Israel Lobby Watch

Pledging allegiance to AIPAC

WASHINGTON, 9 June (IPS) - With the Iranian nuclear “threat” in the crosshairs, discussion of Palestinians or a Syrian-Israeli detente was virtually non-existent. But then again, one should not expect many overtures for peace when attending the annual policy conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). 

Israeli ambassador to the UK's PR problem

It would appear that the ambitions of the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom far outweigh his abilities as recently acquired documents from the University of Edinburgh reveal his embassy bungled a public lecture and then tried to lay the blame elsewhere. Ron Prosor became the new Israeli Ambassador in November 2007, arriving with a fresh enthusiasm for the promotion of Israel. They’ll be “coming out of London to make the case for Israel,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reports he told embassy staff. 

Extremist Jewish organization resurfaces in Canada

TORONTO, 30 April (IPS) - Like an aging group of retro rocker musicians, the extremist Jewish Defense League (JDL) resurfaced in Toronto recently after a decade of dormancy, trying to look a little more mainstream. The group made its largest public foray in quite some time on 27 March, when it hosted a meeting of about 150 for Israeli politician Moshe Feiglin at the Shaarei Tefillah Synagogue on a stretch of Bathurst south of Wilson that conjures Jerusalem’s Mea Shirim with its black top hats, piety and peyes

EI exclusive: a pro-Israel group's plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia

A pro-Israel pressure group is orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged. A series of emails by members and associates of the pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), provided to The Electronic Intifada (EI), indicate the group is engaged in what one activist termed a “war” on Wikipedia. 

New Jewish lobby seeks to redefine "pro-Israel"

WASHINGTON, 15 April (IPS) - A new group of prominent US Jews who believe that the so-called “Israel Lobby” has been dominated for too long by neo-conservatives and other Likud-oriented hawks has launched a new organization to help fund political candidates who favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a stronger US role in achieving it. 

Israeli foreign ministry's token Arab

Ishmael Khaldi has been all the rage amongst Israel advocacy groups in the United States, especially in the liberal San Francisco Bay Area. An Arab Bedouin who embraces his Israeli citizenship and has worked for the Israeli police as well as Israel’s occupying army, he was a dream come true for the Israeli consulate, which decided to hire him as Deputy Consul to San Francisco in December 2006. Yaman Salahi reports on Khaldi’s private talk to a group of University of California, Berkeley students organizing “Israeli Apartheid Week.” 

Christian Zionists gain Israel's inner sanctum

OAKLAND, California, 3 Jan (IPS) - After raising more than two hundred million dollars for various projects in Israel, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the organization he founded and is president of, has hit pay-dirt. In late December, the Jewish Agency for Israel, which helped found the state of Israel, announced that the IFCJ “will be declared a funding partner of the Jewish Agency … [and] Eckstein will … receive new voting powers that will include spots on the committees that oversee the agency’s budget and that meet with the prime minister and his Cabinet,” the Jewish daily Forward reported. 

US Jews tilt rightwards on Israel

WASHINGTON, December 12 (IPS) - US Jews appear to have become more opposed both to Israel’s making key concessions in renewed peace talks with Palestinians and to the US carrying out a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to the latest in an annual series of surveys of Jewish opinion released here this week by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The poll, which was carried out during November before the formal resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Annapolis late last month, also found continued skepticism in the Jewish community over both the war in Iraq and the “war on terror” as conducted by the administration of President George W. Bush. 

Likudnik hawks work to undermine Annapolis

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (IPS) - Despite near-universal skepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at next week’s Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, a familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks close to the Likud Party leader, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, isn’t taking any chances. Hard-liners associated with the American Enterprise Institute and Freedom’s Watch, a bountifully funded campaign led by prominent backers of the Republican Jewish Coalition, among other like-minded groups, are mounting a concerted attack against next week’s meeting which they fear could result in pressure on Israel to make territorial concessions.