving and cherishing. Israel's defenders have a special vengeance for Jews who don't fall in line behind Sharon's scorched-earth policy because they give the lie to the charge that Israel's critics are simply anti-Semite."

Adam Shapiro is among those who have paid a price for their beliefs. He is a Jew engaged to an American-born Palestinian, a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement who was trapped in Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the spring while administering medical aid. After telling CNN that the Sharon government was acting like "terrorists" while receiving $3bn a year in US military aid, Shapiro and his family were savaged in the New York Post. The paper slandered Shapiro as the "Jewish Taliban" and demeaned his family as "traitors". Israeli supporters publicized his family's address and his parents were forced to flee their Brooklyn home and seek police protection. Shapiro's father, a New York public high-school teacher and a part-time Yeshiva (Jewish day school) teacher, was fired from his job. His brother receives regular death threats.

Israel's supporters have no qualms about their alliance with the Christian right. Indeed, the fundamentalists can campaign on their own in Israel's favor, as I discovered for myself at Stanford recently when I was about to give a lecture on the media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, part of a series of talks arranged largely by Jewish Americans. A right-wing Christian "Free Republic" outfit posted my name on its website, and described me as a "PLO butt-kisser" and asked its supporters to "freep" my lecture. A few demonstrators turned up outside the First United Methodist Church in Sacramento where I was to speak, waving American and Israeli flags. "Jew haters!" they screamed at the organizers, a dark irony since these were non-Jews shrieking their abuse at Jews.

They were also handing out crudely printed flyers. "Nothing to worry about, Bob," one of my Jewish hosts remarked. "They can't even spell your name right." True. But also false. "Stop the Lies!" the leaflet read. "There was no massacre in Jenin. Fiske [sic] is paid big bucks to spin [lie] for the Arabs..." But the real lie was in that last sentence. I never take any payment for lectures - so that no one can ever claim that I'm paid to give the views of others. But the truth didn't matter to these people. Nor did the content of my talk - which began, by chance, with the words "There was no massacre" - in which I described Arafat as a "corrupt, vain little despot" and suicide bombings as "a fearful, evil weapon". None of this was relevant. The aim was to shut me up.

Dennis Bernstein sums it up quite simply: "Any US journalist, columnist, editor, college professor, student-activist, public official or clergy member who dares to speak critically of Israel or accurately report the brutalities of its illegal occupation will be vilified as an anti-Semite." In fact, no sooner had Bernstein made these remarks than pro-Israeli groups initiated an extraordinary campaign against some of the most pro-Israeli newspapers in America, all claiming that The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle were biased in their coverage of the Middle-East conflict. Just how The New York Times - which boasts William Safire and Charles Krauthammer, those giants of pro-Israeli bias, among its writers - could be anti-Israeli is difficult to see, although it is just possible that, amid its reports on Israel's destruction in the West Bank and Gaza, some mildly critical comments found their way into print. The New York Times, for example, did report that Israeli soldiers used civilians as human shields - though only in the very last paragraph of a dispatch from Jenin.

None the less, the campaign of boycotts and e-mails got under way. More than 1,000 readers suspended their subscriptions to the Los Angeles Times, while a blizzard of e-mails told pro-Israeli readers to cancel their subscription to The New York Times for a day. On the East Coast, at least one local radio station has lost $1m from a Jewish philanthropist while other stations attempting to cover the Middle East with some degree of fairness are said to have lost even more. When the San Francisco Chronicle published a four-page guide to the conflict, its editors had to meet a 14-member delegation of local Jewish groups to discuss their grievances.

