As you know, your Council for the National Interest closely monitors the news and debunks and confronts media bias and misunderstandings. Below are some recent items I want to call to your attention. These are links that should be sent to friends, family, and allies, and I suggest you even print and distribute the second one by Ambassador Chas Freeman.
Our own Executive Director, Phil Giraldi (a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer) cites a very interesting connection between the media’s opponents of the “Occupy Wall Street” protestors and the Israel lobby. He writes, “As is so often the case in American politics, the punditry’s hostile response to Occupy Wall Street is really largely about Israel.” He also says, “Blogger Jennifer Rubin noted a sign held by an Arab American that said ‘Gaza Supports the Occupation of Wall Street,’ which she described as a ‘vile scene.'”
Former Ambassador Chas Freeman has a distinguished career in the foreign service—and he has been outspoken in his opposition to America’s Middle East policy of Israel first. Please read his comments or listen to the recording, but I suggest you print the page of his speech: it is an excellent overview of where we are in the Middle East, from US issues with Iran, to the Palestinian bid for UN recognition of its statehood, to the impact and future developments of the “Arab Spring.” Ambassador Freeman asserts, “Israel and its American claque debased and discredited American international prestige and regional credibility. As a consequence, the world has come together in a series of ever firmer votes of no-confidence in U.S. leadership and diplomacy on the Israel-Palestine dispute.” It is a powerful presentation.
Finally, for those who remember the effectiveness of the American church-led boycott of South Africa during its apartheid era, this encouraging story explains how a Christian minister is organizing a boycott of Israel for its apartheid-like policies—and its occupation of Palestinian land. Here is an interesting aspect of his motivation: “While I am considered a social and political conservative, my hope is that I am first considered a Christian. I do not see the Israel-Palestine conflict as a conservative versus liberal issue, but rather as a humanitarian issue. As United Methodists, we must seriously consider whether we want to continue being invested in companies that are complicit in and profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank.”
Often news media reports and policies stemming from our State Department can appear to be overwhelmingly complex—and not easy to explain to others. The links above, and our ongoing updates to the CNI website, can help put important issues in perspective. Your continued support of our efforts is key to our work. Please take advantage of our resource bank and urge others to research the Israel lobby and other questions, be they about the beleaguered people of occupied Palestine or US foreign policy in the Middle East in general.
And, after reading the above links, please consider a generous tax-deductible contribution to CNI. Because of the ever-changing—and even confusing—issues we face, your gift is a wise investment.
President, Council for the National Interest
A United Methodist member informs me that my earlier message “Interesting News” contained two errors: First, while the excellent article we linked to was by a United Methodist minister, the quote we highlighted was actually from a United Methodist layperson. Second, while over 100 Palestinian civil society organizations have called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel, the United Methodists have not suggested a boycott of Israel; their campaign is “a selective divestment of church funds from companies that support the occupation.” We apologize for these oversights; fortunately, the correct information was located inside the article link we provided, which I hope many of you read.
Sincerely, Alison Weir
Council for the National Interest Foundation
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