Israel Organizes Quite A “Watering Hole” Event

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Is it just a plain old conference — or is there other stuff going on at this hyper-well attended assembly organized this week in Herziliya?
Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times reports in his blog that the following mix of Luke Skywalkers and Darth Vaders (many more Darth Vaders) attended a meeting at a coastal resort near Tel Aviv:

Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (well, he’s local)
Likud Leader Benjamin Netanyahu (he’s local too)
Defense Minister Amir Peretz (another local)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (another local)
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England (replaced Wolfowitz)
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns (has been acting simultaneously as Condi’s Deputy, Counselor, and UN Ambassador lately)
Presidential Candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Presidential Candidate and U.S. Senator John McCain (via satellite)
Presidential Candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Presidential Candidate and former U.S. Senator John Edwards (via satellite)
Richard Perle (needs no qualifiers)
Former CIA Director and Committee on the Present Danger Chairman R. James Woolsey
Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar (probably the only European neocon)

Read Gideon’s good piece. The conference sounds a lot like a war party — and if not that at least a cheerleading party for the idea of militarily confronting Iran.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

21 comments on “Israel Organizes Quite A “Watering Hole” Event

  1. ... says:

    that austindem 11:20 am prospect article is especially good.

    Reply

  2. AustinDem says:

    della Rovere: Based on the backlash from Clark’s remarks, I’d say most probably Clark.
    Here’s Yglesias on the issue:
    http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=12394
    and here’s Alterman:
    http://mediamatters.org/altercation/200701160005

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  3. pauline says:

    I posted this source elsewhere, but it’s worth putting it in again —
    “Hillary Clinton and the Israel Lobby”
    http://www.antiwar.com/frank/?articleid=10372

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  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Clarke’s backpeddling should serve to remind us about the immense clout the Israeli lobbies hold. Valdron and I are always sparring about this. As time progresses, I am coming to believe that Israel plays a larger part in dictating American foreign policy than even I care to imagine. And it appears that the new majority is even more beholding to Israel than the Bush camp is, particularly since the neocons closely allied with Israel have began to jump off of Bush’s ship. With people like Obama, Hillary, and Edwards being packaged for public consumption, it seems that Israel’s control over American foreign policy is going to become even stronger. The net result??? A whole lot of Muslims are about to die. Look for death tolls in the millions in the next decade.

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  5. della Rovere says:

    AustinDem: who among those running is more independent of the AIPAC crowd?

    Reply

  6. taters says:

    Maybe John Edwards should stick to slip and and falls and dog bites. I really expected better of him – but then again he did let Cheney smack him around…

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  7. AustinDem says:

    The only thing John Edwards has managed to do since his co-sponsorship of the IWR in 03 is how to hide his true stripes better.
    This isn’t the first time (nor the last, I expect) to see him friendly with this crowd. Elect him in 08? Not for all the “I’m sorry’s” in the world.

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  8. Joe M. says:

    John Edwards is an idiot, that is his problem. He knows nothing about the world. He might be able to argue a case in court, but he has no international experience at all. He voted for the Iraq war because he is an idiot who knew nothing, and he will support israel for the same reason. He is never going to challenge anything based on personal beliefs, because he has none about international policy. So, it is no shocker that he is at the Herziliya conference. What is the shocker is that Hillary is not (but then again, she already has her Zionist merit badge, so maybe she has nothing left to prove).

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  9. Gloria says:

    Re: Clark’s follow-up explanation of his comments
    Vladimir, his original comments seem less clear cut. His use of the words “conspiracy theories” is rather stark, too.
    CLARK’S ORIGINAL COMMENTS Jan 4 2007
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/dc-notes-wes-clark-is-_b_37837.html
    snip:
    “How can you talk about bombing a country when you won’t even talk to them?” said Clark. “It’s outrageous. We’re the United States of America; we don’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the military option is off the table — but diplomacy is not what Jim Baker says it is. It’s not, What will it take for you boys to support us on Iraq? It’s sitting down for a couple of days and talking about our families and our hopes, and building relationships.”
    When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”
    At one point Melinda reminded him that she was taking down everything he said (a fact that would have been hard to miss, since she was taking notes on a not-inconspicuous legal pad). His response: ‘Yes, I know.” For Clark, this is the biggest foreign policy issue facing the U.S. “I’m worried about the surge,” he said. “But I’m worried about this even more.”
    Clark, in the face of complaint, felt he needed to “explain” his comments:
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency story
    ADL accepts Clark explanation
    http://jta.org/page_view_breaking_story.asp?intid=6382
    The Anti-Defamation League accepted Wesley Clark’s explanation of a remark in which he blamed belligerence against Iran on “New York money people.”
    Clark, a former NATO commander and a likely Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, was quoted on the Huffington Post political blog as saying that his greatest worry is that the Bush administration will attack Iran.
    Attending swearing-in parties for the new Congress, Clark told Arianna Huffington, “The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”
    The Republican Jewish Coalition tagged the statement as anti-Semitic and demanded an apology; the ADL sought an explanation.
    Clark wrote that he backed dialogue with Iran while not removing a military option.
    “My position on Iran should not be misinterpreted, defined out of context or used to create conspiracy theories about one group’s influence on U.S. foreign policy. There is no place in these critical policy debates for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that blame the Jewish community for the war in Iraq and for action against Iran.”
    Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, told JTA he was satisfied that Clark “understood … how his words could be misconstrued.”

