My Voice: Anti-Semitism tag used as Israeli ploy
Alison S. Weir
Alison Weir of Sacramento, Calif., is president of the Council for the National Interest and executive director of If Americans Knew. My Voice columns should be 500 to 700 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, occupation and relevant organizational memberships. Send columns to Argus Leader, Box 5034, Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5034, fax them to 605-331-2294 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In his recent My voice column, “The longest hatred: Alison Weir’s speaking tour,” Steve Hunegs tries to use defamatory claims that I am “anti-Semitic” to divert attention from the facts I provide on Israel-Palestine.
This is an old and pervasive tactic. Former Israeli minister Shulamit Aloni explained in a television interview, “It’s a trick. We always use it. When from Europe someone is criticizing Israel, we bring up The Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are ‘anti-Semitic.’ And the organization is strong and has a lot of money.”
Hunegs’ organization, the Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas, fits both: it frequently cries the “anti-Semitism” wolf, and it has an annual budget of almost $1 million with which to push its agenda.
The main purpose of such organizations is single minded — to keep American tax money flowing to Israel — $8.5 million per day, plus other, hidden gifts that Israel’s lobby has contrived to milk from the U.S. This is far more than we give any other country, even though Israel is one of the world’s smallest nations. And it is disbursed in a lump sum at the very beginning of the fiscal year.
Because our government is operating at a deficit, this means our government borrows the money then pays interest on it long after it has gone to Israel. The money is deposited into an Israeli interest-bearing account, so Israel actually makes profit from our borrowing. For specifics, see the official Congressional Research Service report, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel April 11, 2013.”
And to make the financial cost to U.S. taxpayers even worse, a massive amount of foreign aid also is given to Egypt in an arrangement put together in 1979 as nothing more than a bribe to prevent Egypt from opposing Israel’s ruthless expulsion of Christians and Muslims and theft of billions of dollars worth of their property.
However, Hunegs wishes none of this known to hard-pressed American taxpayers, so he tries instead to focus attention on claims that critics of our Israeli policy are bigots. I’m sorry to destroy Hunegs’ thesis, but I have a life history of opposing all bigotry, including that against Jewish Americans.
In his vitriolic rant, Hunegs attempts to buttress this despicable claim by misrepresenting a few of my articles — out of my multitude of pieces I’ve written on Israel-Palestine.
He ignores my articles describing the tragic situation for Palestinians resulting from Israeli brutality against them, and the fact that they have been killed in far greater numbers than Israelis, and almost always were killed first in each round of violence.
He ignores my facts about Israel’s attack on a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, that killed 34 Americans and injured 174, and of how the Israel lobby has worked ever since to cover this up, even calling the American sailors who survived the Israeli assault “anti-Semitic.” One of the survivors, Stan White, is a native of Burbank, S.D.
Hunegs and other Israel apologists never mention that employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the Israel lobby’s main organizations, were indicted for conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to Israel, and that Israel repeatedly has stolen American technology and secrets, at times passing them on to enemies of the U.S.
The Israel lobby even works to support one of the most destructive spies against the U.S. in our entire history, Jonathan Pollard, whom Israel paid to steal highly secret material from the Pentagon.
Worse yet, the Israel lobby continues to beat the drum for more and more U.S. intervention in the Middle East, now against Syria and Iran, even while the large majority of Americans oppose these wars, and while our country suffers from the dreadfully costly — in both lives and money — invasion of Iraq that Israel partisans promoted.
Instead of discussing my thoroughly documented articles on these profoundly significant topics, Hunegs makes false allegations about what I have written and loathsome misrepresentations of my views.
However, Hunegs’ purpose is not to give facts. It is to keep our tax money flowing to Israel. My purpose is to inform Americans of the true situation and to work for U.S. policies that are in the best interests of Americans, that represent our national principles of fairness and justice and that will stop fueling the tragic violence in the Middle East.