According to Michael Futterman, who chairs the Middle East strategy committee of 80 Bay Area synagogues, Jewish anger hit "boiling point" when the Chronicle failed to cover a pro-Israeli rally in San Francisco. Needless to say, the Chronicle's "Readers' Representative", Dick Rogers, published a groveling, self-flagellating apology. "The paper didn't have a word on the pro-Israel rally," he wrote. "This wasn't fair and balanced coverage." Another objection came from a Jewish reader who objected to the word "terror" being placed within inverted commas in a Chronicle headline that read "Sharon says 'terror' justifies assault". The reader's point? The Chronicle's reporting "harmonizes well with Palestinian propaganda, which tries to divert attention from the terrorist campaign against Israel (which enjoys almost unanimous support among Palestinians, all the way from Yasser Arafat to the 10-year-old who dreams of blowing himself up one day) and instead describes Israel's military moves as groundless, evil bullying tactics."

And so it goes on. On a radio show with me in Berkeley, the Chronicle's foreign editor, Andrew Ross, tried to laugh off the influence of the pro-Israeli lobby - "the famous lobby", he called it with that deference that is half way between acknowledgement and fear - but the Israeli Consul General Yossi Amrani had no hesitation in campaigning against the Chronicle, describing a paper largely docile in its reporting of the Middle East as "a professionally and politically biased, pro-Palestinian newspaper".

The Chronicle's four-page pull-out on the Middle East was, in fact, a soft sell. Its headline - "The Current Strife Between The Israelis And The Palestinians Is A Battle For Control Of Land" - missed the obvious point: that one of the two groups that were "battling for control of the land" - the Palestinians - had been occupied by Israel for 35 years.

The most astonishing - and least covered - story is in fact the alliance of Israeli lobbyists and Christian Zionist fundamentalists, a coalition that began in 1978 with the publication of a Likud plan to encourage fundamentalist churches to give their support to Israel. By 1980, there was an "International Christian Embassy" in Jerusalem; and in 1985, a Christian Zionist lobby emerged at a "National Prayer Breakfast for Israel" whose principal speaker was Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to become Israeli prime minister. "A sense of history, poetry and morality imbued the Christian Zionists who, more than a century ago, began to write, plan and organize for Israel's restoration," Netanyahu told his audience. The so-called National Unity Coalition for Israel became a lobbying arm of Christian Zionism with contacts in Congress and neo-conservative think-tanks in Washington.

In May this year, the Israeli embassy in Washington, no less, arranged a prayer breakfast for Christian Zionists. Present were Alonzo Short, a member of the board of "Promise Keepers", and Michael Little who is president of the "Christian Broadcasting Network". Event hosts were listed as including those dour old Christian conservatives Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who once financed a rogue television station in southern Lebanon which threatened Muslim villagers and broadcast tirades by Major Saad Haddad, Israel's stooge militia leader in Lebanon. In Tennessee, Jewish officials invited hundreds of Christians to join Jewish crowds at a pro-Israel solidarity rally in Memphis.

On the face of it, this coalition seems natural. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League felt able to run an ad that included an article by a former Christian coalition executive director Ralph Reed, headlined "We People of Faith Stand Firmly With Israel". Christians, Reed claimed, supported Israel because of "their humanitarian impulse to help and protect Jews, a shared strategic interest in democracy in the Middle East and a spiritual connection to Israel".

But, of course, a fundamental problem - fundamental in every sense of the word - lies behind this strange partnership. As Uri Avnery, the leader of Gush Shalom, the most courageous Israeli peace group, pointed out in a typically ferocious essay last month, there is a darker side to the alliance. "According to its [Christian Zionist] theological beliefs, the Jews must congregate in Palestine and establish a Jewish state on all its territory" - an idea that would obviously appeal to Ariel Sharon - "so as to make the Second Coming of Jesus Christ possible." But here comes the bad bit. As Avnery says, "the evangelists don't like to dwell openly on what comes next: before the coming [of the Messiah], the Jews must convert to Christianity. Those who don't will perish in a gigantic holocaust in the battle of Armageddon. This is basically an anti-Semitic teaching, but who cares, so long as they support Israel?"

