Most U.S. anti-war activists do not support the Israeli establishment’s Likud party because Likud’s leaders have violated many United Nations resolutions which require the Israeli government to withdraw from all post-1967 occupied territory, dismantle all Israeli settlements in post-1967 occupied territories, and allow all Palestinian refugees to return to pre-1967 Israel/Palestine. Yet a pro-Israel, apparently tax-exempt organization in the United States, the American Friends of Likud, is “part of a global federation of center-right Zionist movements known as Likud Olami—the World Union of Liberal and National Zionists” and “maintains close links to Israel’s Likud party,” according to its website at www.theLikud.org.
Founded in 1992, the American Friends of Likud “provides a solid partnership of public support for the state of Israel” in the U.S., according to its website. The national chairman of the board of American Friends of Likud, J. Philip Rosen, has also been a member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition in recent years.
The website of the Republican Jewish Coalition describes Republican Jewish Coalition board member and American Friends of Likud Chairman of the Board Rosen as “one of the key power brokers in the Israel business and political communities.” Republican Jewish Coalition Board Member Rosen is also a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations pro-Israel pressure group.
In a column that appeared in the October 1, 2004 issue of The Jewish Week newspaper, entitled “Four Reasons to Vote For Bush,” Rosen wrote:
“We admire the president’s policies in the Mideast… Bush’s changing of the Oslo tactics, by letting Israel protect itself, has changed the course of Israel’s history. Terrorists are being eradicated; Bush’s silence is music to our ears… I believe in President Bush.”
But as former British MP Tony Benn observed in an April 19, 2002 column that appeared in the left-wing Morning Star newspaper:
“The main responsibility for the appalling crimes being perpetrated against the Palestinians must be equally shared between Jerusalem and Washington… American… support for Sharon is what is prolonging the tragedy, as thousands of Palestinians are suffering death and injury from military action which they cannot resist in kind but can defeat by their determination and courage if we can help from outside.”
Besides being a strong supporter of Bush and Sharon’s Middle East policies, Rosen also is the chairman of Media Watch International and a U.S. corporate lawyer in the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Media Watch International is a pro-Israel propaganda group “dedicated to advancing Israel’s image” in the media world and on U.S. campuses, according to its website at www.mwio.org. The flagship program of Media Watch International, “Caravan for Democracy,” “fosters pro-Israel sentiment about Israel and the Middle East on colleges throughout the United States,” according to its website.
The executive director and founder of Media Watch International is a Canadian-born former member of the Israeli Air Force named Sharon Tzur. Media Watch International Executive Director Tzur is also both a former assistant to former Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo and a former director of a Zionist Youth Movement called Betar USA.
A former Deputy Chief of Israel’s diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., Lenny Ben-David is a consultant and writer for Media Watch International. Prior to being appointed by former Likud Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be Israel’s number two diplomat in D.C. in 1997, Media Watch International Consultant and Writer Ben-David held senior posts in the AIPAC pro-Israel lobbying group for 25 years.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges is one of the U.S. corporate law firms which made a lot of money from the 2001 and 2002 Enron bankruptcy scandal. Between 2001 and 2002, for instance, Weil, Gotshal & Manges represented Enron’s corporate executives in bankruptcy court and billed Enron over $12 million in legal fees for its “legal work” during this two-year period.
As a Weil, Gotshal & Manges corporate law firm partner, American Friends of Likud national board chairman and Republican Jewish Coalition board member J. Philip Rosen apparently works out of the U.S. law firm’s main office in New York City at 767 Fifth Avenue. Rosen has apparently represented such U.S. clients in recent years as the Reader’s Digest Association, Estee Lauder and the bondholders of Trump Hotels & Casinos.