Behind every genocidal war there is a generous war chest.
The World Jewish Congress has a declared annual budget exceeding $33 million.
With such vast sums at its disposal, the advocacy group can pamper politicians willing to repeat pro-Israel talking points.
David Lega, a Swedish center-right member of the European Parliament, is a recent beneficiary of the lobby’s largesse.
Earlier this month, he spent five nights in Washington’s Capital Hilton, courtesy of the World Jewish Congress.
The conference he attended there involved the most crass anti-Semitism imaginable. It explicitly conflated Israel with “the Jewish people.”
By doing so, it held Jews around the world collectively responsible for the horrors which the Israeli state inflicts on Palestinians.
Lega has not registered any displeasure with that promotion of ignorance and bigotry. Instead, he was thrilled that the junket gave him the chance to attend a “march for Israel.”
That event, he suggested, was an antidote to “unsettling pro-Hamas demonstrations” – a highly misleading characterization of the massive worldwide protests against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.Lega is a key contact within the European Parliament for Israel and its advocates. He has enthusiastically applauded the mass destruction carried out in Gaza over the past six or seven weeks. His opposition to a “humanitarian pause” put him at odds with the official – and admittedly very timid – EU position. Lega seems oblivious to the double standards he has displayed.
On 11 October, he was photographed alongside the leaders of the EU’s main institutions offering full solidarity with the Israeli state. “We will stand with Israel for as long as it takes,” he tweeted.Lega made that comment on the same day that Israel leveled the Islamic University of Gaza.
Although Lega champions the right to universal education, he wouldn’t dream of denouncing Israel for denying that right in Palestine.Lega is actually complicit in denying that right.
He has long been urging the European Union to withhold aid for Palestinian schools.
Echoing professional pro-Israel lobbyists, Lega frequently alleges that the EU pays for text books which encourage anti-Semitism.The truth is that while the EU has financed Palestinian education in general, it has not funded school books.
An independent study has proven that the claims made about Palestinian school books by the pro-Israel lobby are dishonest. That hasn’t stopped Lega from recycling lies.
Before he was an elected representative, Lega won gold medals as a Paralympian swimmer. Perhaps he now deserves a prize for an innovative euphemism.
Writing for the Euronews website, Lega claimed that “Israeli forces are going house by house now in northern Gaza.”
At the time the article was published, Israel was actively subjecting Gaza to state terrorism of the most extreme kind. Lega inferred that Israel’s conduct was merely one of searching for Hamas members.
It might also be a rare case in which Lega has taken a break from reciting lines supplied to him by lobbyists and coined a phrase of his own.