The power of the Israeli lobby in the United States is debated far more freely in the Israeli press than in American newspapers or on US television. There is, of course, a fine and dangerous line between justified investigation - and condemnation - of the lobby's power, and the racist Arab claim that a small cabal of Zionists run the world. Those in America who share the latter view include a deeply unpleasant organization just along the coast from San Francisco at Newport Beach known as the "Institute for Historical Research". These are the Holocaust deniers whose annual conference last month included a lecture on "death sentences imposed by German authorities against German soldiers... for killing or even mistreating Jews". Too much of this and you'd have to join the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - AIPAC - to restore your sanity. But the Israeli lobby is powerful. In fact, its influence over the US Congress and Senate calls into question the degree to which the American legislature has been corrupted by lobby groups. It is to an Israeli voice - Avnery again - that Americans have to turn to hear just how mighty the lobby has become. "Its electoral and financial power casts a long shadow over both houses of the Congress," Avnery writes. "Hundreds of Senators and Congressmen were elected with the help of Jewish contributions. Resistance to the directives of the Jewish lobby is political suicide. If the AIPAC were to table a resolution abolishing the Ten Commandments, 80 Senators and 300 Congressmen would sign it at once. This lobby frightens the media, too, and assures their adherence to Israel."

Avnery could have looked no further than the Democratic primary in Alabama last month for proof of his assertion. Earl Hilliard, the five-term incumbent, had committed the one mortal sin of any American politician: he had expressed sympathy for the cause of the Palestinians. He had also visited Libya several years ago. Hilliard's opponent, Arthur Davis, turned into an outspoken supporter of Israel and raised large amounts of money from the Jewish community, both in Alabama and nationwide. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz noted that among the names of the first list of contributors to Davis's campaign funds were "10 Cohens from New York and New Jersey, but before one gets to the Cohens, there were Abrams, Ackerman, Adler, Amir, Asher, Baruch, Basok, Berger, Berman, Bergman, Bernstein and Blumenthal. All from the East Coast, Chicago and Los Angeles. It's highly unlikely any of them have ever visited Alabama..." The Jewish newspaper Forward - essential reading for any serious understanding of the American Jewish community - quoted a Jewish political activist following the race: "Hilliard has been a problem in his votes and with guys like that, when there's any conceivable primary challenge, you take your shot." Hilliard, of course, lost to Davis, whose campaign funds reached $781,000.

The AIPAC concentrates on Congress while the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO), made up of the heads of 51 Jewish Organizations, concentrates on the executive branch of the US government. Every congressman knows the names of those critics of Israel who have been undone by the lobby. Take Senator J William Fulbright, whose 1963 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee detailed how five million tax-deductable dollars from philanthropic Americans had been sent to Israel and then recycled back to the US for distribution to Organizations seeking to influence public opinion in favor of Israel; this cost him the chance of being Secretary of State. He was defeated in the 1974 Democratic primary after pro-Israeli money poured into the campaign funds of his rival, Governor Dale Bumpers, following a statement by the AIPAC that Fulbright was "consistently unkind to Israel and our supporters in this country". Paul Findley, who spent 22 years as a Republican congressman from Illinois, found his political career destroyed after he had campaigned against the Israeli lobby - although, ironically, his book on the subject, They Dare to Speak Out was nine weeks on The Washington Post bestseller list, suggesting that quite a number of Americans want to know why their congressmen are so pro-Israeli.

Just two months ago, the US House of Representatives voted 352 to 21 to express its unqualified support for Israel. The Senate voted 94 to two for the same motion. Even as they voted, Ariel Sharon's army was continuing its destructive invasion of the West Bank. "I do not recall any member of Congress asking me if I was in favor of patting Israel on the back..." James Abu Rizk, an Arab-American of Lebanese origin, told the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee afterwards. "No one else, no average American, has been asked either. But that is the state of American politics today... The votes and bows have nothing to do with the legislators' love for Israel. They have everything to do with the money that is fed into their campaigns by members of the Israeli lobby. My estimate is that $6bn flows from the American Treasury to Israel each year." Within days, 42 US governors turned up in Sacramento to sign declarations supporting Israel. California governor Gray Davis and New York governor George Pataki - California has the largest Jewish population of any state except New York - arranged the meeting.

