WASHINGTON (IPS) - The US State Department fiercely denied claims made by Ehud Olmert about his influence over President Bush, in an incident that has stirred up old debates about the role of the Israeli government and the so-called “Israel lobby” in formulating Middle East policy in Washington. On Monday, Olmert claimed that he demanded and received an immediate conversation with President Bush, during which he convinced the president to overrule the wishes of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and abstain from a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Read more about Olmert's claims revive specter of "Israel Lobby"
We have heard, and we will continue to hear, a droning litany of “Qassams! Qassams! Qassams!” The repetition will be difficult to resist, but for all of us who remember the reiterated US lies about Iraq of 2002-2003, whether with pride for our skepticism or shame for our credulity, a good first step might be for us to think “WMDs!” every time they say “Qassams!” Like the US Coalition of the Willing, Israel’s Operation Cast Lead has not let the absence of actual provocation get in the way of a good bloodbath. Jim Holstun and Joanna Tinker analyze for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about Israel's fabricated rocket crisis
A broad coalition of Jewish lobby groups has made a series of breakthroughs this year in its campaign to link the question of justice for millions of Palestinian refugees with justice for Jews who left Arab states in the wake of Israel’s establishment 60 years ago. Referring to these Jews as the “forgotten refugees” and claiming that their plight is worse than that of exiled Palestinians, the campaign has scored political successes in recent months in Washington, London and Brussels. Jonathan Cook reports. Read more about Jewish "refugee" lobby seeks to eclipse Palestinian losses
GENEVA (IPS) - With the 2008 presidential campaign at its end, pundits have begun to discuss in earnest what expected winner Barack Obama’s administration might look like. An important piece of evidence is Obama’s campaign team, which largely escaped the harsh scrutiny that his opponent’s lobbyist-laden team received. Read more about Obama adviser Dennis Ross's dodgy record
WASHINGTON (IPS) - In a significant and highly unusual defeat for the so-called “Israel Lobby,” the Democratic leadership of the US House of Representatives has decided to shelve a long-pending, albeit non-binding, resolution that called for President George W. Bush to launch what critics called a blockade against Iran. Read more about Iran resolution shelved in rare defeat for "Israel Lobby"
WASHINGTON (IPS) - A group of hard-line United States neo-conservatives and former Israeli diplomats, among others, are behind the mass distribution, ahead of the November US presidential election, of a controversial DVD that critics have denounced as Islamophobic. The group, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, is working with another organization called the Clarion Fund, which produced the 60-minute video and is itself tied closely to an Israeli organization called Aish Hatorah. Read more about Neo-cons, ex-Israeli diplomats push Islamophobic video
WASHINGTON (IPS) - A mushrooming media controversy pitting neoconservatives against a prominent Jewish-American political commentator could mark a new stage in the growing battle over who speaks for the US Jewish community on foreign policy issues, particularly regarding the Middle East. Read more about Neocon flap highlights Jewish divide
WASHINGTON (IPS) - New arguments by analysts close to Israeli thinking in favor of US strikes against Iran cite evidence of Iranian military weakness in relation to the US and Israel and even raise doubts that Iran is rushing to obtain such weapons at all. The new arguments contradict Israel’s official argument that it faces an “existential threat” from an Islamic extremist Iranian regime determined to get nuclear weapons. Read more about US hawks belie Iran's "existential threat" to Israel
OAKLAND, California (IPS) - The battle lines over Pastor John Hagee have been drawn, redrawn, and are no doubt being drawn again as this is being written. The San Antonio, Texas-based mega-preacher with the multi-million-dollar empire has always been controversial, but these days, the pastor is a lightning rod for critics. Read more about Christian Zionist gathering mired in controversy
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). Read more about Pledging allegiance to AIPAC