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  10. dwg says:

    no, I remember reading before that Edwards is a big supporter of Israel. I don’t remember why.
    Hope he gets his eyes opened soon on this topic. He’s done a credible job redeeming himself on his AUMF vote in my book — a heartfelt mea culpa and has since been a strong opponent of Iraq debacle. He needs to get a clue how Israel/Palestine issue feeds other ME problems. See also ISG Report.
    He should also a copy of Jimmy’s “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” which I just finished last night. Carter NAILS the whole subject which explains why so many people are up in arms over the book – it tells the truth.
    Carter, Wes Clark, the Iraq Survey Group — are are getting it right. All roads lead through Damascus to JERUSALEM – not Tehran. And should be travelled diplomatically, not with swords drawn.
    Seems like Edwards would benefit more from staking out a truthful and just position on Mid East rather than any money he could raise in associating with this crowd in Israel — even if AIPAC donor money is connected — that money is all going to go to HRC and not Edwards. He’s wasting his time if that’s the motivation.
    Someone should also let him know that there’s a very large progressive, liberal Democratic base out here that includes lots of Jews like me that emphatically do not support AIPAC OR the Likud – but do support a REAL peace process.

    Reply

  11. ... says:

    Whats John Edwards doing hanging out with that buch? Is he some kind of closet warmonger?
    Posted by wag at January 22, 2007 08:06 PM<<
    indirectly campaigning for financial support in the next election???
    it costs money to run for pres and the money has to come from somewhere.

    Reply

  12. vladimir jabotinsky says:

    “Of all the presumed Democratic candidates, only Wesley Clark has the stones to be able to tell it like it is:
    When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”
    At one point Melinda reminded him that she was taking down everything he said (a fact that would have been hard to miss, since she was taking notes on a not-inconspicuous legal pad). His response: ‘Yes, I know.” For Clark, this is the biggest foreign policy issue facing the U.S. “I’m worried about the surge,” he said. “But I’m worried about this even more.”

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
    “However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
    “So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
    Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other.
    Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests. ”
    GWashington 1779
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    At this point I recommend a military coup in DC…the sooner the better.

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  14. wag says:

    Whats John Edwards doing hanging out with that buch? Is he some kind of closet warmonger?

    Reply

  15. DonS says:

    The big question, of course, remains, whether a military confrontation, possibly nuclear, can be avoided in the first instance.
    For some unfathomable reason, certain parties think this is a reasonable, even desirable, option.

    Reply

  16. matt says:

    Please identify Woolsey as he ought to be:
    Vice President at Booz Allen ….

    Reply

  17. ExBrit says:

    There is no question that Israel is the elephant in the living room that no politician may dare question, and no journalist may mention. It is a tragedy. To see an honest discussion of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and foreign policy towards Iraq and Iran you have to go to Ha’aretz, the left of center Israeli newspaper. Now what does that tell you? It’s just too radioactive to even touch these issues in the US.

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  18. DonS says:

    Quoting Ritter from above comment “It’s interesting that AIPAC and other elements of the Israeli lobby don’t have to register as agents of a foreign government. It would be nice if they did, because then we’d know when they’re advocating on behalf of Israel or they’re advocating on behalf of the United States of America. ”
    I had a professor in law school in DC back in ’65 who methodically laid out the case for this, as well as for violations of the rights of Palestinians. Opened my eyes. We haven’t come very far have we? Maybe we’re worse off with the conflation of US/Israeli story line.
    When a question is raised, automatically the wingers come out of the woodwork with their pointing to “anti semitic” code words and rhetoric, instantly intimidating all but the most courageous to back down (not that there is a whole lot of standing up to the duplicity in the first place). Cries of antisemitic accusations that “Jews control the media; Jews control the banking system” .
    So what is the deal? Yes, I can see the Likudnik fanatics stuck in their halocaust “never again” mode. I know about the absence of countervailing interest groups in the US. But who would have thought that virtually the whole US Congress and political system is such a bunch of morally vacuous money grubbers that they have put their brains and their moral compasses on auto pilot?
    You know what, all you pseudo Judeophiles (is this a word?), your cowardice and cyincism may just buy us a political and economic catastrophe of historic proportions. And that would be us as in US. And by the way, your “beloved” Israel, too.
    Truth in advertising: I’m a Jew who lost much family to the Nazi. Zionist mouthpieces need not reply.

    Reply

  19. pauline says:

    From an interview with Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now! back on 12/21/06.
    SEYMOUR HERSH: Why doesn’t my colleagues in the American press do better with this story?
    SCOTT RITTER: One of the big problems is — and here goes the grenade — Israel. The second you mention the word “Israel,” the nation Israel, the concept Israel, many in the American press become very defensive. We’re not allowed to be highly critical of the state of Israel. And the other thing we’re not allowed to do is discuss the notion that Israel and the notion of Israeli interests may in fact be dictating what America is doing, that what we’re doing in the Middle East may not be to the benefit of America’s national security, but to Israel’s national security. But, see, we don’t want to talk about that, because one of the great success stories out there is the pro-Israeli lobby that has successfully enabled themselves to blend the two together, so that when we speak of Israeli interests, they say, “No, we’re speaking of American interests.”
    It’s interesting that AIPAC and other elements of the Israeli lobby don’t have to register as agents of a foreign government. It would be nice if they did, because then we’d know when they’re advocating on behalf of Israel or they’re advocating on behalf of the United States of America.
    http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/21/143259

    Reply

  20. ... says:

    nicholas – it is war profiteering plain and simple… the world economy has morphed into a big war making economy, or at least it has in a few places…. economic survival means enviromental suicide.. these folks do not car and dream about monsters around every corner.. knock down saddam and find another one fast!

    Reply

  21. Nicholas Weaver says:

    What I want to know is how all the pro-war-with-Iran crowd can keep a straight face.
    Iran has so many options to fubar the US within hours of a US or Israeli airstrike that, even if we could destroy the entire nuclear program in one quick attack, it would cause a world of grief for the United States.

    Reply

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