Sometimes the support of Israel's loyalists in Congress turns into farce. Tom Delay - reacting to CNN founder Ted Turner's criticism of Israel - went so far out of his way to justify Israeli occupation of the West Bank that he blurted out on MSNBC television that the Palestinians "should become citizens" of Israel, an idea unlikely to commend itself to his friend Ariel Sharon. Texas Republican Richard Armey went the other way. "I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank. I happen to believe the Palestinians should leave... to have those people who have been aggressors against Israel retired to some other area." Do the people of Texas know that their representative is supporting "ethnic cleansing" in the Middle East? Or are they silent because they prefer not to speak out?

Censorship takes many forms. When Ishai Sagi and Ram Rahat-Goodman, two Israeli reserve soldiers who refused to serve in the West Bank or Gaza, were scheduled to debate their decision at Sacramento's Congregation B'nai Israel in May, their appearance was cancelled. Steve Meinrath, who is chairman of the Israel Affairs Committee at B'nai Israel, remarked bleakly that "intimidation on the part of certain sectors of the community has deprived the entire community of hearing a point of view that is being widely debated in Israel. Some people feel it's too dangerous..."

Does President Bush? His long-awaited Middle-East speech was Israeli policy from start to finish. A group of Jewish leaders, including Elie Wiesel and Alan Dershowitz - who said recently that the idea of executing the families of Palestinian suicide bombers was a legitimate if flawed attempt at finding a balance between preventing terrorism and preserving democracy - and the AIPAC and CPMAJO heads all sent clear word to the President that no pressure should be put on Israel. Wiesel - whose courage permeates his books on the Holocaust but who lamentably failed to condemn the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Beirut in 1982 at the hands of Israel's Lebanese allies, said he felt "sadness", but his sadness was "with Israel, not against Israel" because "after all the Israeli soldiers did not kill" - took out a full page in The New York Times. In this, he urged Bush to "please remember that Ariel Sharon, a military man who knows the ugly face of war better than anyone, is ready to make 'painful sacrifices' to end the conflict." Sharon was held "personally responsible" for the massacre by Israel's own commission of inquiry - but there was no mention of that from Wiesel, who told reporters in May that he would like to revoke Arafat's Nobel prize.

President Bush was not going to oppose these pressures. His father may well have lost his re-election because he dared to tell Israel that it must make peace with the Arabs. Bush is not going to make the same mistake - nor does brother Jeb want to lose his forthcoming governorship election. Thus Sharon's delight at the Bush speech, and it was left to a lonely and brave voice - Mitchell Plitnick of the Jewish Voice for Peace - to state that "few speeches could be considered to be as destructive as that of the American President... Few things are as blinding as unbridled arrogance."

Or as vicious as the messages that still pour in to Dennis Bernstein and Barbara Lubin, whose Middle East Children's Alliance, co-ordinating with Israeli peace groups, is trying to raise money to rebuild the Jenin refugee camp. "I got a call the other day at 5am," Bernstein told me. "This guy says to me: 'You got a lot of nerve going and eating at that Jewish deli.' What comes after that?" Before I left San Francisco, Lubin showed me her latest e-mails. "Dear Cunt," one of them begins, "When we want your opinion you fucking Nazi cunt, we will have one of your Palestinian buddies fuck it [sic] of you. I hope that in your next trip to the occupied territories you are blown to bits by one of your Palestinian buddies [sic] bombs." Another, equally obscene, adds that "you should be ashamed of yourself, a so-called Jewish woman advocating the destruction of Israel".

Less crude language, of course, greeted President Bush's speech. Pat Robertson thought the Bush address "brilliant". Senator Charles Schumer, a totally loyal pro-Israeli Democrat from New York, said that "clearly, on the politics, this is going to please supporters of Israel as well as the Christian coalition types". He could say that again. For who could be more Christian than President George W Bush?

homepage: homepage: http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0710-07.htm
address: address: The Independent via Common Dreams NewsCenter

lots of evidence 25.Oct.2004 17:18

a conspiracy?

1. M savage is certainly a persecutor of those who would question zionist like sharon. M savage certainly is the stink on caca.

2. Note how the free media in america with all of its 5 outlets question israel/palestine. Poor israli victims of palestinian terrorist.... the story goes

3. You kjnow thi chicken are comming home to roost and the media will say how the opposition hate our freedom(cluster bombs)

4 Our international policy get more orwellian every day. Soon, its seems, it will be.

not 'conspiracy', just Christian Zionists 25.Oct.2004 17:38

research

Christianist Ayatollahs Bring America To Shame; Are Worse Threat Than 'Communism'

 http://www.opednews.com/kall051704_christianist_ayatollahs.htm

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288638.shtml

American Christianists-- far right-wing, politicized extremists who engage their flocks' genuine Christian faith through manipulation and distortion, are, as the main voter constituency supporting extreme right wing republicanism and the Bush administration, at the core of the problem with America that has led to the state we find ourselves in today-- facing daily disclosures of worse and worse reports of horrible, twisted, perverted tortures.


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Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)

 http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020902&c=1&s=vest

On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war--not just with Iraq, but "total war," as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it last year. For this crew, "regime change" by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents--be it Colin Powell's State Department, the CIA or career military officers--is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East--a hegemony achieved with the traditional cold war recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action.

. . . Indeed, there are some in military and intelligence circles who have taken to using "axis of evil" in reference to JINSA and CSP, along with venerable repositories of hawkish thinking like the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute, as well as defense contractors, conservative foundations and public relations entities underwritten by far-right American Zionists (all of which help to underwrite JINSA and CSP). It's a milieu where ideology and money seamlessly blend: "Whenever you see someone identified in print or on TV as being with the Center for Security Policy or JINSA championing a position on the grounds of ideology or principle--which they are unquestionably doing with conviction--you are, nonetheless, not informed that they're also providing a sort of cover for other ideologues who just happen to stand to profit from hewing to the Likudnik and Pax Americana lines," says a veteran intelligence officer. He notes that while the United States has begun a phaseout of civilian aid to Israel that will end by 2007, government policy is to increase military aid by half the amount of civilian aid that's cut each year--which is not only a boon to both the US and Israeli weapons industries but is also crucial to realizing the far right's vision for missile defense and the Middle East.

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 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288694.shtml

The Jesus Landing Pad

Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move

by Rick Perlstein
May 18th, 2004 10:00 AM
 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0420/perlstein.php

It was an e-mail we weren't meant to see. Not for our eyes were the notes that showed White House staffers taking two-hour meetings with Christian fundamentalists, where they passed off bogus social science on gay marriage as if it were holy writ and issued fiery warnings that "the Presidents [sic] Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level"—this to a group whose representative in Israel believed herself to have been attacked by witchcraft unleashed by proximity to a volume of Harry Potter. Most of all, apparently, we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288694.shtml


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Lieberman's Conflict of Interest

by William Hughes
 http://www.counterpunch.org/hughes0823.html

Like all members of the Senate, Lieberman is required to file an annual "Financial Disclosure Statement" with the Secretary of the Senate. In his May 15, 2001 submittal, he again failed to mention any official membership in any Zionist organizations. Although, he does disclose his significant connection, as an advisory board member, to three Israeli-based non-profit organizations: "The Peres Center for Peace" at Tel Aviv; "Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies" at Bar-Ilan University, and the "Natural History Museum," located in Jerusalem.

Lieberman's membership in these Zionist affiliated groups does raise, on its face, an appearance of a conflict of interest on his part with respect to an issue, like S. Res. 247, since it advances the cause of Zionism and/or Zionist Israel. If he is in fact a Zionist, then the conflict between his public duties and his private interests becomes even more pronounced.

The Anti-Defamation League, a hot air organ for Israel, defines Zionism as, "The guiding nationalist movement of the majority of Jews around the world, who believe in, support and identify with the State of Israel." Does Lieberman subscribe, as a matter of personal political philosophy, to the ADL's definition of Zionism? If so, shouldn't he put that fact on the public record, whether he is a card carrying Zionist or not?

Actually, Zionism is an alien based political movement, global in scope, racially restrictive, with its spiritual headquarters in Tel Aviv, and not Washington, D.C. It aspires to a land grabbing "Greater Israel."

On another disturbing front, Israel Radio (Kol Yisrael), reported on Oct. 3, 2001, that Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, had boasted at a Cabinet meeting, "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."

In light of the above, I feel the Senate had a right to know any relevant information about Lieberman's Zionist political ideology, memberships, and associations in order to weigh the value of endorsing or opposing his pro Israel resolution. He should have, at a minimum, disclosed to the Senate any and all of his Zionist connections, and then, if appropriate, recused himself on the matter of S. Res. 247.

Our country is at high risk for terrorist attacks, partly, because of its flawed policy of giving unconditional support to a hawkish Israel, presently led by a man universally-loathed for his brutality. This policy, unfortunately, also includes unfairly demonizing and punishing Muslims and Arabs leaders in general; for example, the economic sanctions against Iraq, which have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi children, fall into the latter category (CASI, 01/02).

During the 2000 election, Lieberman received $86,000 from Pro-Israel PAC contributors towards his Senate re-election campaign, (See, Janet McMahon, WRMEA, Oct/Nov. 2000 issue). What effect did that financial contribution, and others like it, have on his voting record and on his hidden political agenda?

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The faith-based Lieberman

 http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=14364

Lieberman, who is Jewish, is also a strong supporter of President Bush's faith-based initiative. In fact, early last year when the president's project was floundering, Bush gave Lieberman and Republican Senator Rick Santorum the task of crafting a compromise initiative. While it seemed to be a balanced pairing of "liberal" with "conservative," the reality is that Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Santorum share more than a seat in the same legislative body. They both share a close relationship to a conservative operation called The Empowerment Network (TEN), where they serve as Empowerment Caucus Chairmen.

TEN describes itself as "a resource hub for state legislators, grassroots organizations, and other civic leaders promoting American family and community renewal of civil society in the 21st century." According to its website, "TEN's grassroots network provides the winning edge on policy initiatives that support youth character and family revitalization, entrepreneurship and the unleashing of faith-based initiatives and cultural remedies."

The Empowerment Network was founded in 1992 by a coterie of right-wing ideologues including:


Its current president, David Caprara, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary under Jack Kemp (during the George H. Bush administration) and National Director for the American Family Coalition;

Sam Brunelli, who from 1988 through 1995 was the Executive Director of the highly partisan American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is member of the secretive Council on National Policy, and, in August 2001, joined the Republican Liberty Council as its National Finance Chairman;

Robin Brunelli, President of the National Foundation for Women Legislators;

Robert Woodson, the President of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise;

Stephen Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis, current Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and e-Government with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), Faculty Director for the Innovations in American Government program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Chairman of the Corporation for National Service, and Special Advisor to President Bush on faith-based and not-for-profit initiatives;

George Allen, the former Governor and now Senator from Virginia; and

Clint Bolick, the Vice president for the anti-affirmative action, pro-school voucher Institute for Justice.
So it wasn't surprising that when the Senators came back with a proposal in February of last year, Lieberman called it "a constitutionally appropriate" way to proceed. Lieberman:

"We also have an agreement to increase funding for a group of social service programs, including, particularly, the social service block grant program, which is very important to our states and very important to a lot of nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations that now use it to do good works.... We have [also] responded... to the evidence presented by your faith-based office... of not fair play totally toward faith-based groups as they applied for government funding. And this says that if you qualify otherwise, you can't be discriminated against in applying for a grant to do social service work, if you have a cross on the wall or a mezuzah on the door, or if you praise God in your mission statement, and that's the way it ought to be. So this is a real step forward."
Months after the Lieberman-Santorum "compromise" died in the Senate, the President sidestepped the whole process by signing executive orders in late December aimed at giving faith-based groups a leg up in the competition for federal money.

Lieberman and ACTA

Lieberman has comfortably sidled up to right-wing ideologues throughout his career. He, along with Lynne Cheney, the vice-president's wife and longtime critic of left-wing academics on America's college campuses, founded the National Alumni Forum in 1995. The group later changed its name to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). It is a Washington DC-based organization dedicated keeping its eye on campus "radicals" and countering "political correctness."

ACTA unloaded the first shot in the current war against critics of the president's war on terrorism when, in November 2001, it issued a report charging that "colleges and university faculty have been the weak link in America's response to the attack" on September 11. The report, titled "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America, and What Can Be Done About It," affirms the right of professors to academic freedom, but says that this freedom does not make these academics immune from criticism. "We learn from history that when a nation's intellectuals are unwilling to defend its civilization, they give comfort to its adversaries," the report declares.

To his credit, in a December 18, 2001, letter to Jerry Martin, President, American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), and co-author of the report, Sen. Lieberman wrote: "If I had been given an advanced copy, I would have objected to its content and methodology and asked you either to revise it or make clear that I had no involvement with it." Lieberman also asked that his name be removed as a "co-founder" of ACTA from its Web site or other Council documents.

Those are some of Lieberman's friends and some of his beliefs. To be fair, the Senator has a decent record regarding the environment, labor issues, and civil and human rights for gays and lesbians, although he did vote in favor of "The Defense of Marriage Act." On the whole, Lieberman enters the race as the most conservative Democrat in the field, and one of the party's most conservative foreign policy hawks since the days of Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson.

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Sen. Joe Lieberman Erases Ties to Apocalyptic Fundamentalist Group

 http://www.thememoryhole.org/pol/lieberman-ifcj.htm

>>> With his eyes firmly fixed on the White House, Senator Joseph Lieberman is making moves to whitewash his religious record. Specifically, "Holy Joe" (as he's sometimes called) is trying to erase his association the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, an organization that tries to get fundamentalist Christians to support Israel, especially the emigration of Jews in the former Soviet Union to Israel.

If you haven't been paying attention lately, fundie Christians are growing ever more supportive of Israel, since the creation of that country and the return of Jews to it are two of the big steps on the way to the joys of Armageddon, the Apocalypse, the Rapture, etc., etc. The Fellowship plays on these beliefs by constantly invoking "biblical prophecy," conveniently forgetting that in the End Times scenario, Jews must either convert to Christianity or roast in hell forever.

Lieberman has long been associated with this group. From 1994 to 1999, he was the co-chair of their Center for Jewish and Christian Values. He has praised the Fellowship and appeared in their infomercial.

After announcing his candidacy, he asked the Fellowship to remove him from their half-hour commercial, which pleads for money to send Russian Jews to Israel. Also appearing in the infomercial--which aired on the right-wing Christian PAX network--are Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. (Holy Joe claims he didn't know he was in the infomercial.) A still-frame of his appearance is at the top of the page. I viewed a videotape of the original, uncut version of the infomercial, kindly sent by Ed Ericson. Lieberman's portion comes at the 17-minute mark and lasts for 12 seconds. Sitting in a studio and directly addressing the camera, he intones:

Brother Eckstein established the first dialogs in America between the Jewish community and evangelical Christian community. He is the leader in America, probably in the world, in this important work.

Furthermore, Lieberman has said that the Fellowship is "the best-kept secret in the United States." That cryptic endorsement used to be on the homepage of the Fellowship's Website, but now--naturally--it's gone. However, we've rescued it from purgatory (see above).

"Holy Joe" Lieberman